Once again, I’ve been hanging out on my deck upon returning from the office on this fine, sunny Thursday afternoon, and got right down to business: fixing a drink, and checking out interesting old rolling stock online, on the fb group, Finding Future Classic Cars.
Today’s set of wheels is perhaps as far away from the ’71 Ambassador as you can get, but like the Kenosha Cadillac, I love it. To wit: Mercedes’s early ’70s hot rod, the 300 SEL 6.3.
Upon first glance, it appears to just be another late ’60s/early ’70s W108/W109 sedan.
But beneath the somewhat plain but elegant flanks lurks a Frankenstein’s monster: the 386 CID, 6.3 liter V8 from the ‘Grosser’ Mercedes 600 sedans, favored by Dr. Evil, Idi Amin and Ernst Stavros Blofeld, to name but a few.
These are my favorite Mercedes sedans, I like the Swinging Sixties look, the color keyed wheel covers, genuine wood trim inside, stacked quad headlamps, and those cat-eared headrests.
Enough so that I had to purchase this highly detailed 1/18 scale version by Norev a few years back. But I digress.
Anyway, as the story goes, in the late Sixties Erich Waxenberger, who worked in Mercedes’s experimental department, stuck the 600’s V8 into a long wheelbase W109 300. It barely fit. After some other bigwigs tried it out, it eventually went into production.
And it was fast. 300 hp, 0-60 in 6.9 seconds, and it would stay nearly even with a contemporary Lamborghini Miura in the quarter mile. Pretty dam good for a 4,000 lb. German luxocruiser. 6,526 were built.
This one is currently on craigslist for a cool $26,500. Though in the text it also says ‘25,000 FIRM,’ so who knows. I do know these have all sorts of expensive little components.
Though from the ad this one seems to be in decent, if not spectacular, shape: “The car recently came out of long term storage…recent work: Serviced fuel pump. Flushed gas tank and replaced rubber fuel hoses. Cleaned clogged metal fuel lines. Replaced fuel filter & gasket. Installed new battery. Lubricated air suspension lines. Serviced front brake calipers. Changed engine oil, transmission and power steering fluids. The air suspension raises in about 8 minutes (ED: eight MINUTES?!) and goes down when the engine is turned off in about 20 minutes.”
“There are a few scratches on the hood. Some surface rust above rear right wheel. The undercarriage is for the most part is clean with minimal rust if any…car comes with a jack , spare tire and a manual book. The glass, chrome trim, leather seats are in a very good shape considering the age of the car. The wood as evident in the images is also in a good condition with some shine to it. The paint looks good from about 20 feet. A paint job is recommended. The sunroof is in a good working condition. I highly recommend and encourage an inspection.”
Still, this is a rare and desirable car…but be prepared to pay to make it fully sorted. Good news: M-B makes EVERYTHING, to this day, that this car may need. Bad news: hope you’re filthy stinking rich, ha ha.
Still, it’s a beautiful car, and I love the silver with the navy blue leather. So ifin you’re so inclined, and have lots of disposable income, check out the ad here. As for me, I’m perfectly content with my scale model, period brochures, and Mercedes books!