The Mercedes-Benz W108/109 chassis was originally designed to use Mercedes’ own smooth and durable M130 inline-6, but internet legend states that a private engineer stuck the M100 6.3 liter V8 from the 600-series “Grosser” limousine and got a director to take the car for a spin. The resulting 2-ton sedan was able to keep up with contemporary sports & muscle cars and Mercedes-Benz built 6,500 of the beasts. Find this 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 for sale via ebay in Southport, CT and note that it recently failed to meet reserve at $13,200.
This brown bomber looks the part of a late ’60s gangster transport – mostly because it is the long wheelbase edition that gives plenty of room for the overweight wiseguys in the back seat.
The M100 V8 under the hood displaces 6.3 liters and puts out 300 horsepower and 434 ft-lbs of torque (SAE gross figures). It is a temperamental beast and will cost a king’s ransom to rebuild with proper parts…but when running right its fuel injected basso soundtrack is glorious.
The inside of this W109 is very clean and tidy; even the European option velour is nice looking after all these years. Don’t expect to find a 4-speed inside these as the 6.3 engine option was only available with an automatic, but a proper gangster car needs a transmission that lets the driver load, aim or shoot and steer at the same time.
These are actually significantly quicker to 60 mph than the later W116 6.9 cars (5.7 seconds vs. 7.1) and as a bonus the W109s sure have the edge in classic style.
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