Acquired by the Shanghai municipal government, these eight limousines were used whenever foreign dignitaries came to town. That’s why there are two flag poles on the front fenders, one carried the Chinese flag and the other was to hold the visitor’s country flag.

All W140 Pullmans here are based on the S500L and were modified by a local company called “Shanghai Jinjiang Automobile Service” as per the municipal government's requirements. The limos were renamed “Dynasty 1000” and received a fridge and a TV set.

According to CarNewsChina, there were actually 11 vehicles in total and all were purchased back in 1998, so these were among the last ones made by Mercedes. Three of them were sold at the beginning of 2015 and the other eight along with their license plates were listed on a government website where bidders grabbed them for 500,000 to 630,400 yuan (about $75,850 to $95,632).

Being based on the S500L, the limousines come with the 5.0-liter V8 engine and are 39.3 inches (one meter) longer than the regular long-wheelbase model, spanning at a respectable 241 inches (6123 mm.) In the adjacent images which are not recent, the cars are a bit dusty on the outside and dirty on the inside, but hopefully the new owners are giving the cars the TLC they deserve.

Even though production of the model came to an end in 1999, we feel the W140 in all of its body styles still oozes luxury and elegance. It might not have the W222’s gadgetry, but there’s something timeless about it that many appreciate.

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Gallery: Eight Mercedes S500L W140 Pullman limos auctioned by Shanghai gov