Lot 393: Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 Sports Saloon
The greatest sedan in the world,' according to Road & Track, and few would disagree with the authoritative American motoring magazine's assessment of what in its day was the last word in high-speed opulence: the Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3. First shown at Frankfurt in 1965, the 'S' Class Mercedes range, designed by Paul Bracq, was outwardly distinguished from preceding models by a new sleeker bodyshell with lower roof and waistline as well as increased glass area. Joining the range for 1968 was the 300SEL 6.3, created by installing the powerful 6,332cc overhead-camshaft V8 of the leviathan 600 limousine in the long-wheelbase 300 saloon, while other refinements included the 600's air suspension and power-operated brakes. Automatic transmission was standard equipment. According to The Motor: 'The rich smell of expensive cow hide and firm but shapely seats welcome you aboard. The door shuts with a muffled donk, like that of a railway carriage in an acoustic chamber, and suddenly the outer world is remote and strangely silent.' A superbly appointed luxury conveyance endowed with sports car performance, the 300SEL 6.3 could attain 60mph in around seven seconds and had a top speed approaching 140mph. Autocar commented: 'The tremendous superiority in handling is the key to what makes the 6.3 Mercedes such an exciting vehicle, and so essentially a driver's car. The responsiveness of all its controls makes it a delight to drive.' It is not at all surprising that the 300SEL 6.3 was such a favourite with racing drivers of its era. They would have been among the relatively few individuals wealthy enough to afford it, for with a price of �8,200 in the UK, which included a radio and air conditioning � both 'extras', it cost more than Ferrari's fabulous 365GTB/4 'Daytona' sports car. Finished in anthracite metallic, this left-hand drive example benefits from a new beige leather interior and features the desirable option of a factory-fitted sliding steel sunroof. Described by the vendor as in generally good condition, the car is offered from an exclusive Italian private collection and comes with Italian registration papers.
The Beaulieu Sale|
Bonhams, Hampshire, UK
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