Ladies and Gentlemen; we got him. The one and only Mercedes-Benz SEL 6.3 Pininfarina coupé. Being specialized in unique sports cars, we were immediately interested once we heard this combination of German craftsmanship and Italian design was for sale. The car is a true ‘barnfind’ and is in unrestored, original condition. As you would expect from an unrestored car from 1970, a lot of work will have to be carried out. Nevertheless, despite having stood still for a long time, it was ‘tap and run’ and also the air suspensions still worked like a charm. This again confirms the German build quality. Ever since we have been lovingly preparing this one-of-a-kind car for the Concours d’Elegance, which takes place on September 19th / 20th this year. We warmly welcome you there to admire this magnificent grey coupé.
The story behind this car finds its origin in The Netherlands, meaning this is an original Dutch car. In 1969, a whealthy businessman and car lover requested Mercedes-Benz to build a special version of their 300 SEL 6.3. However, Mercedes-Benz was unable to honor this request. Not so much for Sergio Pininfarina, who already designed custom versions for a variety of car brands. The most well-known designs are for among others Ferrari, Lancia and Alfa-Romeo.
The base is a Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 with type indication W109. Erich Waxenberger, a testing engineer from Mercedes-Benz, puts the 6.3 V8 engine from the much larger 600 in a 300 SEL which until then was only available as a six-cilinder. This basically marks the beginning of the performance sedans we know now, such as the M5 or AMG-models. And what a performance sedan this was, with the V8 providing 250 horsepower and 510 Nm torque. This allowed the Benz to reach 100 km/h in just 6,5 seconds with a top speed of 220 km/h. This made the luxureous sedan faster than a Porsche 911s and Jaguar E-type. By default the car is equipped with among others airconditioning, air supsension, locking differential and electric windows.
In total, 6.526 of these car were built, one of which would be transported directly to the maestro Pininfarina. While the wheelbase, total length and height of the car remained unchanged, Pininfarina designed an entirely different car. They placed a fully new roof on it, brought the windshield more to the back and the rear window more to the front of the car. The A- and C-styles are placed more obliquely, lowering the roof 3 centimeters compared to the original. Craftsmen fabricated all of the sheet metal by hand. In total, the costs were approximately 400.000 guilders which, in 1970, was an even more astronomical price than it is even now.
A characteristic Pininfarina design feature is the slit that runs alongside the sides of the car, which is seen back in later models like the Ferrari 400. The maestro’s features from this sports limousine are also seen back in other, later car designs. Think of cars like the Fiat 130 Coupé, but especially the Rolls-Royce Camargue; the C-style and front of which show a remarkable resemblance. These cars were all drawn at Pininfarinas workshop. While some claim that the Mercedes-Benz was used as a study model for the Camargue; we have heard from sources that the design of the Camargue was finished earlier, to be picked up and worked out further by Rolls-Royce later on.
Inside the sports coupé, especially the use of colours lead back to Pininfarina and the sixties such as the combination of brown leather and green carpet. Other fascinating details in the interior are the diligent finishing of the headlining and the ingenious rotary knobs that open and close the folding windows at the back.
The original owner had this car in possession for about nine years. Many suspected it had to be late Freddy Heinekens, but the family of the owner at the time disproved this. The second owner bought the car through a mediator and had the car in posession for about 30 years. The five children of the initial owner and the second owner wish to stay anonymous. This does not apply to us, the car fanatics from Ibalo Sportscars; everyone can know that this German / Italian sports coupé is being prepared by us to unleash its 250 horsepower onto the asphalt once again (0-100 in 6,5 seconds).
We would appreciate receiving as much information as possible about this car. Should you have additional information about it, or perhaps an old magazine it is depicted in, we would very much like to get in touch with you.