July 17, 2010

Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W108 and W109)

A little history

Though the “Heckflosse” was maintained as Mercedes-Benz’ base model beyond 1965, its largest derivatives were replaced by a new 6-cylinder W108/109 range, better known as the S-Class. The new cars appeared in August 1965. Their main feature was their clean, elegant style signed by 31-year old designer Paul Bracq, who finally got rid off the embarrassing fins of their predecessors.

The W108 was, by far, the most popular model. In its original form (250 S), it was powered by a version of the trusted straight six, enlarged to 2.5 litres and good for 130 hp. Fitted with fuel injection (250 SE), the car was rated at 150 hp. Top-of-the-range model was a long wheelbase version, the W109, fitted with the old 3.0-litre six. Named the 300 SEL, this car suffered from only marginally better performances than the 250 SE while its fuel consumption was totally unacceptable, even by the time’s standards: around 18 litres per 100 kilometres on average. This problem was fortunately solved in 1967 when a brand-new 2.8-litre engine was introduced. Simultaneously, Mercedes-Benz added to its range a new car designed as an image-builder, the 300 SEL 6.3. Its name says it all: the German company dropped the 6.3-litre V8 of its 600 model, an engine which production facilities were largely underused, into the W109’s engine compartment. Though at first sight the abilities of the 300 SEL 6.3 don’t seem so extraordinary nowadays, it was then no less than the fastest production saloon in the world (220 kph), able to match most GTs on the drag strip (0-100 in 6.5 seconds). As a comparison, the large Mercedes-Benz, in which five passengers could enjoy such luxuries as leather seats, power windows and air suspension, could actually beat any road-going Porsche of the time in all respects.

The W108/W109 range was built until the end of 1972, when replaced by the new W116.

About the model

Model: Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3
Year: 1968
Maker: Minichamps
Scale: 1/43
Distributed by: Minichamps, limited edition - 1,536 pieces
Acquired: brand new, in May 2006, in Manila, Philippines

Minichamps proposes a very interesting scale model of the famed 300 SEL 6.3. Details are excellent for a die-cast in this price range. Minichamps fits a Monaco plate to its model, aptly enough for such an expensive car. My rating is 16/20.

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2 comments:

joniel_1996 said...

pare ang ganda ng W108/W109 die-cast model mo!!!
I love your car!!!
Magkano na namang yan, sir?

lorenzo721 said...

Thanks Joniel! As far as I remember, P1,050. It was on sale.