1968 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL Saloon
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 2778cc|
Replacing the Fintail saloons at the top of the Mercedes-Benz family, the W108/109 was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1965. This was effectively the birth of the legendary S-class line that continues as the pinnacle of luxury motoring to this day. With sharp, modern styling by Paul Bracq, the car was available in two wheelbase lengths - the other significant difference between the W108 and W109 models being the complex self-levelling air suspension on the latter. As the flagship in the S-class range, the long wheelbase 300SEL came with higher equipment levels, including electric windows, central locking and velour carpeting. Other changes included a long range fuel tank and of course, the air suspension. Under the bonnet, the 300SEL initially used the all alloy 3-litre six cylinder engine and automatic transmission (from 1966 a ZF five-speed manual box became an option). In 1968, the elderly 3-litre M189 engine was superseded by a fuel injected version of the newer M130 2.8-litre unit, developing the same 170 bhp, along with a few changes to the interior. With advanced safety features and cutting edge technology, the S-class was years ahead of the competition and even today good examples can be found in use as daily drivers.