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Black Plate Coupe: 1963 Mercedes 300SE

This rare 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SE coupe is listed as a project that needs minor restoration work, apparently with one owner from the 1970s until just recently. The W112 clearly needs its pneumatic refreshed, but the seller claims it’s quite close to turning over and is solid underneath. Despite being listed here on eBay in Memphis, it apparently was a longtime California car before that. Bidding is approaching $13K with the reserve unmet.

The 300SE was the top shelf model of its day, and commands very real money in restored form. If this car is as dry underneath as the seller claims, it deserves to fetch more than the current bid. Factor in the black plate heritage, unaltered appearance, and surprisingly nice interior and it becomes a very compelling project. The seller notes all numbers match.

The interior does present surprisingly well, without the liberal sun damage I was expecting to see. The wood trim still looks decent and it’s a relief to see simple controls like crank windows inside. Front bucket seats and the rear bench can absolutely be used as-is while other restoration work continues. The original Becker radio and factory A/C controls remain in place.

With the engine close to running, this project becomes even more appealing. The 300SE is a rare find in project-grade condition, as its high original selling price meant it found far fewer buyers than some of the lower tier coupe models. If you’re looking for way in that doesn’t require as much cash up front, this 300SE could be your ticket to W112 ownership.


  1. BarnfindyCollins

    A real Mercedes and not suprised at the bidding on it. I’m sure a few dealers like BHCC are looking at it also. There used to be a young local girl who piloted one of these. She knew she had something special and when encountering her out and about I’d say how is the Princess? That always brought a smile.

    Like 6
  2. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    Check out that power steering pump !

    Like 0
    • BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

      Take a zero off the price & it approaches do-able just to get it running. I mean really at this point who cares about a ‘restoration’ whatever that is. The fuel set-up is in Chiltons. The shame is the price takes the fun out of beating up on a beater. Did you see that power steering pump ?!

      Like 1
    • ChasH

      That’s the air compressor for the air suspension, which is blown out judging by the car sitting low to the ground.

      Like 0
      • BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

        Just needs some sewing machine oil & it’s good to go !

        Like 0
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

        Like many other makes of vehicles with air suspension, if allowed to sit, they will gradually loose air pressure and drop down.

        One of my clients, a head of state in the middle east, had well over a dozen Mercedes-Benz 600 cars, both chassis sizes. His restoration shop staff had to start each car up at least once a week & drive it around the royal compound to maintain the mechanicals including the air suspensions.

        Like 0
      • local_sheriff

        Personally I think it looks just right sitting that low…! Any car looks better lowered!

        Like 0
  3. Rube Goldberg Member

    Nice, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 2 door like this. Most were 4 door limos. Is that air ride? I see a compressor there, I bet that’s fun to work on. I read, ’63 was the 1st year for that. A cool car, fantastic car, really, probably the best car ever. Just hope you have deep pockets to fix it.

    Like 1
    • Brakeservo

      The pneumatic suspension, mechanical fuel injection, why this car is just chock full of parts made of unobtanium. Looks like a fine opportunity to prove the wisdom of buying the best example you can find. Can’t help but think of the famous line – “Run Forrest, run!”

      Like 1
  4. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Looks similar to a white MB 4 dr. the neighbor has in front of his garage, his doesn’t run either. The first thing that caught my eye was the wheel wells. It looks like a car with a hydraulic suspension that’s failed or lowered currently. I don’t know enough about MB’s to know if they ever came with that option but something looks wrong to me.

    Like 1
  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ah, the trailer hitch. It seems out of place on this rig. What would they pull? A small sail boat?

    Like 0
    • clintons

      Hah! My Dad would use his 190 D to pull a (2 horse) trailer.

      Like 2
    • Mike

      “Minor restoration work” Beautiful car I just doubt that the restoration it needs is anything but minor

      Like 1
  6. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    I’ve owned two of these. Great but need to be properly maintained.

    My biggest fear…….”quite close to turning over”. That is a digital decision, 1 or 0, yes or no. It either does or doesn’t.

    Like 5
  7. RAR4663

    I had that coupe body in a 1964 220SEb. Lovely coach built car. One of the most beautiful Mercedes ever. Sexy as hell. Mine had rusty floors and rockers but still pretty. The only thing better is the convertible version and they can be converted.

    Like 0
  8. RAR4663

    BTW, wrong front bumper and the rear over riders don’t belong either. I don’t think the correct bumper is available anywhere.

    Like 0
  9. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Back in the late 1980s I had 2 cars in at the same time for major restoration; a 1963 M-B 300 coupe like this one, and a 1963 LHD Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud 4-door. Both were in similar condition, but not running. Both were owned by the same man who had fairly deep pockets, and were restored to his level of expectation.

    The 300 coupe ended up costing us far more to restore than the Cloud, mostly due to the cost of spare parts and materials. The 300 engine parts were insanely expensive, both new and used. We actually discussed putting in a Cloud series 1 engine [the 6 cylinder Rolls-Royce motor], if the block or crank turned out to be beyond repair. That option was cheaper than sourcing a used 63 300 engine!

    Like 3
  10. Tudor

    I want. No comment on whether it’s a money pit. It’s gorgeous. Some lucky person will have a beautiful car.

    Like 2
  11. Andrew Franks

    I don’t know about this. It’s going to be a big number to get to nice car, with all toys functioning
    properly. And I’m too far away; transport costs would have to be considered. I think I’ll pass.

    Like 0
  12. ccrvtt

    “My biggest fear…….”quite close to turning over”. That is a digital decision, 1 or 0, yes or no. It either does or doesn’t.”

    Yes, indeed. These engines put out about 170 hp if my research is correct. A viable swap would be GM’s 4200 Vortec I-6 with 270 hp. The GM engine is all aluminum and probably weighs less than the current ‘quite close to running’ piece.

    A tenacious amateur could probably figure out how to make the pneumatic suspension work. Parts is parts, ya’ know.

    The 300SE in question is elegant both inside and out, but from the real experts’ comments above, probably not a fiscally sound endeavor. Neat car though.

    Like 1
  13. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    As for the air suspension, one of the most important thing one can do to a non-running car to check the air suspension is to pressurize the system. There is a large canister behind the headlights in left front fender, this holds air under pressure for the system.

    At the bottom of the tank is a schrader valve [like a tire valve]. This is used to bleed water out of the tank, check the air pressure with a tire gauge, and to add pressurized air to a system that is not working [for example, if the car is not running and needs to be towed or placed on a rollback truck].

    If you are contemplating the purchase of ANY 1963 to 1971 300 or 600 car with air suspension, you MUST read and fully understand this article: http://600airsuspension.com/resources/article-on-mercedes-air-suspension-by-martin-werminghausen.pdf

    Also, these cars are notorious for the unit body steel frame rusting out, as it was not painted inside or dipped in primer & paint. NO parts are available and all frame pieces have to be made by hand [16 gauge steel if I remember correctly].

    Before buying one of these cars, [with the owner’s permission], take a pick hammer and hit the various frame sections, if there is any question as to it’s condition. If the pick hammer goes thru or leaves a serious dent, the frame section will require replacement.

    Like 7
  14. Rar4663

    Great article. Makes the Rolls Royce brake system from the late 70’s look cheap.

    Like 0
  15. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Aug 28, 2019 , 12:20PM
    Current bid:US $13,600.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 25 bids ]

    Like 0

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