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The Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 is a luxury car built by Mercedes Benz from 1968 to 1972.The car started out as a private venture in 1966 by company engineer Erich Waxenberger. His principle was simple: take the powerful 6.3 litre V8 Mercedes-Benz M100 engine from the luxurious 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 launched the car into the marketplace at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1968, 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 1975, the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 was introduced as a 300SEL 6.3 successor with larger displacement, modifications to the equipment, and more power.
Specifications. Bodywork. Length/width/height/wheelbase – cm (in) : 500/181/144/286 (197/71.3/56.7/113); weight : 1780 kg (3929 mph). Mechanics. V8 engine 6332 cc (386 ci), front mounted, 16 valves, Bosch injection, automatic 4 speed gearbox, rear-wheel drive. Maximum speed : 221 km/h (137 mph).