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Royally Neglected: 1997 S600 W140 in rare Royal Indigo Metallic

Fortune may favor the bold, but to be bold cost a fortune for the original purchaser of this rare W140 S600. Finished in an exceedingly rare color for the former flagship V12 sedan, this languishing landyacht is being offered for sale on autotrader out of Island Lake, Illinois. Having depreciated from an MSRP of $135,000+ in 1997 ($218,735 in today's money), the seller is only asking $4,150 for the car in its present state. While that price may not make you grimace, the condition (and the potential cost to resurrect this rare find) certainly will.

The color, known as Royal Indigo Metallic (339) in North America and "Violen Metallic" in other global markets, is a beautiful shade of deep purple metallic paint that only really pops in direct sunlight. Unfortunately, the seller has provided listing photos as poor as his overall maintenance and care for the car, so its difficult to appreciate the paintwork in this listing.

Among the many problems with this example are its incorrect, chrome wheels that appear to be knock-offs of an early, base model W220. Up front, the bumper, hood and grill flourishes all suffer from years of rock chip sandblasting accumulated over the hard 139,000 miles this car has traveled. Having spent a number of years in the Nevada desert, according to the autocheck report, this car has clearly suffered a sandstorm or two in its day. We reached out to the seller for more insight into its condition only to be told that the car "will need a respray in the future and has scratches and dime-sized dents" in the bodywork.

As for the Mushroom (515) leather interior, the condition of the rear seats looks "acceptable" for this mileage but the fronts are too far gone to be saved without replacement or re-skinning. An expensive prospect, for sure. Small details like what appears to be a strip of packing tape holding together the rear interior door sill molding, and you can quickly deduce what the overall condition of this car is likely to be.

While the seller mentions numerous other cosmetic defects with the interior of the car, there is zero mention of any mechanical maintenance or the running condition for this car. Despite fears for the expense to repair cosmetics on a W140, a mechanical basket-case M120 S-Class will surely bring the next owner's repairs bills up closer to the original MSRP to save it. We love this car, but even we aren't bold enough to try...


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