Former German Consul General Holger Ziegeler takes a keen interest in classic cars. This article will provide an overview of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3, a model that made history as the world’s fasted sedan. The attached infographic features more information about the fastest supercars of today.
The 300 SEL 6.3 was launched by Mercedes-Benz in 1968, with the German car manufacturer producing the model up until 1972. Featuring a powerful Mercedes-Benz 6.3-litre M100 V8 engine, the two-ton sports sedan provided muscle car performance, at the time of its release ranking amongst the world’s fastest four-door cars. The attached PDF contains more information about the history of Mercedes-Benz.
With 6,526 300 SEL 6.3s produced in total, they were comparatively costly to maintain in their day and remain highly collectible today. The car began as a private venture launched by Erich Waxenberger in 1966. He came up with the idea of taking a 6.3-liter engine from the gargantuan 600 saloon and limousine, placing it in the bay of a top-end six-cylinder 300 SEL W109 model. This culminated in an impressive level of performance and style for an automobile of the era. The model was extremely luxurious for its time, featuring ventilated four-wheel power disk brakes, central locking, power steering and air suspension. Airconditioning, an audio tape deck, rear window curtains, reading lamps, writing tables and a power sunroof were all available as optional extras.
Mercedes-Benz showcased a production model at the Geneva Motor Show in 1968. The debut not only enhanced the company’s reputation for performance vehicles, which had languished since the demise of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and Gullwing roadsters of the 1950s, but also made better use of the company’s M100 engine production facilities. By the end of the line’s production, 6,500 300 SEL 6.3 units had been built, far outnumbering the 2,700 Mercedes-Benz 600s.
The 300 SEL 6.3 was known for its ability to cruise at more than 124 mph in complete comfort. Mercedes-Benz later released a W109 series, equipped with new, smaller V8 engines. While the 300 SEL 4.5 was only released in the United States, the 280 SE 3.5 was also available in Europe.
In 1975, Mercedes-Benz introduced the 450 SEL 6.9 as a successor to the 300 SEL 6.3, with the new model incorporating a larger displacement engine in order to provide more power, as well as offering various modifications to the equipment. The attached video provides an overview of the 450 SEL 6.9.