Minichamps MIN436039100 1970 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 (W109) Limousine with German Chancellor Willy Brandt Figurine (1:43 Scale)
"It often takes more courage to change one's opinion than to keep it."
- German Chancellor Willy Brandt
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 started out as a private venture in 1966 by company engineer Erich Waxenberger, which culminated in the world's first "Super Saloon" or Q-car.
Waxenberger's principle was simple: Take the powerful 6.3 litre V8 Mercedes-Benz M100 engine from the luxurious Mercedes-Benz 600 limousine, and fit it into the regular Mercedes-Benz W109 S-Class model which only had 6-cylinder engines at that time. The result was a nearly 2-tonne saloon with performance similar to most dedicated sports cars of the era. It is said that Rudolf Uhlenhaut, when invited to test drive the prototype, opened the hood at the first red light to find out how the big engine and its supporting equipment had been squeezed in there.
Surprisingly, the rather conservative company went ahead and launched the car into the marketplace at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1968, in order to make better use of the M100 engine production facilities. The 6,500 build of the 6.3 outnumbered the 2,700 build of the 600 by far.
What set this car apart from its contemporaries in the late 1960s though, was that it could cruise at over 200 km/h (124 mph) with 5 occupants in complete comfort within the body styled by Paul Bracq. Later, the company also fitted new, smaller V8 engines into the W109 series. The 300SEL 4.5 was only available in the USA, while the 280 SE 3.5 Coupe could also be ordered in Europe.
In the 1970s, the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 was a successor to the 6.3, with even more modifications and power.
Pictured here is a 1:43 scale diecast replica of a 1970 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 (W109) limousine with Willy Brandt figurine. Now in stock!
Length: 6 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: August 2010
Historical Account: "Name Change" - Born on December 18th, 1913, Willy Brandt, (Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm) was a German politician, Chancellor of West Germany from 1969-1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1964-1987. Brandt's most important legacy was Ostpolitik, a policy aimed at improving relations with East Germany, Poland, and the Soviet Union. This policy caused considerable controversy in West Germany, but won Brandt the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971. In 1974, Brandt resigned as Chancellor after Gunter Guillaume, one of his closest aides, was exposed as an agent of the Stasi, the East German secret police.