15 yrs wt Current Owner. Avg 100 mi.s per year. Multiple Local Car Shows winner.

Price: US $39,000.00 Item location: Southeastern, Virginia, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Mercedes-Benz
  • Model: 300-Series
  • SubModel: 300 SE L 6.3
  • Type: Sedan
  • Trim: LWB
  • Year: 1970
  • Mileage: 57,652
  • VIN: 109-018-12-00XXXX
  • Color: Tobacco Brown (DB-423)
  • Engine size: 386 CID / 6.3L OHC HPMFI
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Power options: Air Conditioning, Power Locks, Power Windows
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Cognac Leather
  • Options: OEM Air Suspension, Chromed OE "Bundt" Alloy Wheels, Hirschmann Power Antenna, Cassette Player, Leather Seats, Sunroof
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1970 Mercedes-Benz 300-Series 300 SE L 6.3

1970 Mercedes-Benz 300 SE L 6.3


YouTube Video 4/10/16

Hear the car run, see the lights, hear the horn:

This is the special 386 cubic inch MFI OHC V-8. As a prestige builder, Daimler Benz only manufactured about 1,800 of these cars w/t US DOT-approved spec.s for import into the US between 1968 and 1972. A total of around 6,500 total were constructed for sale in all world-markets - including RHD versions for the UK, Asia, and Australia.

The best attempt at establishing an official registry about 10+ years ago, suggested that, of the original 6,500, there are likely only around 300-400 legally registered and drivable examples still on the world's roads today.


Not for the uninitiated!

These 6+ second 0-60mph luxury sedans are probably as close to a vintage exotic in nature. While the Paul Bracq designed body seems remarkably similar to the 179 cu in 3.0L I6 equipped 300 SE L, the modifications to the car to accommodate the 386 cu in 6.3l V8 from the 600 Limousine-class, makemuch of the car unique among the vintage MB W109 series.

That translates to special parts and special maintenance - which translates to special $$ to operate one of these cars as a daily driver. When they were sold in their day, they held a typical avg. USD$17,000 price-tag that would equal over $80,000 today and was about double the price of the similar-looking 6-cylinder MB models.

My strong advice, if you are not very familiar with this particular vintage Mercedes, you might want to do some serious research first!

Do nottake the leap before taking a long hardlook. This model of Mercedes-Benz is not forthe curiouscasual buyer with a tight budget who wants to drive this car everyday as an alternative to acurrent domestic or import!

Even 40 years ago, these cars were not built as maintenance-free daily-drivers for buyers on a shoestring budget. The overhead valves were supposed to be manually adjusted every 10,000miles! Plus there were plenty of era-based high tech things that would require tweaking, adjusting, and replacing. The 6.3 motor comes with a dual points distributor, cold start valves, and a thermostaticidle control valve. Put it simply. There was plentyto keep up with.

All of the 300 SE L 6.3,(which ended in 1972) are now over 40 years old.

No matter how much everything functions or what recent services have been performed,every one of them will have specialized parts that will end up having to be replaced by someone qualified to work on an M-100 (6.3L V8) equipped vintage MB! Astarter can cost$1,000.00. A fuel injection pump is close to $3,000and a rebuilt water pump goes for around $700 ($1,600? new). (RE: http://starmotorsny.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/StarMotorsNY-Brochure-2013.pdf)

I can't help at laugh at the overzealous sellers who insist that they are sellingone of these carsthat's such a ready-to-go daily driver that you could use it as a taxi if you wanted. No matter how "perfect" the car, that would only be true if you have deep pockets and alternate transportation while it is being serviced!

These are well-built cars - for their era. However, they are not a modern gas & go import that will run 100,000+ miles before needing anything except gas, tires, wipers, oil, and filters. I'm not a used car salesman trying to make a sale at any cost and willing to embellish. I am trying to be as open as possible.

This is too nice a car to be spoiled by buyer's remorse by someone buying it that was unaware that this was nothing like a 1970 280SE (or a 2016Honda Civic). This car was like a family member for 15 years. I'd prefer to find someone that will be able to appreciate and enjoy it.


So, What's a Reasonable Price

for a 300 SE L 6.3?

Fully-restored #1 "concurs level" 300 SE L 6.3 sedans that would qualify for Pebble Beach are offered occasionally (at a loss to the seller*) of around $60-70,00. (*To fully restore one "frame-up" from a salvage condition to concurs can easily cost a cool $100,000.)

