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24 carat top piece. The Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3

ER Classics Desktop 2022

In the sixties, the then technical boss of Mercedes Benz - Erich Waxenberger - was at the basis of a great car. He saw in America how impressive V-8 engines were built into medium-sized cars. Waxenberger saw a role for the large M100 engine from the Mercedes Benz 600 in the W109. And that idea formed the basis for the development of the final model, which made its public debut in 1968 - completely unannounced - at the Geneva Salon: The Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3.

Those responsible for this limousine made serious efforts to ensure that the drive line was used, because the development served a purpose. The new Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3 had to prove that a luxury limousine could at least equal the performance of top sport cars. That was a big wish of the pragmatic engineer Waxenberger.


 

The M 100 E63 power source gave the top version of the W109 a large performance potential. Image: Daimler AG
The M 100 E63 power source gave the top version of the W109 a large performance potential. Image: Daimler AG

Performance thanks to beautiful powertrain
Soon after its introduction in 1968, it turned out that the top Benz did indeed deliver impressive performances. These were made possible by the beautiful drivetrain from the Mercedes 600. It consisted of a refined 6332 cc V8 engine with mechanical Bosch injection, which was linked to an equally good automatic transmission, which also came from the MB 600. That heavy-duty and technically advanced machine was also badly needed. Due to the strong engine torque of 510 Nm at 2800 revolutions per minute and a maximum power of 220 hp at 4000 revolutions per minute, the use of a manual gearbox was not an option. In that case, Das Haus should have opted for transmissions from the heavier transport vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. The combination of that beautiful machine and the fabulous power source resulted in the much-praised fantastic powertrain. With this the Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3 reached a top of 220 kilometers per hour and accelerated within an unimaginable value from 6.5 seconds to 100 kilometers per hour.

Recognizable but completely redeveloped.
Not only the powertrain was top of the bill. The 300 SEL 6.3 also had air suspension and there was a blocking differential on the rear axle. The mounted differential was needed to get the strong power under control - under any circumstances - on the asphalt. In addition, the air suspension provided a surplus of comfort. Although the luxury Benz was an unmistakable W109 Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3, much has been changed about the car. The strong engine forced the constructors to strengthen the body and strengthen the chassis. The Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3 also received a modified front suspension, combining the double wishbones with spring bellows. Issues such as the removal of increased heat from the drive train and brakes were further refined and adjusted, as witnessed by the placement of, among other things, ventilated brake discs all around.

 

Simply a worthy and stately automobile. Image: Daimler AG
Simply a worthy and stately automobile. Image: Daimler AG

Appearance
The appearance of the car included standing halogen twin headlamps that were accompanied by large round lights next to the grille. The Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3 could also be recognized by larger tires (the first of the "70's series"), lots of chrome and of course the longer body with the larger rear doors. 6.526 pieces were made between 1968 and 1972 of this beautiful Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3. An 24 carat car, which could also make life miserable for cars such as the Porsche 911 S, the Jaguar E-Type and the Maserati Mistral. And because of its total concept, it is one of the most impressive Mercedesses in history. Mission accomplished.

 

3 Comments

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  1. The reason that the Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3 was introduced was not only equal to sports cars with a sedan, but perhaps even more so than the Opel Diplomat V1964, already introduced in 8.

    Because during those 4 years, fans of a new German sedan with V8 in the middle price range were forced to leave the Mercedes Benz dealer and make their purchase at the Opel dealer.

    And that happened with considerable regularity, Opel sold more of the Diplomat V1968 for 8 than Mercedes Benz would later sell in total of the 300 SEL 6.3.

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