A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £140,630
The imposing Mercedes 600 ideally needed owners of a certain calibre to match, and the Danish travel tycoon Simon Spies was indeed such an owner. He had a brilliant eye for business which led to him introducing charter travel to the Danes in 1956 and his hugely successful company 'Spies Rejser' made him one of the most wealthy men in Denmark. With a keen eye for branding, even years before the term branding was widely used, he at the same time became one of the most well-known public figures in Denmark. He wasted no chance to gain publicity for his company or himself and was not really much concerned about whether any mention was positive or not. Spies made the term ”any publicity is better than no publicity” famous. Not least because he behaved as though he meant it, and quite literally laughed in the face of scandals, his provocative behaviour ranged from the mild such as buying a First Class ticket for his Cane, to his extravagant clothing or even to his quite open use of many different drugs. A great many scandals involved the opposite sex: Spies employed many young girls in order to be serviced with ”morning buns” (yes, it has a double meaning in Danish too) and more, and wherever he travelled the girls went with him. With regards to the Mercedes – well, Spies had two. He originally wanted the long wheelbase version but as that was not readily available he bought the normal version while he waited. They were widely known by the nicknames he gave them: ”Lille Frede” was the short and ”Lange Frede” the Pullman and he normally travelled in the Pullman with the 600 behind – in order to be able to change cars should the Pullman have a puncture, the story went. More likely it was in order to keep his many ”secretaries” close by in case he felt the need for a little 'dictation'. Spies was quite a car enthusiast and when asked how many cars he owned he famously replied, ”should I count the Volvos?”. In general, he preferred to have a car for each day of the week but he became quite attached to the Mercedes' and they became rather famous in all their combined extravagance. This 600 is ”Lille Frede” and it presents itself with all the aplomb a 600 should. It's obvious that ”little” is a fairly relative term, as even the normal wheelbase 600 features a rear seat with enough space to hold a small dinner party! The car comes without the cane or the young ladies, but there are various flags representing Spies and his travels in the Sixties and Seventies. A little 'Barking' perhaps, but most of us just love outright eccentricity.
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