The 300SE was Mercedes Benz’s flagship model at the time of its introduction in 1961, superseding the 300 ‘Adenauer’, and would remain so until the arrival of the 600 ‘Grosser Mercedes’ in 1963. One of four models to share the new ‘fin tail’ body style first seen at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1959, the 300SE entered production in saloon form, with coupé and cabriolet models arriving the following year. Although similar in appearance to the contemporary 220, the 300SE was mechanically more refined, featuring self-levelling air suspension that would later feature on the 600, power assisted steering, servo assisted disc brakes on all four wheels and, from August 1963, dual-circuit braking. From 1964 the 2,996cc, Bosch fuel-injected, six-cylinder all-alloy engine produced 170bhp (DIN), an output sufficient to propel the luxuriously equipped 300SE to around 200km/h, or 195km/h when equipped with the optional four-speed automatic transmission. As is the case with all of Mercedes-Benz’s many flagship models, ownership of the 300SE was confined to a wealthy few; indeed, at the time of its launch in 1961, coincidental with that of the Jaguar E-Type, one could have bought two of the British sports cars for the price of a single 300SE! Only 5,202 had been sold when production ceased in 1965.
The 300SE offered here is finished in original black coachwork. What makes this particular car so unique is that it was recently discovered after being locked away in a barn for more than twenty years. Totally original and complete it offers a fabulous opportunity for restoration. A superb find of a top-of-the-range Mercedes Benz luxury saloon.