Many of these cars were bought by famous people, back-in-the-day. A celebrity-owned 6.3 represents the top of the resale-range - even if it is otherwise of the slightly less-rare "Euro-spec." (non US-DOT) version and has a fewimperfections like stained carpets and a cracked dashpad.http://www.kenobrothers.com/auctions/1972-mercedes-300sel-6.3

Otherwise, more typical current 2016 values according to Hagerty's can be found here:

Wanna compare some currently listed for sale? Be sure to note the condition of the cars:






This Car - The one Listed For Sale:

I personally bought this carin the Fall of 2001 from a small-scale collector in Ohio - who purportedly took it in partial trade for a cabrio.It had 56,110 miles on the odometer at that time.When I went to title and register the car in my home state of Virginia, since the 1970 odometer only reads a maximum of 99,999 and the car was already 30 years old, the clerk had no choice in the absence of something on the Ohio title that certified that the 56K reading was actually under 100,000, that the figure must represent an amount "in excess of the mechanical limit" or beyond 99,999. However, other corresponding wear-indicators are not present on the car that suggest that it has been driven over 150,000 miles in it's first 30 years!

This car has been garage kept for the entire last 15 years. It has not seen rain or a garden hose! Rain, poor roads, dust or pollen in the air meant, "not today!" It's never seen snow either. (The ultimate fair-weather / perfect conditions-only driver.)

When I bought it, the car had a recent original-color base/clearcoat but the finish lacked luster and the engine compartment would have benefited from a thorough detailing.

(Compare the original condition above w/t the detailed the later /current on below.) Otherwise, the car was mechanically sound - engine, transmission, steering, braking, exhaust, lights, electrical, etc. - it just needed "detail' work to make it more cosmetically appealing. My intention was to work on those "cosmetics" and enter this 6.3 in three regional annual / bi-annual car shows and take it for trips to local restaurants and the occasional rural highway cruise.


Provenance / Receipts

While it would be convenient if the car had come with documentationsuch as thebuild-sheet, registration / licenses, shipping paperwork, window-sticker, shop-receipts, etc. The car was traded twice between vintage MB aficionados before I bought it. Based on the build codes, we know the car was US-DOT build-spec and nota converted"Euro".

The doors have little white "Tuff-Kote Dinol" seals that show that the body was rust-proofedin the 1970s- which apparently contributed to the good body condition.

Otherwise, I only know that itcame with a clear title and has been in my possession for nearly 15 years.

I never had any intention of ever selling this car. I spent several thousand Dollars on parts and detail work to make this car a local show car but have no idea where the decade-old receipts are packed away. Since I wasn't planning on a future sale I didn't need to keep them at arm's reach.


Cosmetic / Mechanical Work 2001-2013

The "cosmetic" work,during my ownership, started with a thorough cleaning and an arduous hand-polishing of the entire painted finish of the bar with a jeweler's grade polish. This removedany surface film / oxide orsmall scratchesand brought the clear-coat to a glass-like luster.Several coats ofMaguire's were applied and hand-buffed until the cloth slid across the body with a breath. The polishgavethe car a stunning reflective gloss.

I thoroughly degreased the engine compartment, replaced the cracked and yellowed washer tank, replaced the radiator hoses and added braided stainless covers. The fan shroud and fan were removed, brushed,painted and/or clearcoated. The hood was removed and the underside coated with a durable truck-bed lining epoxy.All the aluminum castings were brushed with stainless steel and wire brushed of varying sizes to bring out their natural sheen.

Interior: carpets were dri-clean-shampooed. Leather was cleaned and treated with leather cleaner and conditioners. Custom color-matched heavy Mercedes floormats were installed. The door wood-trim was refinished and the sun-bleached dash-bow was replaced with a professionally re-veneered replacement from Heritage Woodworks. I acquired a set of real-wood windshield trims from theearlier 300SE series(W112) and refinished and installed those.

Since the original matching-vinyl door cap / top door panel trim on the driver's doorhad a thin crack in the surface, rather than replace it, I purchased a full set of spares in an available color. I then vacu-formed real book-matched burl walnut veneer over the door caps. They wererepeatedly clear lacquered and hand-rubbed to a 600-Pullman-like wood look. The original "gumball" shift-knob was missing when I got the car - that was eventually retrofit for the correct look.

