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Old 06-23-2003, 06:09 AM
gerryvz's Avatar
"Unhinged Troll" - Jim B.
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 1,268
nice 1969 300SEL 6.3 for sale, Portland OR


I am putting my 300SEL 6.3 up for sale.

It is a 1969 model with no emissions control equipment whatsoever, and it has the stock factory vacuum ignition advance. The car is DB906 gray-blue metallic with a bright red leather interior. This is a very unusual color combination that people either LOVE or HATE.

The car was manufactured in July, 1969 and was the San Francisco MB dealer's "tester" car during late 1969 and early 1970. It was shipped from San Francisco to the Portland Mercedes dealership, Don Rasmussen Company. The car was sold to a local business magnate/eccentric with approximately 5,000 miles on it -- many celebrities had driven it during its first life in San Francisco as they evaluated whether to buy their own 6.3s or other then-current MB models.

The car remained in Portland for some years, until its owner died and it was shipped to San Luis Obispo, CA, where is was used for some years and then stored. After that owner died, it was sold to another owner/collector back here in Portland, who sold it to me in 1999.

The car is one of the nicest original 6.3s that I know of. It has 55,000 verified original miles on the clock. The leather interior is near immaculate and has been well maintained -- the best stock leather I have ever seen on an MB. Ditto for the wood -- even the windshield bow still has its original factory varnish sheen. There are no leaks in the car.

It does not have a sunroof, one small drawback for those who prefer a roof. All electrics work very well. The lights have been upgraded to Hella H4 lamps with H1 bright lamps. These are Euro-spec but technically illegal to use on US roads. However they are excellent lamps. The carpet is slightly faded but not bad by any means -- too good to replace outright. Headliner is excellent. Rear window parcel tray was replaced with new carpet and upgraded to a two-speaker configuration. The stereo is a factory-refurbished Becker Mexico Cassette unit (redone in 2002) and also has a new old-stock Becker Reims shortwave adapter slung under the A/C control pod.

The A/C blows freezing cold, and still utilizes R-12. The car's engine is very very strong, running (in my own amateur hands) 1/4-mile times as fast as 15.09 at the PIR track last summer. Times in the high 15.1 and low 15.2 are very common.

The car has been maintained (with the exception of its time in San Luis Obispo, when it was serviced by the dealer there) almost since new by MBI Motors here in Portland. The salesman who originally sold the car as a new/used car, at Don Rasmussen here in Portland, still works for the dealership and remembers the car.

The car has all paperwork and extensive research done on it at the factory, and includes copies and reproductions of the original data cards. The reproduction is indistinguishable from an original data card, and over 30 hours was spent in its reproduction. The car contains the original deluxe toolkit (some contents still wrapped in original wax paper, unused) that was similar to that used in the 600s, not the small canvas tool roll that is found in most other 6.3s. The car also has the original metal wheel chocks and nice reproduction suspension blocks that I commissioned the production of last year. All belts are also included.

The car includes a Durrance custom 6.3 ignition system, as well as a Cox Racing Group front swaybar for better handling. Soon it will also have a front oilpan skidplate and new front subframe mounts.

The car has a brand-new brake system, including front calipers and pads, master cylinder, vacuum line and brake booster. All parts are original ATE or MB.

My 6.3 has the stock steel wheels with matching hubcaps. They are shod with 14" Yokohama A321 tires, which I purchased in late 1999 just as they went out of production. To my knowledge these are the last modern tires with a "V" rating, to be produced in a 14" size and rating appropriate for a 6.3.

The stock steering wheel has been wrapped with a black Wheelskins steering wheel cover in leather. It is a nice upgrade.

The air suspension was totally redone just prior to my purchase of the car in 1999. New airbags and rebuilt valves from Star Motors. In all the years I have owned the car, it has never sank a single millimeter, even after up to 2 months sitting in the garage. Height adjustment and locking work like new. MBI Motors did this work.

The car has factory rear headrests, recovered in new red leather and installed in 2000 by me. It also has a recovered factory 6.3 leather "squab" that sits between the front seats underneath the armrests.

