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  #1  
Old 05-10-2013, 06:41 PM
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1971 300SEL question 4sp

Guys,

Went to look at a 300SEL today since it was a 4spd car (something I want) I was not able to grab the engine code but was able to get the vin 10905610000537. I call the classic center and without being the owner they could not help me on the vin. Looks to be a low number car.

I am curious if this is a 3.5 4.5 or 6.3 car. Since it has the round (american V8 type) metal filter holder and not aluminum intake I assume it is a 3.5?

Any help. Car is solid and has some the cloth door panels and of course 4spd.

Thank you

Tyler
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2013, 07:00 PM
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VIN would correspond to a 300SEL 3.5. VIN doesn't sound exactly right anyway it should be 109.056-12... 1 meaning LH Drive, 2 meaning auto trans.

Unless by 4 speed you mean 4 speed manual, which Arthur Dalton says means it's Euro but I've never even heard of a manual 109! So that's a hen's tooth.
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Last edited by Tomguy; 05-10-2013 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:34 PM
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Didn't the 3.5s come with a 4 speed auto while the 4.5s came with a 3 speed? That's all auto talk of course, but I am sure that if there is a big piece of tin on top and not the beautiful intake runners, you haven't found a 6.3 liter diamond.

Both the 3.5 and 4.5 look virtually the same under the hood with the big air cleaner on top of the motor.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:00 AM
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The chassis ID is consistent with a VERY rare 109 3.5 manual Euro version, which they couldn't possibly have made more than a dozen of...
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2013, 01:38 PM
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For what it's worth....

The four speed was the standard equipment transmission for this car in Europe and the rest of the world. That being said.... If this were 1969 then just try and find one on a dealers lot with a four speed.

The car almost had to be special ordered with the four speed since dealers made a bit of extra cash for every option they put on the car and the automatic was an option.

I once had a 280E, a 1977, without a sunroof. A sunroof was a $1,000 option and I had to search high and low to find one without that 'option'. As one dealer put it 'I make a pretty good profit on a sunroof and so far no one has balked at paying the extra $1,000'. It was like that in Europe with this car and automatic transmissions.

Dealers at that time even would list their prices with 'mandatory options'. Try and figure that out. A Dealer told me that meant he was never going to order a car without those options.

There were roughly 9,500 of these 109's produced over about a four or five year period. (That number does not include the 6.3 which all came standard with the automatic.) But how many with a four speed?

In theory all of them could have been, but in reality a very, very few.

By the way, is this on the floor or the column? The only ones I have ever seen were on Finnies, and they were all on the column.

And.... Some 109's were Chauffeur driven, so the lack of an automatic was of no concern to the owner. I knew one lady in Texas that bought a 6.3 and her driver wore a uniform and the whole bit.

Boy, did that woman know how to scream at the help.
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2013, 02:20 PM
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VIN is consistent with a W109 3.5 four speed manual trans.

These transmissions are the side shift G76/27-A . Shifter is on the trans tunnel.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:40 PM
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I have seen a 300SEL 3.5 with a stick shift. If is is a stick shift V8 car it would have to be a 3.5-the stick shift did not come on any other V8. Speaking of sunroofs-there is a 111 3.5 stick shift coupe on ebay-the seller says it has the very rare "Sunroof Delete" option. Interesting spin on saying it has no sunroof.
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2013, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony H View Post
I have seen a 300SEL 3.5 with a stick shift. If is is a stick shift V8 car it would have to be a 3.5-the stick shift did not come on any other V8. Speaking of sunroofs-there is a 111 3.5 stick shift coupe on ebay-the seller says it has the very rare "Sunroof Delete" option. Interesting spin on saying it has no sunroof.
To those of us taller than 6' 5" the lack of a sunroof is a big plus.

The only cars I can remember on the dealer lots in the late 70's without sunroofs were 240D's, and even some of those came with them.

And while there was no 'sunroof delete' option there were cars ordered without them. The sunroof was a option back then, but you had a hard time finding a loaded S-class without one.

But you are correct on the spin. I would think that today the lack of a sunroof would make that car worth less and not more.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooka View Post
I would think that today the lack of a sunroof would make that car worth less and not more.
It depends. a sunroof is really source of numerous problems, water infiltration and rust. I do enjoy the sunroof on my 111 Coupe but for a daily driver, a sunroof is often a problem.
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  #10  
Old 05-12-2013, 08:32 AM
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owned one the 300sel + speeds some 10 years ago. Had a silver spray can paint job. It got lifted out of the yard it was stored in down in Chula Vista. I had flown into town on vacation and bought two 300sel's. The other car was the older M189 powered car. That one got chopped down and all the parts put into the 300sel 3.5 for transport back home.
Most upsetting loss of two cars in one go.

-CTH
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  #11  
Old 05-12-2013, 10:14 PM
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Get it!
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  #12  
Old 05-12-2013, 10:46 PM
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The OP didn't say if the car had a sunroof.
The cloth door-panels and 4-speed manual indicate a 'Euro' version.
I've seen a few W108 sixes with 4-speed manuals, including one '69 280S with it on the oolumn.
And a couple W111 3.5 coupes on eBay with a 4-speed floorshift.
To me a W109 with a stickshift V8 trumps no sunroof!
But do check for rust and a working air-suspension.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:47 PM
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W109 with stick shift

What a cool car. My W116 350SE could have been bought with either a manual or autobox. It has a strange group of options showing that the Europeans like spec-ing their cars, not ordering the "full meal deal" like MBNA forces us to do.
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  #14  
Old 05-14-2013, 02:34 PM
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Guys thanks for the input. I am sure this is a Euro spec car (Grey Market) I however can not recall if it had a sunroof.

I am basically getting this is a 3.5 V8 4-speed car. I assume this car is rare here in the US but overall a common car worldwide?

The car will need airbags and has some minor rust which I can work with.

Thank you,

Tyler
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  #15  
Old 05-14-2013, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomguy View Post
The chassis ID is consistent with a VERY rare 109 3.5 manual Euro version, which they couldn't possibly have made more than a dozen of...
How could this be confirmed. Since I do not own the car Classic can not help.

Thank you
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