1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

You might of heard the story of the Colorado man who had a little affinity for Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3s. (You can read the story here if not.) I understand where this man was coming from because if you really like something, go get four more of them. In his case, the M100 powered W109 just happened to do it for him and I don’t blame him one bit. Now that all five of these 6.3s have been saved and rejuvenated, one of them is up for adoption. Unfortunately, though, the adoption fee is quite steep.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 on Hemmings

Roll the Dice? 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

Roll the Dice? 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

Every time I see a car that is usually expensive, selling for a price that is inexplicably inexpensive, the gears in my head start turning. Could I buy this one on the cheap, fix it up and perhaps not lose money on it? Better yet – could I buy it, not do a thing, let it sit and probably not lose money on it? Thank goodness I physically can’t fit another vehicle in my garages and driveway because when I see cars like today’s, those damn gears start moving.

The W109 300SEL 6.3 has quickly become a collector car that everyone in the Mercedes circles are rushing to snag up. Prices have been going up at an alarming rate thanks to folks like Jay Leno proclaiming his love for it.  I understand where he’s coming from because the 6.3, in my opinion, is one of the finest sedans Mercedes has ever made. It’s also generally considered one of the first “super sedans” – the prototype for not only later AMG models, but cars like the M5. Sticking the M100 V8 into the handsome W109 body and building it to a standard of above average durability and reliability made this car a winner the day it left the factory. The only problem was all the greatness is that it costs a lot of money upfront and even more to maintain at a reasonable level. This is where some solid math skills and judging your mechanical ability come into play when deciding whether to take the plunge on a project like this 1969 6.3 up for bid in Eastern, Pennsylvania.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 on eBay

1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

g1

There is a reason why Jay Leno calls the W109 6.3 his favorite Mercedes-Benz. It’s a classic Mercedes design both inside and out then finished off with the M100 6.3 liter V8 that still holds it own with modern cars. It’s what a Mercedes-Benz should be. Don’t get me wrong, I love the new super AMG cars that have 650 horsepower and can drive themselves down the road, but you can get that from any brand now. In 1969, this was the car if you wanted a European super sedan. Not to mention you paid for it too at over $14,000, which was only a few thousand less than a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. But the Silver Shadow didn’t compare to the 6.3 in terms of power, build quality and reliability. That’s why this car still has a huge following and even higher demand to this day. So let’s check out this 1969 for sale in Massachusetts.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 on eBay

1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9

1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9

1The 450SEL 6.9 was the top of the range, high performance version of the W116 S-class, produced between 1975 and 1981. To make it, Mercedes took an ordinary W116 and shoehorned the largest V8 into its engine bay that they could find: a mammoth 6.9 liter unit making 250 hp and 360 ft-lb of torque in US spec. They then added a sophisticated hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension system that gave these cars a dual personality. On ordinary roads they had a magic carpet-like ride that would soak up bumps in a manner entirely befitting a W116, while on the track they would handle far more nimbly and capably than their size would have led you to believe. The result was an early luxury super sedan; a 70s incarnation of today’s souped up AMG S-classes. But unlike their modern counterparts, on the outside the 6.9s didn’t look any different to the rest of the W116 lineup. Distinguished only by a discreet “6.9” badge on the trunk lid, the understated menace of these cars meant they quickly found favor among the sorts of people who wanted to go very fast and had lots of money, but didn’t always want you to know just how much money they had. Driven by Hollywood moguls, gangsters and foreign dictators alike, these cars were expensive, fast and technologically advanced.