The F-series (read: OLD, no parts available) Hirschmann electric antenna was just totally rebuilt and refurbished last fall, and is in excellent working condition. It is very very rare to have a beautifully working original antenna on a 6.3.

ISSUES: The main issue with this car is its exterior paint. At one point, one of the previous owners (who didn't know what he was doing) ran over the clearcoat on the roof, hood and parts of the front wings with a buffer. This removed the clear coat and thus the beautiful metallic nature of the paint. If you have ever seen DB906 new, you know the beautiful shine that this paint has. The paint elsewhere on the car is in good to very good condition. Bottom line is that the car needs a total respray to be showable. Properly done, this would be around $8-10K minimum with the chrome removed and the edges faded in correctly. However, once done this would be a class-A example of an original, stock, 6.3.

There are a few various and sundry dings, including the largest one being on the trunk. Not major or terribly noticeable, and they would be easily repaired at the time of repainting with minimum effort by a competent bodyshop.

There is one small rip in the rear seat leather about 3/4" long near the side bottom (facing the inside rear door panel) on one side. Also on the back of the driver's seatback behind the cargo netting (which is nice and firm, not saggy) there is about a 2-3" long scrape that took the surface finish off the leather. this could be filled in easily with paint or dye and not be noticeable, but I have never done this.

The car has one small, barely noticeable ding (no cracks) in the front windshield. The original snowflake sticker, as well as all other stock factory stickers, are on the car and in excellent condition.

The heater blower motor is somewhat noisy on its fastest setting, but works fine. I wouldn't be surprised to see it go out at some point. The heater levers are factory and were replaced within the past 5-6 years, still very pliable. All dashboard lights have been replaced.

The car has the common transmission slippage problem, but not bad. It takes anywhere from 7-10 days for the fluid leakdown problem to occur after not driving the car. However, once the car is idled for a couple of minutes or run very gently, with transmission fluid circulating, it works excellently with crisp shifts and engaging in all four gears (I have tested this extensively at the track).

One last thing -- the original owner had Ford mirrors installed over the holes on the doors. These mirrors are controlled by small joystick pots mounted on the driver's and passenger's doors down low. MBI installed these mirrors about 30 years ago. I have new factory MB mirrors and always intended to replace the Ford mirrors when I had the car painted, which I never did. However the replacement mirrors (worth close to $200) would be included with the car. I have never minded the Ford mirrors too much, their convenience has kind of grown on me as a nice upgrade, and cosmetically they aren't that bad (no Ford logos or such).

Transmission does not leak oil. There is a very very small (less than a quarter a month) engine oil leak but it is on and off, not consistent. Sometimes I see it, other times after same amount of time I don't.

I removed the dealer-option large cast-aluminum bumper brackets. These left small indentations in the front and rear bumpers. None are horrendous but they are visible. they have never bothered me enough to pursue getting new (used) bumper pieces though.

BOTTOM LINE: This is pretty much as good as a stock, original 6.3 gets from a cosmetic point of view. The paint condition (nice from 10+ feet, but with a poor clearcoat when close-up) and possibly the exterior mirrors are the only things keeping this car from being a concours car with a good detailing. Certainly the originality and personality of this car are worth preserving.

Price is negotiable. This car is driven regularly (several times per month) and performs admirably at PIR in the drag races. It is mechanically reliable and has a very strong motor. it has been professionally maintained by knowledgeable pros its entire life.

If you are looking for a $5K 6.3 bargain, this is not it. With a $10K paint job & ding repair, this car would be showable and in the mid $20K range. You could get the cost of the paint job out of the car if you sold it after painting it.

I have been extremely "anal" in the description of the car here, listing every known blemish on the car. Collectively this is far, FAR less than 95% of the other 6.3s I have seen, and I have seen a couple of hundred in the past 5 years.

Please contact me at if you are interested.

You can also see older and recent photos of the car at the following URLs: (with old whitewall tires that came on the car when I bought it)


1969 300SEL 6.3 (55K)
1977 450SEL 6.9 (83K)
1989 560SEC (148K)
1995 E320T (49K)

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