The US-DOT req'd stacked dual sealed-beam plus foglamp-style orange turnsignals on the W108-W109 series didn't appeal to me as much as the aerodynamic look of the all-glass Bosch headlights with integrated turn-signals of the original German W112, W108, and non-6.3-version of the W109. Additionally, as often happened, one of the orange turn-signal lenseswas replaced by a prior owner and the colors didn't quite match.

So, at a cost of over $1,000 I ordered a brand-new set of the Bosch headlights and chrome trim-rings from Adsit in 2002. I obtained a set of large diameter round Hella 1000FF clear driving lamps and mounted them, using the original DOT turn-signal holes.

The car had been fitted with a popular high-quality German aftermarket OE-style alloy rim, made by Rial. They were a nice painted aluminum-silver but the finish was hardly show-quality and I wanted the flash of chrome. I ordered a full set and got a local installer who could mount the tires without scratching the rims to mount the Dunlop tires and custom MB emblem chromed metal valve-stems.

I Brake-Kleen'ed all the brakes and then painted the rotor centers heat-resistant flat-black and detailed the calipers with DupliColor MetalCast gold.

The headliner was in-tact and without tears or other damage, but it looked dingy from age, so it was replaced. The replacement looked good overall but the dimensions were to wide at the top of the rear window. Owing to the time invested and the difficulty of the job, I compromised on a small fold/overlap near the rear lamp housing. Following the headliner install, the sunroof also seemed to bind and have difficulty closing unassisted.

Rear license-plate lamp housings had some pitting on the chrome, so they were replaced.

The tail-lamps seemed dim -even with new bulbs, so the buckets were removed and the reflectors refinished for a brilliant restored light output.

Mismatched sidemarker lenses were replaced so that each side had matching lamps from front to back.

In early 2002, I ordered numerous routine maintenance parts from an M-100 (MB engine type found in the 6.3 as well as 600 and 6.9) All new OE belts and radiator hoses were installed. Fresh oil and filter. New Bosch Platinum spark plugs. New Fuel filter. New Mann air filter.

Around 2005, Iended up ordering a new water-pump - again from Star Motors in Endicott NY because of a noisy bearing. I was informedby the owner that they had traced a bearing quality controlproblem all the way thru MB in Germany to theGerman source-supplier. (SKF bearings had been outsourcing to Asia instead of producing the bearings in Germany!). I took instructional photos for theMB club forum of my replacement of the pump and thermostat.The coolant system was flushed and refilled with orange DexCool long-life antifreeze.

2007 I replaced the distributor cap, both points-sets, rotor,as well as upgraded the coil and resistor to a high-output set-up based on recommendation from Star Motors.


Since 2013

Virtually all of the consumable/wear and tear/maintenance parts have any mileage on them - if anything they are just aged. The tires, belts, plugs airfilter, rotor, distributor cap, all show little use or wear, but they are more than 10 years old..

A full coolant flush wt DexCool and filtered bottled Spring (not distilled!) water 50/50 was performed in 2014. Oil was drained and replaced with 8qts of Royal Purple and a new Mann oil filter.

When parked Sta-Bil was/is religiously added to the fuel to prevent fuel related issues. As a result this 45yr old car starts on the first key - even after an extended period. Periodically I would reconnect the battery and start and let the car idle to operating temperature, but not pull it out of the garage.

After years of having the W112/W108-style Bosch headlights on this 6.3, and knowing that even in Germany the 6.3 came with 5-1/4" round stacked halogen-bulb'ed lamp capsules, similar to our US sealed beams (but with replaceable inner bulbs), I finally decided to go back to the stacked headlamps in 2014 but in the Euro style with the active turn-signals and white parking lamps in the corners of the bezels. I removed the big Hella 1000FF Rally lamps and restored the US DOT turn-signal shells. However, I ordered a hard-to-find Bosch clear patterned glass lens insert to give them that OE MB Bosch foglamp look. They are wired to the park phase and illuminate with the parking and headlamps on a 12w plug-in bulb. I really liked this re-fit, but the orange lenses and sockets can be restored in those lamps, as well as change the headlamp bezels without parking and turn-signals for a completely OE DOT look with a minimum of rewiring.

In 2014 I also saw a need to replace the aging tri-tone Bosch horns. With time/age they oxidize/corrode internally and either do not honk consistently at all, or sound like a bleating goat! The exact original chord from the three originals can no longer be reproduced, as one of the three notes is no longer available in any form of OE-style horn. Since two of these riveted disc-type horns are prominently behind the grille (the 3rd is under the radiator support), I thought it important that they both look as much like the original as produce a tri-tone chord that is as harmonious as well. After hours of research I found 3x matching riveted Bosch disc horns, made in India, sold in Yugoslavia.

