In building 140-mph touring cars over the past four decades, Mercedes-Benz has managed to bring the price down from $20,000 to about $14,000.

6.3 and SSKIn 1928, you could have owned that rakish Mercedes-Benz SSK in the background for a sum equal to about $20,000 today.

A lot of money. But the SSK was a lot of car.

Built for hill-climbs, it quickly bolted to the heights of glory-and two European Championships.

The car was so amazing, in fact, that Mercedes-Benz decided to try it on the Grand Prix circuit. There, in its stock form, and, later, modified as the SSKL, it competed successfully against the best racing machines of the day!

The new 6.3 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL at left can be yours today for only about $14,000. Much less money. And much more car.

With its overhead-cam, fuel-injected V-8 engine, the 6.3 is the fastest series production sedan in history. It is designed from the treads up to cope with the flat-out driving permitted on wide open highways like Europe's autobahns.

Obviously, in America such speeds are illegal - if not suicidal. The 6.3 does have a reassuring "kick" for passing, but it can lawfully be driven in most states at little more than half-throttle.

The car's reputation, though, does not ride on power alone.

"It isn't any one particular thing but a whole combination of outstanding characteristics that make it add up to something extra special," wrote Road & Track after putting the 6.3 to brutal tests. Their ultimate verdict: "Merely the greatest sedan in the world."

It is this same engineered-in talent to do many things well that sets all Mercedes-Benz cars apart from conventional automobiles.

Like the 6.3 -- and unlike any domestic sedan -- every Mercedes-Benz blesses you with precise, "feel- of-the-road" steering. The leech-like roadability of all-independent suspension. The heroic stopping power of 4-wheel disc brakes.

All 15 Mercedes-Benz models from $27,000 right down to $4,500 steer maneuver, and stop as if your life depended on it.

This is one reason why Car & Driver concludes that Mercedes-Benz "represents the present pinnacle in safe car engineering."

Discover the confidence and pleasure superb handling can bring. Visit your nearest Mercedes-Benz showroom and arrange a test drive.

Incidentally, if the exact car you want isn't there, be patient.

Prices have fallen so over the decades that no Mercedes-Benz dealer seems able to keep as many different models in stock as he'd like.

They all go fast.

Background: SSK, champion of yesteryear. Foreground: new 300SEL 6.3, even more impressive.
Copyright 1969, Mercedes-Benz of North America, Inc.

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Material provided by Steve Dragffy