Probably the most significant Mercedes-Benz from the 1960s has to be the 1968 300SEL 6.3. Benz took the giant 6.3L, fuel-injected V-8 out of their 600 limousine and stuffed it into the mundane W109 chassis. The results were amazing; it went 0-60 in 6.3 seconds and had a top speed of 142 miles an hour. This made it the fastest four-door car at time of production. It was fairly successful too, selling 6,526 by the time the car ended production in 1972. It is the first Q-ship, what we call a sleeper in the United States.
Another reason that makes it so amazing is that the car was the basis for AMG’s first racing car. The company that was founded by former Mercedes-Benz engineers took the 6.3L V-8 and punched it out to 6.8L. Despite the constant refueling needs and poor tire technology, the car known as the Red Pig had a pretty successful career, the pinnacle being the 1971 24 Hours of Spa where it finished second.
Which leads to the latest news from Mercedes-Benz, who took the looks of the Red Pig and copied it over to its direct descendant, the S63 AMG. First they copied the paint color and the livery, including the numbers which give the car its name. Then the 5.5L twin-turbo V-8 was given 571 horsepower and 664 ft lbs of torque (stock, the car makes 544 hp and 590 ft lbs.) Finally the car is fitted with the most un-Mercedes-Benz thing imaginable: a roll cage.
The company did its own comparison between the Red Pig and the “Thrity-Five” driving around Spa with drivers from the 1971 race, Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz. To read what they thought of the car, follow the link below.
[Source: Mercedes Benz]