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

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1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

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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

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1973 Mercedes-Benz 280SE ‘Red Pig’ Tribute

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The 1971 Mercedes–Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG is one of my favorite cars ever. The ‘Red Pig’ entered 1971 24-hour race at Spa as the over-weight underdog. To everyone’s surprise, it finished 1st in it’s class and second overall thanks to the madmen at AMG who took the already impressive M100 engine and pushed it to 428 horsepower and 448 lb-ft. This example for sale in California isn’t the famous Rote Sau, but it is a very nice tribute that will have you yelling ”Sooie!”

1970 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

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Even in the face of an increasing drive towards economy, manufacturers are still battling it out in the horsepower race. Mercedes has been one of those companies leading the charge over the last decade, with some formidable performance entries with forced induction V8 and V12 engines. This tradition started years prior with this car, the 300SEL 6.3. Taking the M100 V8 from the 600 and shoehorning it into the smaller W109 S-class was no small task, but the result was a luxury saloon that could hit 60 mph in just a tick over six seconds. This was remarkable performance for the day, competing favorably with a number of American muscle cars while providing unmatched comfort at the same time. This 300SEL 6.3 for sale in California is a four-owner car, originally purchased by the owner of a Mercedes-Ben franchise in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Click for details: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 on eBay

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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. And if you weren’t an A-list celebrity , you were probably a dictator; Chairman Mao, for example, was a famous owner, along with Tito, Ceausescu, Pol Pot, Papa Doc, Hirihito, de Klerk, Marcos, Kim Jong-il, and Saddam Hussein. Basically, you go through history, and everyone the West considers a “baddy” owned a Mercedes-Benz 600. But, universally they’re still lauded as one of the most impressive automobiles ever made, and when you couple a celebrity owner (which, proportionally, is perhaps more likely than any other single model car in history other than some really low-volume models of Ferraris and Duesenbergs) you’ve got a recipe for a high asking price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 on eBay

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1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

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The terms “hot rod” and “luxury sedan” seem mutually exclusive, but there’s been a few nice attempts to meld the two genres together over the past couple decades, the likes of which include the W124-based Mercedes-Benz 500E/E500, E39 BMW M5, Audi S8 and even some non-German examples such as the Pontiac G8 GXP and Cadillac CTS-V. The granddaddy of them all, however, is this car here, the Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3. When Mercedes developed the M100 V8 engine for use in the 600 Grösser, some boffins within the company thought it would be cute to drop this hulk of a powerplant into the 300SEL to create a sedan that could embarrass purpose built muscle cars at your local drag strip. It’s engineering exercises such as this that prove the Germans have a sense of humor after all.

Click for details: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 on eBay

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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

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1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

Zero to 60mph in 6.3 seconds. The standing quarter mile in 14.6 seconds. Top speed of 142 mph. You’d be right in thinking that I could be describing a luxury car from the present day, but Mercedes-Benz achieved this performance at the end of the 1960s with this car: the 300SEL 6.3. Slotting the M100 V8 from the recently introduced 600 Grösser limousine under the hood of the W109 S-Class created one beast of a sedan, one that could go head to head with muscle cars of the day yet still carry a few well-heeled passengers to the opera after it was done handling its business at a drag strip or stoplight. This 1969 300SEL 6.3 for sale in Michigan was sold through the European Delivery program and is currently on it’s fifth owner, having had a partial restoration back in the 1990s.

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

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1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

The old adage “there’s no replacement for displacement” doesn’t just pertain to American muscle cars. The British went full on with this concept in the early 1970s by stuffing a 5.3 liter V12 engine under the hood of the E Type. This engine would see duty in a variety of models up until the mid 1990s. The Australians are well known for their series of Fords and Holdens with thumping overhead valve V8s under the hood. And then you have, of course, the Germans. Mercedes-Benz has been known for their large engines over the years, most notably the hand-built AMG units which trace their roots to this car, the 300SEL 6.3. The M100 6.3 liter V8 was pulled from the 600 limousine and stuffed into the long wheelbase S class sedan. And from there, the rest, is history. These subtle hot rods are highly prized today and it’s little wonder. The levels of performance they offered was almost unheard of in such a package at the time. This 6.3 for sale in Wisconsin has receipts dating back to the first owner and other than a respray, is original.

