1971 Mercedes-Benz W109 300 SEL 3.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A fabulous relic from a bygone era


Not much. A persistent misfire was cured by finely tuning the 'trigger points'.

General Comments:

This car has presence and refinement. Stylistically and mechanically, it is a superb piece of work.

Driving the car is akin to yachting. One 'progresses' rather than merely travelling.

The power of the V8 takes care of most situations, and the incredible air suspension takes care of bumps and dips.

The interior, with its 'cognac' coloured, leather upholstered seats, leather lined doors, burr walnut trim and tinted glass is an unusual combination of luxury and simplicity, at which Mercedes-Benz excels.

The power available, though not huge by today's standards, is more than ample. The old girl can really pick up her skirts. High speed cruising is effortless, and despite weighing two tonnes loaded and being 5 metres long, the car corners remarkably competently. Moreover, it's all done with a just not quite discreet V8 burble. Very satisfying.

I find myself looking for excuses to drive it.

It's reliable, it goes like a train, it's as comfortable as your old grandmother's parlour, and it looks like the dog's whatever's from the big grille and quad headlights, to the vast, squared-off boot.

While it's really only a big old Merc that happens to have survived, you find yourself fighting unbecoming feelings of superiority over your fellow road users, cramped as they are in their lumps of rusting, pressed tin.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2015

1972 Mercedes-Benz W109 300 SEL 3.5 - 8 cylinder from UK and Ireland


I'll never sell, so no offers please


One back passenger door won't open.

Heating controls are broken.

Odometer not working, dash light not working.

Air suspension was acting up.

Leaks a little brake fluid from a brake caliper.

Wouldn't start after lying idle outside for a long period.

Exhaust wore out.

Drivers window slips down, open about 3 inches due to worn winder cog inside the door. Can be pulled up by hand.

Some rust in the usual problem areas, but the car holding together pretty well.

General Comments:

I love this car. It is long wheelbase, same as the 6.3, just with smaller engine. The engine runs beautifully. Very reliable when used on a regular basis.

The one time it wouldn't start in the four years I have had it, was due to some rusty contacts points at the battery.

Air suspension holds car up for 1 to 4 days, depending on weather. Caused me a problem at one point, couldn't get the car to rise to its regular height until I discovered a linkage under front wheel had disconnected. Fixed with a plastic tie.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2006

22nd Jan 2015, 14:25

I have a 1971 300SEL 3.5 too.

They are a fantastic car - acres of room, plenty of power, and relaxing and comfortable to drive.

The air suspension is no problem if it's properly sorted out or reconditioned. There's nothing quite like the way these large, heavy cars eliminate humps and bumps.

Many Mercedes odometers stop working, because with time (usually about 250,000km) the interference fit between a nylon cog and a stainless steel spindle starts slipping. It can be fixed.

The W109 is an example of the combination of simplicity and refinement of the Mercedes cars of the era.

Well maintained, there's no reason they can't just keep going. Mine's 45 years old now, and is still in excellent condition.

1969 Mercedes-Benz W109 300SEL 6.3 6.3 fuel injected from Australia and New Zealand


A truly great classic I am on my second example after experimenting with other cars in the interim


Rebuilt air suspension, new heads, new suspension, new differential many other components have also been replaced.

General Comments:

The Mercedes 6.3 is an extraordinary machine for its era. It is a very rewarding car for the driver and with an an uprated suspension will handle very well. Fuel is not a significant cost as the cars can be relatively economical. The cost of parts and proper maintenance can be significant however the vehicle is far more reliable than even an excellent Rover or Jaguar series 111 which I have also owned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th October, 2005

25th Apr 2009, 05:22

Eh, economical? I've owned one of these myself, and economical is not the word that best describes the 6.3 litre V8, but quite frankly, no owner of an m100 Mercedes care much about the fuel consumption either, as these cars are owned by enthusiasts who enjoy the driving experience.

Besides, the car handles very well with the original air suspension, but they are prone to get problems over the years. If the suspension is in good condition, it provides a great balance between good handling and comfort, that is quite unique in cars, and particularly for the era. It always amazed me how well balanced it was and how well it handled, particularly for such a big car, made in 1970.

And of course, the engines are very reliable as well. The m-100 V8 is rock solid and doesn't require much maintenance for such a high performance car of the 60's/70's. Besides, it's strikingly smooth for such a big V8.

2nd Oct 2010, 21:08

I've owned one of these for 6 years now, going on 7, and I agree with the statement of the car being economical - in relative terms. Forget Hondas etc, but compare the 6.3L V8 to the Jag XK 4.2 straight six, and note how much more economical the big V8 is.