MERCEDES-BENZ: The Fifties, Volume 1
© 2021 Bernd S. Koehling
All Rights Reserved
Excerpts from the book:
Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3 (the fastest Mercedes sedan of its time)
The components were known, but the mixture was new and it was hot. It was a first in the Mercedes history. When Mercedes-Benz unveiled the 300 SEL 6.3, the new star of the Mercedes S-class W108/109 series in March 1968 in Geneva, the excited press was finally able to test drive a car they had first seen in December 1967. They had not expected such a car from a traditional manufacturer such as Mercedes-Benz. In early 1967 Manfred Jantke from the German car magazine auto motor und sport wrote that the company was known for comfort and quality, but not for power and speed. Even the mighty 600 with its V8 engine was not the fastest production car at 205 km/h (127 mph). A Maserati Quattroporte had a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph), while the Iso Rivolta IR 300 could achieve 215 km/h (134 mph). Even Rolls Royce, previously not exactly known to have set speed records with their comfortable sedans, could outrun the 600 with their Silver Shadow, launched in 1965. So, where was the excitement?
The excitement rested on the shoulders of an employee who had enough of this crap. His name was Erich Waxenberger, who decided after having met Heinz-Ulrich Wieselmann, at that time editor of auto motor und sport, that something needed to be done. Wieselmann had told Waxenberger in a meeting in Rudolf Uhlenhaut's office: "Waxl, you are getting old now". But "Waxl" was just 35 years old and was slightly offended. Of course Wieselmann did not mean his age, he had referred to the cars, Waxenberger's employer built>>>
These are some of the topics covered in the book:
* the development and history of the V8 sedan series, all upgrades included
* a comprehensive buyer's guide will help you to find the W108, W109 V8 that suits you best
* chassis number and data card are explained in great detail
* over 150 mostly recent non-Daimler AG color photos highlight many interesting features, this includes pictures of the suspension
* the book discusses the price development until March 2018 and
* it invites you to a ride in a 6.3.
It finishes with full technical features and the annual production history of each model. A separate chapter is devoted to safety guru Béla Barényi, whose concepts greatly influenced how Mercedes cars like the W108/109 were designed. Enjoy!
If you want to read more, please go here for both hardcopy and electronic formats. If you do not live in the US, please select it from your respective country website of Amazon.
The following videos are copied from youtube for your viewing pleasure. Some of them contain cars filmed by commercial vendors. I am not associated with them
MERCEDES 280 SE 3.5 - 300 SEL 6.3
280 SE 3.5 - 300SEL 6.3 W108/109 (1967-72)
Great books and e-books about Mercedes cars of the 1960s