Unique Pininfarina-Designed Mercedes At Auction

The Iconic 300 SEL 6.3: An Interesting Tale

The luxurious Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 is an exemplary example of a performance-oriented sedan. Upon its debut in 1968, the automaker took the W109 – a discontinued S-Class model – and outfitted it with the 247-hp M100 V8 engine, a selection of lavish amenities, air suspension capabilities, and disc brakes incorporating ventilation systems. Sadly, no coupe counterpart was ever created for this remarkable car – not even the unique model below!

An exclusive automobile, pieced together with a unique Pininfarina design, is the only two-door 300 SEL acknowledged to exist. Though not many details are widely known about the car, it is said that a Dutch entrepreneur who favored extraordinary design made the acquisition when the car was new. He requested Mercedes-Benz to construct him a custom W109 two-door but the German marque rebuffed. Consequently, he then started searching for a service that would accommodate his wishes.

Pininfarina was more than willing to design custom bodywork for the Benz, transforming the intricate sedan into something more fashionable.

The firm of Pininfarina wholly altered the exterior of the Benz in a 1969 project. Despite a common wheelbase, track and length, Pininfarina handcrafted an entirely new hood, doors, trunk lid and wings from steel while modifying the A and C pillars to create a sleeker look. The roof of this car is three inches lower than that of the 300 SEL 6.3.

The exterior of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class still carries traditional Mercedes cues, though. The front end is dominated by the “sports car face” grille and is flanked by two vertical headlights that wouldn’t look amiss on a W113 Pagoda or the W114/5, which is an earlier member of the E-Class family. This combination of classic styling elements and modern design gives the E-Class a timeless look.

The back end of the Mercedes is often regarded as a highlight. Beholding it, one can observe a stark likeness to the Rolls-Royce Camargue, an exquisite Pininfarina-crafted limousine that surfaced in the mid-1970s.

The rather clandestine nature of the coupe’s presence has led many to ponder over its very existence. Not only is its background shrouded in mystery, but who owned it is likewise unknown. For a long time, it was assumed that the Heineken head held such a luxurious vehicle, however, this story was disproved. It appears whoever had obtained the car spent big at the time, with reports calculating that 400,000 Guilders (translating to about $897,000 today) were paid for it back in 1969.

Anyone who is willing to put out that kind of cash for a custom-built car must be a car enthusiast. According to the family of the owner, however, he was more focused on finding the more unusual vehicles. “He wasn’t looking for any sports cars or anything like that – he wanted something reliable and dependable. Most importantly, he wanted to be able to trust the mechanics of the vehicle.”

Whilst the unidentified person was infatuated with his Mercedes, his family were not.

Uncommon for a two-door motor vehicle, the Mercedes was predominantly operated by a chauffeur, transporting its owner back and forth. Reportedly, his wife loathed the automobile and supposedly favored travelling in a basic Beetle. His partner and their five children allege Pininfarina blundered when constructing the car, with a design flaw resulting in toxic fumes engulfing the interior. Not merely unpleasant, this is dangerously hazardous.

In spite of qualms, there can be no denying that this is an amazing product. Looking at the snapshots, it’s manifest that this car needs a bit of attention to detail, with glints of corrosion and scores visible across the custom-built bodywork. Yet, the inside looks sensational and boasts the best components. Bear in mind, this motorcar is hailing from a period when Mercedes-Benz definitely constructed their chariots like no other.

Without a doubt, the center of attention of the 300 SEL 6.3 is its motor. The powerhouse’s phenomenal construction truly makes it stand out from the crowd.

A quarter of a century ago, 250 horsepower was certainly an impressive amount. Ever since, Mercedes had created dependable six-cylinder luxury sedans. But when the renowned 600 ultra-luxury limousine debuted, it compelled the firm to invent a powerful V8 engine.

Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the influencer of the 300SL Gullwing, purportedly heard a V8 violently passing his workspace at maximum speed one day. Baffled, he requested from Erich Waxenberger what it was. The experimental mechanic confessed that he had been clandestinely crafting a V8-driven SEL in his off hours without his higher ups being aware of it.

Uhlenhaut was so taken aback that he encouraged Mercedes to manufacture it. A complete of 6,526 units were manufactured. If you are seeking out the most exclusive example, it is present at Bonhams and up for auction on August 18th at the Quail Auction.

It is anticipated that the Mercedes will likely be valued in the range of $400,000 to $600,000. No doubt due to its elegant design and interesting background, this car should fetch such impressive figures.

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