Jumping forward to today, these cars have rather languished on the classic car market. You can still find tired examples on Craigslist costing only a few thousand dollars, often resting on their emergency bump stops as a result of failed suspension, with faded paint and sad interiors. Lately however, nice 6.9s appear to be climbing in value, with more and more nice condition examples coming to market with large price tags attached. And that leads me to today’s car.…

Elvis Presley’s 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600

Elvis Presley’s 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600

(lights lift slowly over a sole figure on stage, the band strikes up the first notes to the familiar tune Jailhouse Rock. The singer breaks into verse…)

“Seller threw an auction up on eBay’s site
He was hopin’ that the listing got his price just right
He thought that the famous owner would take bidding far
‘Cause that giant Mercedes-Benz was Elvis’ car

Let’s bid, everybody let’s bid
Anyone who remembers who Elvis was
Will want to get in his old cars…”

I was going to make a concerted effort to write this entire post without referencing either a Twinkie or the signature catch phrase “Thank you, thank you very much”, but I’ve just failed. Look, I’m not here to give you a history lesson on Elvis or his importance. I’m not here to recount the leather jump-suited Vegas years, whether I like fat old Elvis or young vibrant Elvis, or even debate if he stole music from African Americans. I’m not going to give you a history lesson on the Mercedes-Benz 600, either. But let’s consider a few things about this car. The 600 was expensive. Really, really expensive. Arguably, in the late 1960s it was the nicest car that money could buy, and since it took a lot of money to buy, some really famous people owned them. Only about 2,600 were made, mostly in short wheel base variants like the one that Elvis bought. We learn he put $5,500 down and yet still had 36 monthly payments of $344. That equates to $17,844 in 1969; a figure which doesn’t seem particularly outrageous today and even inflation corrected it’s “only” about $116,000. But it was far more expensive than your average car, and it took near royalty to get into the 600. You needed to be someone like Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, or…well, Elvis to buy one.…

S-Classic Showdown: 1979 300SD v. 1977 450SEL 6.9

S-Classic Showdown: 1979 300SD v. 1977 450SEL 6.9

For some time, the W116 has been stuck in no man’s land value wise; not as new or attractive as the W126 that replaced it, and not as classic a design as the W108 series had been. It’s not that it’s an unattractive car at all, but unfortunately it’s bookended by arguably better looking models and unfortunately – outside of some real stunners – the value of Mercedes-Benz sedans falls below coupes and convertibles. For a classic Mercedes-Benz enthusiast on a budget, then, the W116 offers a lot of vintage Mercedes-Benz build quality and longevity on a budget. There are plenty to choose from, too – lest we not forget this is a S-Class Mercedes, so the price was stratospheric when new and even lightly used. Option out a 6.9 to the tune of around $50,000 in 1980, and you’d have the equivalent buying power of nearly triple that amount today – roughly $143,500 in 2015 money. And they were laden with top-end technology for the time; recently I covered a series of Volkswagen Rabbits, where everything outside of the tires was an optional extra. In the S-Class, you had electric nearly everything, electronic climate control and in the case of the 6.9 you threw in hydropneumatic suspension. These were, and still are, impressive vehicles, many of which were maintained to a high level yet are available for a fraction of their original investment. Today I’m taking a look at the slowest and fastest of the bunch – a 300SD and a 450SEL 6.9. Which is the classic S-Class that woos you?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300SD on eBay

1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 with 48,900 Miles

1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 with 48,900 Miles

The W116 has been a star on the rise in the Mercedes-Benz world; long unappreciated and forgotten, like most of the models in the company’s history a great recognition of the first “S” Class means that prices have been steadily increasing. The most valuable in terms of collectables really seem to be the 6.9 models, for obvious reasons. Perhaps the original bad boy super sedan, the 6.9 predated cars like the M5 by the best part of a decade. The recipe was simple: take a giant car and insert the largest possible motor. Due to low residual values in the 1980s and 1990s, though, finding a good one can be quite difficult – but today we have quite a gem:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on eBay

1967 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB

1967 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB

$_4 (1)

For a car manufacturer with a history spanning over 100 years, it’s fairly impressive that historians and enthusiasts still regard the 600 as one of the most notable models from Mercedes-Benz. This was a landmark vehicle not just for the company but the whole automotive scene. It was one of the most expensive and complex vehicles of its day and as such, anyone who was anyone seemed to own one, from movie stars to dictators. These cars are highly valued today and many that come up for sale have been treated to lavish restorations costing thousands of dollars. This 600 SWB for sale in Illinois, however, is a driver quality car, showing the wrinkles of age as it closes in on 200,000 miles. But it wears its patina in a dignified manner in which only a Grosser Mercedes can.

