Wait long enough, and you can get the captains of industries' signature car for a song, provided you can stomach their running costs. That's been the gamble offered by large German cars for decades, and it seems unlikely to change anytime soon, especially as the age of electric cars arrives and the gasoline-gulping plutobarges of yesteryear begin tempt buyers with a midsize sedan budgets who want to look like a million bucks.
The Maybach 62, lest we forget, was the longer of the two sedan models offered by Mercedes-Benz in the early 2000s, based on a stretched previous-gen W140 S-Class platform. Shortly prior the launch of the 57 and the 62, the cars themselves were planned to be badged as Mercedes models, previewing what would come almost two decades later, but at the time of their debuts Stuttgart planned a standalone brand, sensing a gap in the market as Volkswagen and BMW divided up Bentley and Rolls-Royce.
"The revived brand's new dawn commenced in 2002 with the launch of the Maybach 57 and 62: a brace of high-performance luxury saloons that, inevitably, incorporated a good deal of contemporary Mercedes-Benz technology," Bonhams adds.
The 62 model offered a longer wheelbase in addition to much larger, reengineered rear passenger doors and C-pillars, playing the role of the chauffeured model, though in practice outside the US a big percentage of all Maybachs were chauffeured. The 62 was also offered with a choice of a conventional four-seat single-cabin layout, or with a BMW L7-style partition, giving the rear-seat passengers some privacy to discuss coup d'etat plans on their phones.
The reclining rear seats were a novelty at the time and arguably one of the selling points of the partitioned limousine model, along with the electro-transparent glass in the sunroof.
Power came courtesy of a 5.5-liter V12 out of Daimler's engine lineup, coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission, with this unit producing 543 hp.
The Maybach 62 itself was still positioned roughly below the W220 Pullman of the day, including the armored variant of the Pullman, so there was still some space above it in Daimler's stable. Typical buyers included some royalty and heads of state, but not as many as one would have expected, as those who shopped German sedans tended to buy armored BMW and Mercedes sedans, and Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman limos. So the Maybach 62 turned out to be too flashy even for a number of heads of state.
But for US customers the Maybach 62 was the most luxurious model one could buy from a Mercedes dealership, even if the partitioned 62 was meant for a chauffeured experience that proved rare in the US.
Bonhams reports that this example was ordered in Caspian Black over Black leather and was originally sold by Euro Motorcars of Bethesda, Maryland, which is in northwest Washington, DC, and sold quite a few Maybachs on the east coast, some to the diplomatic community, some to royals in exile, and some to swank hotels.
The 62 originally cost $409,000, but with options like the $30,250 partition and a few others the total for this car came out to $465,540 as specified. The 62 had not covered all that many miles since it was purchased, with its first owner using it for just over 3000 miles. Its second owner and current consignor added just a few hundred miles since purchasing it in 2013, with the car now showing 3704 miles.
Bonhams estimates this Maybach 62 to bring between $60,000 and $80,000 on auction day, so those 3704 miles may indeed turn out to have been quite pricey miles. The car will be offered at no reserve.
The market for used Maybach 62s is not vast these days, with some abused examples suffering from suspension issues (and generally all other kinds of issues). So landing a Maybach on the cheap is not a difficult task these days, given the prospective running costs. When it comes to the US, some might expect that with this estimate range the 62 would interest funeral homes, but the truth is that funeral homes do not want to bear the costs of Mercedes-Benz dealership visits, so private buyers and European luxury resellers are still the main audience here.
The fact that this unarmored version limits its price ceiling a bit, but there is still plenty of demand for the 62 in some parts of the world.
"Cosmetically a practically unused car, some mechanical recommissioning is recommended before tasking Jeeves with chauffeuring you to the next gala," Bonhams adds.
The partitioned 62 model is certainly far rarer stateside than a 57 sedan, as most of these were sold outside the US, so the audience for a chauffeured limo is that much smaller. There is still plenty of demand for these in Eastern Europe, so we wouldn't be surprised if this one gets picked up and quickly shipped across the Atlantic.
Visit the auction website to view the full list of lots from the upcoming Bonhams Scottsdale auction.