Year: 1969
Model: 300SEL 6.3
Engine: 6.3 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 123,000 mi
Price: $49,000 Buy It Now

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

For Sale is my 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 Sedan. It is in excellent condition. 123k miles. Engine runs good. Air Bag suspension works good. Repainted for preservation, otherwise all original. Numbers Match. Runs and drives excellent. I have a lot of receipts dating back to the original owner. This car is suprisingly fast. Rare collectors piece. Please message for any questions or additional pictures. Air Bag Valves were replaced at 60K miles. Newer exhaust. All reasonable offers will be considered.

seven one five 529 0035 for any questions or for a viewing.

Restored 6.3s can bring big money, sometimes north of $50,000. Originals are not far off from that territory, with good ones available in the $35,000 to $45,000 range. At $50,000, this one is reaching the ceiling of where 6.3s of this caliber are. However, with a traceable history and the complex air suspension sorted, that is a huge bonus.

-Paul

1970 300SEL 6.3 road car / quasi race recreation

When you hear 300SEL 6.3 racecar or race car replica, thoughts must go to the famous, but unfortunately named, Red Sow 300SEL 6.3. That is the car responsible for bringing AMG onto the map with a 2nd place finish at the 24 hours of Spa in 1971. It featured a special 6.8 liter engine and presumably they finished 2nd in the race not only by being fast, but by scaring the other competitors with the outrageous, loud, four door sedan. That car retired from racing and was sold as a test mule for jet engine landing gear.

There have been several replica versions of the Red Pig racers of various levels of authenticity, videos below. (Also any of you Benz fans catch the wheels on the 300SL Gullwing in the last video?)



I’ve seen some with standard 6.3 engines, others with bored out engines to mimic the custom cast 6.8 AMG engines, some with auto transmissions and others with a manual. An “original” was for sale earlier this summer for 200,000 Euros, as seen in the image below. The car I’m posting takes a more subtle approach in paying homage to these great cars.

Year: 1970
Model: Mercedes 300SEL 6.3
Engine: 6.3 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 41,800 mi
Price: ASK

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 300SEL 6.3 race/road car in Switzerland

This 300 SE is a French delivery car, sold by the french importer Royal Elysée. It is confirmed by the Service booklet. It has been restored in the last two years but the brakes have been totally redone recently.A set of original AMG 15′ rims and new Pirellis have been fitted. The paint is extremely deep and all the body seals have replaced. A high performance electronic ignition system has been added too give better performance. It is not equiped withe heavy electric sunroof neither with the air coditioning system which is a good thing for those who would like to comlete the light race preparation. (A 6.3 liter AMG finisged 2nd at the 24 h of Spa Francorchamps). Matching Numbers. Best available.

This black iteration is an original French delivery 6.3. It features the French yellow headlights and a set of proper AMG rims. To also set off the look the car has had its bumpers removed. It isn’t particularly clear what else has been done to the car in terms of race prep, though the car does have a modern high performance electronic ignition setup, a popular modification for these cars. I wish there was a bit more description as to the restoration work performed and some interior photographs.

With only 41,800 miles covered this is a low mile 6.3 and it strikes me as a bit odd that it has been given this slight race treatment. Not knowing the history of the car I would have thought a low mileage example like this would bring a higher price if kept more original. The seller lists the car as numbers matching so doing things like losing the bumpers and adding the AMG wheels and stickers probably has the originality police up twitching a bit. A higher mile non-numbers matching car would seem a better candidate to start a race replica on.

So this car sits in an odd area. Not really a proper racer, too nice to really want to race and does not appear to be properly setup for that, but it also doesn’t fit the look of a pristine original 6.3 street car either. Unless it gets made a little more racier people might look at this and think it was a restoration in progress and that you have the bumpers at the shop getting re-chromed or something. At least the weight lost will motivate the powerful, torque monster, to even swifter starts.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a 6.3 race car. The 300SEL 6.3 is absolutely the #1 car on my list for what I’d like to build up and take vintage racing. Contact me if you are currently or are planning on racing one in SVRA, HSR or SCCA, I’d love to meet up. This is an interesting car with its look which will appeal to some and confuse others. No price is given, but it is probably quite high. What do people think about this one?

~Evan