2005 Shannons Summer Auction
1969 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 Saloon
Result: PASSED IN
This lot is no longer available
Shoehorning the 6.3-litre V8 engine from the 600 Grosser limousine into the smaller and significantly lighter W109 S-Class resulted in a formidable super saloon designated the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 by Stuttgart. A true 'Wolf in Sheep's Clothing', the 6.3 differed from its more mundane siblings in badging only but underneath the chassis was improved to handle the additional power from the massive M100 V8 lump lurking beneath the bonnet.
With Bosch mechanical fuel injection and single chain-driven overhead camshafts per bank, the motor developed 300bhp and power was delivered to the rear wheels via a fluid coupling and four-speed automatic transmission. The air suspension system already in use on the 600 was adopted along with ventilated disc brakes all round to cope with the high speeds the new 6.3 was intended for.
Make no mistake, the 6.3 is a seriously fast car, even by today's standards, with 0-100km/h taking a mere 6.5 seconds along the way to a top speed well in excess of 200km/h. The Mercedes-Benz regularly embarrassed more exotic sports cars on the road and was certainly the quickest four-door saloon of the era. With production limited to just 6,526 examples between 1969 and 1972, the 300 SEL 6.3 is also a rare sight and those that have survived haven't always been treated well.
However the 6.3 is fast becoming a legend and the car once described by Road & Track magazine as 'merely the greatest sedan in the world' is now recognised as a true collector's piece as demonstrated by steadily rising prices on the world market over the past ten years.