With 195bhp gross, admittedly , it could not fail to be quicker, although it is interesting to discover that the German is 500lb heavier. It’s not so much the off-the-mark acceleration that is impressive, but the mid-range strength between 60 and 90mph that will surprise quite a few modern cars. It’s delivered with a gloriously visceral howl that is 300SL-like in timbre. I used to own this very car it now belongs to Jeremy Banks, who also has a pair of Touringbodied Flaminias so I know that it will cruise at 100mph and top 120 garage door opener 696cd\/b feeling brave.
Like all Mercedes of its generation, it’s low geared 8mph per 1000rpm, compared to the Lancia’s 20mph and there’s no rev counter. Yet the 3-litre ‘six’ feels tireless and was designed to sit flat-out on an garage door opener 696cd\/b all day long with no more noise than the Lancia. God help you if you do blow it up, though. Even in the world of Mercedes, these are notoriously expensive units to work on.
The handling is not as involving or rewarding as the Flaminia, but its total competence cannot be denied. It feels squat and supple on the road: the 300SE’s coil-sprung ride is so beautifully. Clockwise, from main: 300SEb, uber-rare as a right-hooker, corners and rides well; four-speed auto was built by M-B; injected 'six' is more powerful than Lancia V6; cabin is roomier soft, you seriously wonder why anyone wanted the SEL’s troublesome air suspension. Plus, the power steering is a boon rather than a hindrance to garage door opener 696cd\/b the Mercedes accurately. In a straight line, it has all the stability of the Lancia, and when you are moving quickly you pretty much forget it has PAS.