A new application correct Bosch battery was installed a year and a half ago. The positive terminal is kept disconnected while the car is parked in the garage.


Paint / Chrome / Trim

The pictures show the very highly reflective gloss of the clearcoat. The impression you get in person standing at the same distance that the camera was from the car, is quite accurate. The paint has held up overall very well over the last 15+ years. There are a few areas were the clear topcoat shows a series of tiny 'bubbles' in the surface. My opinion is that only a touch up of the clear topcoat would be needed to restore the surfacesmoothness in those affected areas. You have to get within 3-5 feet of the car and be looking critically to get past the glaring shine to really find fault with it as is.Only aminimum surface wet-sanding and touch up of just a few areas of the clear topcoat would'cure' even that.

The chrome and rubber trim are damn-near to flawless - outstanding shape for a contemporary car, let alone one that is over 45 years old. The brightwork is also in very good condition with only a random mark or two.

The entire car was kept covered in a dry clean garage, so there was no stress or exposure to theelements.


Why is the car for Sale?

When I bought the car in 2001, I could not conceive of a time that I wouldn't keep it - regardless of how often I might get to drive it.

However, I am facing issues of declining health and financial constraints. I either lack the physical ability to enjoy working on or driving it and/or I don't have the financial capability to be able to maintain or repair it should something require it.

To add the final blow, asof 2014, the one source I had for 93 Octane Ethanol-free gas, has stopped carrying it!

I was told that too many customers complained that they couldn't use 93 in their mowers and as Premium it was too expensive (about $0.60 per gallon more than Premium E10). With only 87 Octane E-free available, I don't feel that the car runs right or that I'm not damaging it driving it. Further, I'm not comfortable risking having any residual ethanol in the injection pump and having it cause 'problems' to a $2,800 part while it's not being driven.

That just added to the list of "why I don't go for drives anymore".

As such, it would be better to find it a new home.



Condition / Disclaimer

As more-or-less stated earlier, this 6.3 isn't lacking anything important to be a reliable driver (if you can afford the upkeep typical of any 6.3 in the very best condition or when they were new).

The car is over 45 years old and it is not a $100,000 concurs restoration being offered at $60,000. Neither is it $10-15,000 "project car". I have owned a pair of these for 14 and 15 years, so I'm not open to being reducated to accept a low-ball figure either.

This 1970 6.3 starts, runs, shifts, turns, brakes... the lights, horn, wipers, windows, heater, radio, antenna.. all work.

So what issues are there?

The sunroof opens but the motor is either too weak or there is something needing adjustment or replacement that makes it require manual assist to close.

The trunk lock latches down and accepts the key, but doesn't lock so that it can't be opened.

The right rear passenger door doesn't lock - vacuum cylinder appears to be jammed.

The A/C blower and compressor run but need a recharge. Since it is the original York compressor and R12, I haven't bothered.

The transmission kickdown (electric) solenoid stopped working and blew the fuse over 10 years ago. The fuse was replaced and the throttle switch but that did not correct the problem. This transmission normally starts from a standstill in 2nd gear unless you depress the pedal to the floor. When passing, pulling the shifter from D to 3 still effects a passing-gear. Discussion with a specialist suggested that it could be the solenoid or linkage. Since I don't want to crawl under an airbag car without a lift, I have never investigated this further.

Even with fully synthetic Royal Purple, this car does not leak oil. It doesn't leak antifreeze or other fluids... except a slow leak of ATF at the loss of about 1 qt per year. The location and qty is consistent with a seal on the "Fluid Coupling" (MB name for the torque-converter). As such, it is generally corrected with replacement of the fluid coupling and not the transmission.

With the airvalve in the center "lock" (shipping/service) position, the air suspension holds the car up at mid-level indefinitely without slumping. I did note however that the check valve in the airtank does not seal and the tank empties while the car is parked. Once the engine has run a while the compressor refills the tank and all ride levels are available. This in no way affects the car's level while it is parked or driven - it is simply notstoring reserve air in the tank while the engine isnot running. (A new airtank wt integrated checkvalve would fix that but it doesn't seem necessary - no one would know unless I chose to disclose it.) Regardless, the car never tucks it's wheels up into the fenders and lays on the deck regardless of the tank pressure. The suspension stays inflated better than most tires!

