During last week's Mercedes-sponsored tour of Jay Leno's garage, we discovered Jay likes old Benz cruise missiles. Now one is scheduled to get a fire-breathing, 6.2-liter, 518 HP AMG V8. Details and engine porn below.
The 1968-1972 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 began life as a Q-ship. Stuttgart's first insane four-door paired the relatively light chassis of the Paul-Bracq-penned W108/109 sedan with the 300-hp, 6.3-liter from the massive 600 limousine. It was the creation of demented Mercedes engineer Erich Waxenberger — he built one privately and the company decided it was a good idea — and could carry five people and their luggage while cruising at 125 mph. For a few short years, it was the fastest production four-door that money could buy.
Naturally, Jay Leno has one. Because he is a famous man, Mercedes-Benz agreed to help him install a version of the 518-hp AMG "63" V-8 under the 6.3's hood. (See the symmetry?) The project comes with the blessing of AMG head Volker Morningweg (the man with the moustache) and Mercedes-Benz CEO Ernst Lieb.
As an aside, we would like to point out that we had this idea three years ago when the 63 engine debuted in the W211 E-class. Mercedes-Benz did not offer us a custom-built motor, but then, we've never hosted the Tonight Show. (Details, details.) Envy, thy name is Engine Swap.
(A humble, well-meaning plea: Jay, please let me drive it. I grew up in old Benzes, and I left my wedding in my grandmother's original-owner '71 280SE 4.5. The W108/109 is, in a nutshell, everything I love about the three-pointed star. I would do almost anything for the privilege. Thank you.)