MCQUEEN – AFTER THE PORSCHESBefore his wilderness years in the mid-Seventies, when he traded his interest in fast cars for fast beers, McQueen dabbled with another German marque’s hot-rod saloon. Daniel Parker picks up the tale.
‘While he was in Germany for a promotional engagement, McQueen was startled to find himself being passed while doing 130mph by a Mercedes Benz 300SEL 6.3. It was one of the first of the marque’s Q-cars. A very big engine for sports car performance but packaged in a mid-sized four-door saloon that wouldn’t attract unwanted attention.
‘Increasingly resentful of the paparazzi attention that his relationship with Ali McGraw was attracting, McQueen saw the 6.3’s appeal and bought one in 1972. His Slate Grey 911E, which had been his regular drive for all the highs and lows of the preceding three years, was too widely recognised, so he parked it up and the Mercedes became his fast transport of choice.’
Like his 911, McQueen’s Mercedes also survives. It was offered at a Keno Brothers auction in New York in November 2015. Externally restored but thankfully with its 80,488-mile interior patina left undisturbed, it was bid to $375,000 but the owner wouldn’t sell it for that. It’s believed that the 300SEL was sold more recently, however, via a dealer.