Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL AMG: Still supercharged fifty years after

23/09/2019

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL AMG stays true to its heritage fifty years after its world debut. Click here to see what it looks like after all these years!

Long fifty years have gone by since leading automaker, Mercedes-Benz, made a loud statement at the Geneva Motor Show with the debut of the 300 SEL 6.3. Going by its exterior, one would think it was just another SEL, but it proved to be an original Q car on the automaker’s radar.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL AMG: 2019 Legends of the Autobahn

There was an interesting line up of cars showcasing at the recently concluded 2019 Legends of the Autobahn. But one model stood out effortlessly – the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL AMG, also referred to as Silber Sau. The silver pig Silver Sau is related to the red pig Rote Sau – the very first product of AMG. Engineers who used to work with Benz got hold of the Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3, and transformed it by increasing its size up to 6.8 liters. It had to be gutted in preparation for racing.

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Though the racing career of the SEL 300 AMG was brief, it was succesful!

Despite its brief reign, the 300 SEL had a successful racing career. Amongst its achievements, was coming second place at the Spa Francorchamps. This is quite commendable given how fiercely contested the competition was. Following its purchase by Matra for the purpose of testing landing gear, the automaker’s Classic Center set up a Rote Sau recreation some years back. The result of the Classic Center’s efforts was an alternative product that many believed to be sportier than the original, despite the neglect to have it painted in red.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL AMG: Performance

When the hood pins are pulled and the hood is lifted, the sight that meets your eyes is indeed beautiful. You are greeted by four packs of large and voluptuous twin-barrel carbs carrying stacks of eight velocity sticking up. The ride ditched the old for the new, abandoning the Bosch K-Jetronic petrol system which was over fifty years old, and taking on the fancy Italian injection system. Engine of the Silber Sau now boasts of 6.7 liters.

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Engine of the Silber Sau is tailor-made for racing

The  Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL AMG is a delight in terms of performance. It dishes out 430 hp as well as 450 IB-ft in terms of torque.

Speed is one thing that the Silber Sau is not lacking. If anything, the car has it in abundance. But this is not surprising for a racing car. Anything less would have been short of expectations. Its pedals are angled in an odd way with their bottom-hinged position shooting backwards.

The SEL 300 does not have all this power to be silent. It produces a loud sound that can either be awesome or annoying depending on what side of the coin you belong to. Although its brakes are quite strong, you have to put up with the different kinds of sounds it makes. Making slow stops while driving around town seems like pulverizing walls.

In terms of handling and steering performance, the Silber Sau scores high points. The roll cage makes a big contribution to this, thanks to the high stiffness it brings to the table. The sound of the SEL 300 might rub you off the wrong way, but in general, the performance is not bad.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL AMG: Interior

There is no disappointment with the interior of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL AMG. If anything, it supersedes expectations. Its leather is inarguably of high quality, and was used to design the doors. There is Alcantara present on the dashboard, combined with some fine woods.

If you are on who likes to have rear seats in cars, you might be disappointed as the SEL 300 AMG does not offer any. The absence of rear seats gives it a light weight of 3,200 pounds. In comparison to other sports cars visible on the market today, one cannot accuse the car of being too light. But seeing as it is a W109 Benz, the weight is miraculous.

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Rear windows of the Silber Sau are plastic

Some of the interior features deserve a mention. These include the oil and differential coolers, racing seats, roll cage, shifting manual transmission, gold wheels and plus racing that solidify the package.

Rear windows of the Silber Sau are plastic made – making them highly durable and less likely to break. There are also NACA duct feeding both of the cantaloupe-sized holes present in the rear flow. One is forced to wonder if the car has any front windows.

The recent 300 SEL may be different from the one the world saw fifty years ago by all ramifications, but one thing remains constant, its power output. It remains true to the intentions of Erich Waxenberger – the engineer credited to have worked on the engine. It is not out of place to say that the Silber Sau has years of experience under its belt. Having been around for so long, it has been improved on to give users value for their money. Besides the few hiccups discussed above, you will be in for a fun ride.

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Chris Odogwu