This fall, Mercedes-Benz will release its new 2011 S63 AMG. Fans are sure to marvel at how the company has dressed it up like the famous 300SEL 6.8 AMG endurance racer that had participated in the 24 Hours of Spa. In 1971, the 300SEL 6.8 AMG competed at the track of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in that year’s 24 Hours of Spa. The 300SEL 6.8 AMG raced against Ford Capri RS, BMW 2800 CS, Chevrolet Camaro, Opel Commodore, and Alfa Romeo GTA. It came in second after completing 308 laps, behind a Capri and ahead of a Camaro. The vehicle needed to refuel frequently but it had few mechanical problems.
After its second-place finish, the red 300SEL became known internationally, especially in its home country of Germany. In 2006, Mercedes made 300 replicas. In recognition of its success in 1971, Mercedes placed matching sponsor decals all over its new 2011 S63 AMG, hoping to channel the spirit of the old AMG-prepped 300SEL.
AMG’s new twin-turbocharged V-8, which is more powerful and more fuel efficient than the outgoing 6.2-liter V-8, debuts in the S-Class. After modifying the exterior appearance of the two speedy sedans, they were driven around Spa for a classic photo shoot. Hans Heyer (co-driver in 1971) was present with his trademark Tyrolean hat (see it in the photo gallery).