Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3
|Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3|
|Successor||Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9|
Waxenberger's principle was simple: Take the powerful 6.3 litre V8 Mercedes-Benz M100 engine from the luxurious Mercedes-Benz 600 limousine, and fit it into the regular Mercedes-Benz W109 S-Class model which only had 6-cylinder engines at that time. The result was a nearly 2-tonne saloon with performance similar to most dedicated sports cars of the era. It is said that Rudolf Uhlenhaut, when invited to test drive the prototype, opened the hood at the first red light to find out how the big engine and its supporting equipment had been squeezed in there.
Surprisingly, the rather conservative company went ahead and produced this car from 1968 onwards, in order to make better use of the M100 engine production facilities. The 6,500 build of the 6.3 outnumbered the 2,700 build of the 600 by far.
What set this car apart from its contemporaries in the late 1960s though, was that it could cruise at over 200 km/h (124 mph) with 5 occupants in complete comfort within the body styled by Paul Bracq. Later, the company also fitted new, smaller V8 engines into the W109 series. The 300SEL 4.5 was only available in the USA, while the 280 SE 3.5 Coupé could also be ordered in Europe.
In the 1970s, the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 was a successor to the 6.3, with even more modifications and power.
- 0-62 mph : 6.5 seconds
- 0-100 km/h (62 mph): 6.5 seconds†
- 0-100 mph : 14.95 seconds
- Standing 1/4 mile : 14.25 seconds
- Top Speed : 221 km/h (137.3 mph)†
† Works figures
4 speed automatic gearbox
6,526 of these vehicles were produced, and though quite costly to maintain, they are very collectible today.
AMG, nowadays the sports tuning subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, but then a small local tuning company founded by former Mercedes engineers, produced special versions of the 6.3 to compete in racing events, usually with the engine enlarged to 6.8 liters or more. The car had an impressive, but short-lived racing career, due to the lack of suitable tyres, or rule changes preventing the use of them.
AMG's so-called "Red pig" finished 2nd in the 24 Hours of Spa in 1971. This heavy vehicle with 6834 cc and 420 hp (313 kW) was fast, but frequent refuelling was necessary, and tyre wear was also high. The car was sold to French company Matra, they used it for tests of jet fighter landing gear.
- The International M-100 Group (officially recognized by Daimler-Benz)
- Mercedes W108/W109 enthusiast site
- Finnish Waxenberger in Keimola-racetrack
- http://www.m-100.cc/6point3/magazines/roadtest_jan1971/index.html ROAD TEST, January 1971: Mercedes Builds A Reluctant Racer
- Renaissance der "roten Sau"
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