That's all I can think of. Anything else is routine maintenance or service...

In any case this car is 45 years old and cannot be offered with

NO implied or inferred warranties or guarantees - "SOLD AS-IS"

Insurance and shipping are not provided or included.

Terms of Sale: Winning bidder is required to submit USD$1,000 non-refundable deposit via PayPal. The remainder of the balance is payable in-person in cash only within 7 days unless another specific date is mutually agreed in text/email. Money orders, checks - certified nor otherwise, bank drafts, or any other form of payment is NOT acceptable. If the buyer is uncomfortable traveling with cash, then arrangements should be made by the buyer to retrieve his payment from a local bank not connected to my account.

Bidding on this auction constitutes acceptance of the aboveterms and agreement by the bidder to comply with the stated conditions.

All Sales are final. "As-Is" does not mean "subject to final post-auction approval" If you would like to see the car in-person, message me and I will see how I can accomodate you. Otherwise, decide based on the info I have presented and any written questions I have answered.

I will not have grossly misrepresented this car! I will be happy to answer any reasonable questions and accomodate request to see it before the auction ends, however, I am not selling a late model import mini-van that is subject to a test-drive and kicking the tires prior to, or after the sale. The car in question is worth what it is worth based on the type of car and it's overall condition, not based on the same guidelines as the family car. The price I'm offering is very reasonable for an older restoration that has been perhaps a bit too sparingly driven.

I cannot offerpictures of the car on a lift or ramps etc. I do not have a garage that will lift the car just for photos, any closer than a 50-mile roundtrip from here and I'm not going to be able to accomodate that request.

Please direct all requests through eBay Messaging. Ivery much prefer not to chaton the phone. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Fibromyalgia and still have to work at least part-time, so I have odd hours.

Schedulingto "talk"is very difficult - it's much easier for me to check messagesand respondas soon as I can. In addition, with text/email there is a clear record of any arrangements, discussion, claim, or agreement that was made by either party. That way there are no misunderstandings.

Shipping /Transport

I have made myself available to meet a professional carrier to collect a car I have sold on eBay on occasion. If agreed to specifically in-advance, I could gladly do that again. In fact I would recommend that the car be trailered or transported to it's new home before being locally driven.

This NOT an indictment of the car's condition. However,I do not have 93 Octane ethanol free gas available to do a full tune up for a long highway trip. Also, the tires, belts and hoses, have only 1,500 miles of perfect-weather exposure on them, but they are all 10+ years old.

However, the arrangements must be made entirely by the buyer and I accept NO LIABILITY for any failure for a carrier to collect the vehicle or deliver it to the buyer's destination.

Also, the buyer is still required to complete an on-site cash payment and sign a Bill of Sale in order to recieve the legal DMV Title to the car BEFORE IT LEAVES THIS PROPERTY. No car will be loaded onto any carrier or be driven away until the cash is paid and the paperwork is completed. That requires the Buyer or a previously notified Buyer's representative wt matching ID, a power of attorney, and completed payment.

This sale will require an in-person cash-for-title and signature on a BillofSale to collect the car - period! No International3rd person... wire transfer... certifed checks... shipping to Timbuktu... etc.

Canadian Bidders Welcome, butplease note:If you submit the winning bid, payment in USD$ in-person, on location, in the US will be required as per the terms of the auction. If you are unable to pay on-site, in person, in cash USD$, or cannot send a representative to legally act in your place to do so, I do not have an acceptable 'alternative' and we willnot be able to release the car to you. We will not/ can not complete a sale of this car by wire transfer or bank. The terms are strictly cash only. Please be sure you have a way to pay andcollect your purchase on-site .

Deutsche Bieter Sind Herzlich Willkommen, aberbeachten Sie bitte:

Zahlung in Bar und Abholung des Autos persönlich in den USA ist unbedingt erforderlich.

Keine indirekte Zahlungen und Transport Bearbeitung mit Personen außerhalb den Vereinigten Staaten (Übersee) ist möglich oder gewünscht. Handlung des Kaufes u. Transport nach Europa muß durch einen von Ihnen bestimmten Vertreter in Bar persönlich in den USA am Verkauf Standort durchgeführt werden. Sonnst wird die Versteigerung als ungültig gestrichen. Danke für euer Verständnis!