Jay Leno's 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3: Fans' Choice


You can't accuse Jay Leno of being distant from his fans. They helped him recently decide what to do with one of his many restoration projects, which is the subject of the newest Jay Leno's Garage video.

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After Jay acquired this 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3, he wasn't sure which direction to go with it. He had the powertrain from an SLS AMG to install in the car, but also thought about leaving it as-is. So he asked fans for their opinion, and the majority of them said the Benz should be returned to as-built condition. We think it turned out pretty well.

It may look like any other Mercedes sedan from the period, but the 300 SEL 6.3 was more or less the prototype for the modern line of Mercedes-AMG super sedans. It had the big 6.3-liter V-8 from the dictator-spec 600, originally installed in secret by an enterprising Mercedes engineer.

The V-8 was able to propel the much lighter 300 SEL to improbable speeds, yet you'd never know from looking at one with its stock bodywork. That was appealing enough for the 6,526 buyers who grabbed the keys to one of these German muscle cars during its 1968-1972 production run.

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While an SLS powertrain might have been flashier, there was no actual need to replace anything. Jay says the 300 SEL 6.3 is still going strong with 327,000 miles on the odometer, and he hasn't done anything substantial to keep it running. That's good, because old Benzes become very expensive when they do. If might be worth risking if you've got the cash, though, because the 6.3 makes for quite the sleeper. Check out the full video above for more on this cult-classic Mercedes.

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