Click for details: 1967 Mercedes-Benz 600 on eBay

1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9

1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9

What, the 500E AMG 6.0 AND 500SL AMG 6.0 weren’t enough? Okay then, how a 6.9, this time lumped under the long hood of a W116? Well, if I’m honest I’m disappointed, as this spot was originally supposed to be filled by a rare 1990 560SEC. It’s not that the 6.9 isn’t rare, it’s just that particular SEC was a claimed AMG widebody 6.0 with full documentation. The highlighted text brings you to the auction. You know when they put “seller reserves the right to end the auction early”? Well, apparently that’s true. In any event, though I’m fairly disappointed that car disappeared early, it does give us the chance to look at this lovely early European-spec 450SEL 6.9:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on eBay

1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 with 44,000 Miles

1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 with 44,000 Miles

While the M5 may have the notoriety of being the first serious super performance sedan, it’s easy to forget that Mercedes-Benz really started the trend. As early as the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz was building some of the fastest large cars in the marketplace. They were expensive, complicated, and beautiful works of engineering. It took a while post-war for both the marketplace and the company to come back to full strength, but two cars created in the midst of an international oil crisis I really think point towards the character of their respective companies. First was BMW’s hard-edged, barely disguised racer for the road, the 3.0CSL. It was expensive, relatively lightweight, stunning to look at and pretty quick to boot – a sporting nature that would carry through to the current generation of BMWs, still considered the benchmark in sporting sedans. On the other side of the fence was the 450SEL 6.9; who else but Mercedes-Benz would put the largest production V8 into a sedan when there was a gas crisis? If the 3.0 shouted about it’s racing prowess, the Mercedes was subtle and understated. Indeed, option number 261 even removed the displacement badge on the rear, and outside of that you’d only see hints of the car’s performance by the bulging tires and slightly more showy exhaust. But stomp on the loud pedal and the best part of 290 horsepower was on tap for you – and this was 1975. Remember 1975? It was when the base Corvette had 165 horsepower and if you wanted to just break 200, the L-82 was your only option at 205 horspower. A full 40% more powerful, the Benz was the match for sports cars of the day in a straight line but offered extreme luxury at the same time:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on eBay

Grösser Mercedes Roundup

Grösser Mercedes Roundup

With the discontinuation of Maybach, the S class once again becomes the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz lineup. There has been talk of an über S-class of sorts, but nothing yet has materialized. Back in the early 1960s, however, Mercedes was toying with the idea of going up against the world’s best with the 600, available in short and long wheelbase forms, as well as Landaulet version with a rear convertible roof. There’s a few 600s floating around the auctions this week, beginning with this short wheelbase (SWB) example for sale in Miami.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 600 on eBay

1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

We featured a 1969 300SEL 6.3 back in March, and here comes another mint example for sale in California for the discerning enthusiast. This car has covered just over 50,000 miles from new and has been treated to a recent service. These were luxury saloons ahead of their time in terms of performance and set the tone for generations of performance Mercedes-Benzes to come. This, then, is an Mercedes icon of epic proportions.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 on eBay

1966 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB

1966 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB

$_57

Besides the good weather, one benefit to living in California is the never ending stream of privately imported vehicles that arrive regularly from the Far East. Most coming into the ports these days are Japanese machinery forbidden to us, such as Nissan Skylines, Toyota Soarers and the odd, diminutive Kei car. Occasionally, a few European motors will be sourced, such as this 600 SWB. Just a few days ago, we featured a very nice, original 600 SWB, but this one is a bit different. This 600 comes equipped with the divider between the front and rear passenger compartments, a rare option for the “smaller” variant of the 600 range. Also, velour upholstery is present in the rear compartment in place of the more common leather.

Click for more details: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB on eBay