MERCEDES-BENZ

Production Models Book

300SEL 6.3

W. Robert Nitske


The 300SEL 6.3 model was introduced in the United States in June 1968, quite appropriately at the Laguna Seca race course, with Rudolf Uhlenhaut in attendance. He pointed out that the car had better road-holding ability, braking potential, suspension stability, and maneuverability than any comperable automobile in the world. It had first been shown in Europe in March 1968.

With the 6,332 cubic centimeter fuel-injected 300-horsepower (SAE) V-8 engine installed in the slightly modified but outwardly regular sedan body of the New Generation type, the car weighed 3,835 pounds and had a power-to-weight ratio of 12.8 pounds per horsepower. Performance was truly fantastic, especially when Uhlenhaut demonstrated the car's abilities.

The sedan had the air suspension of the 600 series and many extra features were included as standard items, such as air conditioning, radio, leather upholstery, power steering, and power windows. Except for the numbers 6.3 on the trunk lid, the car was not distinguishable from the regular 300SEL model.

After exhaustively testing the car, Road & Track magazine called it "the greatest sedan in the world" and summarized the test, stating that the 6.3 was "truly the executive road racer ... does more different things well than any other single car."




Performance chart of 1968 300SEL 6.3

                         |   car #1   |   car #2  |
-------------------------|------------|-----------|
Engine Capacity (l)      |     6.3    |     6.3   |
-------------------------|------------|-----------|
Final Drive Ratio        |     2.85   |     2.85  |
-------------------------|------------|-----------|
Curb Weight (lbs)        |    4070    |    4070   |
-------------------------|------------|-----------|
Time for 1/4 mile (sec)  |    14.4    |    14.25  |
-------------------------|------------|-----------|
Terminal Speed after     |            |           |
1/4 mile (mph)           |    93.8    |    97.0   |
-------------------------|------------|-----------|
Time 0-60mph (sec)       |     5.8    |     5.7   |
-------------------------|------------|-----------|
Top Speed (mph)          |    141     |    144    |
-------------------------|------------|-----------|
Engine Speed at Top      |            |           |
Car Speed (rpm)          |    5410    |    5530   |
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Production of the 300SEL 6.3
(December 1967 - September 1972)

1967         1
1968 1,094
1969 2,578
1970 1,797
1971 670
1972 386
--------------
total 6,526



U.S. sales of 300SEL 6.3
1968      98
1969     601
1970     642
1971     487
1972       9
1973       2
------------
total   1839