I had been looking for a left-hand-drive 300SEL 6.3 for a long time, which had proved difficult in South Africa. However, in November 2010 I was told about a left-hand-drive 6.3 for sale in Johannesburg, so I leapt at the opportunity and bought the car.
The car was complete and appeared very tidy, but actually it was quite rough. It had had some pretty shoddy maintenance done to it and a very bad repair had been done on the car which had had a frontal accident at some stage in its life. The chassis legs were slightly bent, and fenders were made to fit the 'repaired' car resulting in both the fenders being bowed:
Very little progress was made on the project during the year due to work pressures, but a few things were attended to. A pair of period-looking bucket seats were sourced from Sparco in Italy, and a used set of standard 14" Penta rims was found on the internet. These were fitted to the car to check the offset and to see that nothing clashed. They turned out to be perfect and were sent away for modification.
The rims were stepped up to 15" and widened to take the tyres: 10" at the front and 12" at the rear. The polished finish would be replaced with normal paint later in the project.
In November 2011 the project started rolling again and two used fenders were bought from a breaker. The car was taken to a panel beater with the instruction to straighten the chassis legs so that the fenders fitted without being forced into place, which was done nicely. The car looked very scruffy with one cream fender and the other green.
When the car returned, the interior was stripped out and the seat bases were fabricated to fit onto the original rails - the driver’s seat was kept height adjustable. All the original seat belt mountings were used to fit the racing seat belts.