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Fit for a king.

The story of Mercedes-Benz Museum's "33 Extras" exhibit in Stuttgart continues with focus falling on the luxury saloon that was driven by prominent past individuals such as John Lennon and the Japanese Emperor.

The "Pullman" was the original name for the comfortable lounge railway carriages 100 years ago. They were developed in the 1860s by American engineer and entrepreneur George Mortimer Pullman. Customers enjoyed the travel experience so much that they wanted that same exclusivity to be translated in cars and in the early 20th century, the term "Pullman" was transferred to the car.

The model railway carriage of a tinplate toy train set displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum serves as a reminder of the origin of the highly exclusive Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman State Limousine (W 100) from 1965 in "Collection 4: Gallery of Celebrities".

Comfort has always played a significant role in the history of the German automaker. For example, for Emil Jellinek, the pioneer of the Mercedes brand, he had his 1904 Mercedes-Simplex 60 PS, the top model by Daimler at the time, refurbished as a luxurious touring saloon in 1907.

Today, the vehicle can be experienced in the room "Legend 2: Mercedes -- Birth of the Brand, 1900 to 1914" at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. It is deserving of the name "Pullman".

Pullman has stood for the highest level of excellence in vehicles for 100 years with a Mercedes star. This was again underlined by the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Pullman (222 model series; combined fuel consumption: 14.6 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 330 g/km*) presented in March 2018.

The idea of the Pullman is to offer drivers automotive luxury and comfort. The line of ancestors ranges from vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz "NE-rburg" Pullman Saloon (W 08) from 1928 and the Mercedes-Benz 770 "Grand Mercedes" Pullman Saloon (W 07) from the 1930s to the legendary Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman (W 100) as a saloon and landaulet (1963 to 1981) as well as the luxury vehicles of the S-Class from the 140 model series until today.

Every one of those vehicles ensures an appearance which is practically regal -- complete with exclusive spaciousness, excellent travel comfort, top-class interior equipment in terms of technology and material, rear vis-a-vis seating and, of course, refined engine output without parallel.

Pullman cars have been popular amongst heads of state and monarchs since the 1920s, as well as with industrialists, celebrities and private customers For example, Emperor Hirohito of Japan drove a Mercedes-Benz 770 "Grand Mercedes" Pullman Saloon in 1935 and John Lennon drove a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Saloon in 1970.

In more recent times, the Pullman tradition has belonged to the 140 model series of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The refined vehicles are largely made by hand. This began in 1996 with the S 600 Pullman Saloon with a 290 kW (394 hp) twelve-cylinder engine.

The success story of the Pullman versions of luxurious Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles can be seen in the representation vehicles in the middle of the 20th century: of the Mercedes-Benz 300 (W 189) from 1960 just three remain.

The Mercedes-Benz 600 (W 100), on the other hand, was available from 1963 to 1981 as a Pullman Saloon and Pullman Landaulet with four or six doors as standard. Individualisation took centre stage: Mercedes-Benz not only fitted the rear seats longitudinally for the Beatle John Lennon, but also installed one of the best hi-fi systems for cars available at the time, for travel sound at a Pullman level.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9am to 6pm and ticket desk closes at 5pm. For details, follow the museum on Instagam @MercedesBenzMuseum

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:Feb 4, 2020
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