1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL sedan, part of the 1967-1972 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 line of collectible cars
1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL sedan

The 1967-1972 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 was a German-built freeway flyer with electrifying performance. It was created by slotting the big quad-cam V-8 engine from the massive 600 limousine into the smaller, lighter type W109 bodyshell ordinarily propelled by M-B's 3.0-liter six.

As in the 600, Bosch timed-flow fuel injection was used, good for a rousing 250 bhp (DIN) and a solid 369 lbs/ft torque. The result, according to factory figures, was 0-100 kph (62.5 mph) in 6.5 seconds and a top end of 130 mph plus, making this the world's fastest luxury sedan.

Air suspension with built-in self-leveling was exclusive to the 6.3 among Mercedes' "mass-market" models. Other features included standard air conditioning, leather upholstery, M-B's four-speed automatic transmission, AM/FM radio, and central locking system.

It was impossible to tell from an ordinary 300 SEL except by the discreet "6.3" badge on the right of the trunklid, and many owners removed that to avoid suspicious glances from the law.

A goodly proportion of the deliberately limited production run made its way to the U.S. It was withdrawn in the aftermath of the first energy crisis, and also to make way for the new-generation W116 series S-class sedans introduced for 1973. It was succeeded in the lineup by the 450SEL 6.9 in 1976.

Pluses of the 1967-1972 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3:

  • Prestige with punch
  • Four-door convenience
  • Superlative construction quality
  • Solid handling
  • Rarity

Minuses of the 1967-1972 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3:

  • Air suspension leak problems
  • Thirsty
  • Some mechanical parts in short supply

Production of the 1967-1972 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3:

  • 1967: 1
  • 1968: 1,094
  • 1969: 2,578
  • 1970: 1,797
  • 1971: 670
  • 1972: 386
Specifications of the 1967-1972 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3:
Wheelbase, inches:
112.8
Length, inches:
196.9
Weight, pounds:
4,010Price, new: Approximately $14,500 U.S. in 1969

Engines for the 1967-1972 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3:

Type Size Horsepower Years
dohc V-8 6,332 cc (387 cid) 250 1967-1972

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