The S-Class Mercedes-Benz, designed by Paul Bracq, was first shown at the 1965 Frankfurt Auto Show. The initial model lineup consisted of three W108s: 250S, 250SE, and 300SE, as well as a sole W109, the 300SEL. Engines for the new car were carried over from the previous generation, but enlarged and refined. In comparison to the preceding models, it featured a new sleeker bodyshell with a lower roof and waistline as well as increased glass area. The 300SEL 6.3 joined the lineup in 1968, bringing with it a 6,332cc overhead-camshaft V8 engine of the leviathan 600 limousine in the long-wheelbase 300 saloon. Other refinements included the 600's power-operated brakes and air suspension. As would be expected of a vehicle with this stature, an automatic transmission was standard.
The idea for the 300SEL 6.3 had initially began as a private endeavor by company engineer, Erich Waxenberger, in 1966. He shoe-horned a 6.3-liter V8, M100 motor from the 600 Pullman limousine, into the W109 S-Class 300SEL. The project was approved by Mercedes-Benz management and it would remain in production for four years, with over 6,526 SEL 6.3 examples sold, more than twice the number of 600s.
Along with luxury, it offered sports car performance, with zero-to-sixty mph attained in around seven seconds on its way to a top speed approaching 140 mph.
By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2017
The 300SEL 6.3 was priced at $16,275 which included air conditioning, radio, automatic tranmisssion and power steering.