1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3
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A rare opportunity to acquire one of the 702 right-hand drive 300SEL 6.3s produced worldwide.
The 6.3, produced between 1968 and ’72, started life in the mind of Mercedes test engineer, Erich Waxenburger. While his seniors were not so keen, Waxenburger could see the potential of the Mercedes 600’s engine in the smaller, lighter W109 chassis. He built the first prototype in secret before showing head of passenger car development, Rudolf Uhlenhaut. Once he was behind the wheel Uhlenhaut was converted, signed the order for development.
What looked at a glance to be a traditional, formal Mercedes saloon, was capable of 0-62mph in 6. 5 seconds – astonishing figures in its day and capable of embarrassing a Porsche 911 of the era while the driver was cosseted on full air suspension.
This 1969 example was ordered new to Singapore by the director of the Mercedes importer for Singapore and Malaysia. It was then sold to a company before a Mr Barry Smith, acquired it in 1976. Smith owned the car until he passed away in 2019.
During Smith’s ownership he maintained the car without regard to expense. All major components, including the engine, fuel pump, transmission, rear axle, air suspension, brakes and air conditioning have been either overhauled or replaced by the Mercedes main agent using only genuine parts. In the late 90s the car received a complete bare metal respray, new bumpers and a new interior.
In addition to the maintenance, Smith carried out a number of minor alterations to improve the car. Seemingly obsessed with eradicating the spectre of corrosion, he had all steel pipes in the engine bay replaced with stainless steel, including the washer bottle and the air reservoir tank, which he had pressure tested by the Singapore government test institution. Additional dryers have been fitted the air suspension and the battery relocated to the boot to improve its longevity. The additional Cibie Oscar driving lamps were a feature on all of his cars.
In 2000, Smith shipped the car to the UK and registered it here where it was looked after by County Garage of Cheltenham – formerly an MB main dealer.
Considerable recent work has been carried out by ourselves including service, suspension valves, calibrated injection pump, refurbished Becker Mexico and new tyres.
This 6.3 comes with two box files full of paperwork from Smith’s ownership, all of which gives a good insight into his love affair with this special car.