To be OFFERED AT AUCTION at Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale event, April 1-3, 2016.
Chassis No. 1880120011852
Estimate: $475,000 - $525,000 US
“The terrific, new high performance job that has …the European automotive world agog,” said the American magazine Speed Age of the new 300; Daimler-Benz’s first postwar luxury car that first was shown in April 1951, at the first international West German automobile show in Frankfurt. Britain’s The Motor called it “definitely the sensation of the Show and …well worthy of this honour.” The 300 series reigned for more than a decade; at home in Germany, Chancellor Adenauer was driven in nothing else and became so identified with the model that it was nicknamed the “Adenauerwagen.” The 300 was unquestionably the prestige car in its native land.
Bridging the gap between the Classic and Modern Eras, the Mercedes-Benz 300 was launched in 1952 with an unbeatable combination of modern engineering and performance and meticulous Old World build quality. They were built to uncompromising standards, and they employed the latest materials and technologies to achieve maximum power and minimum weight. Each car was lavished with beautiful finishes and woodwork, and each could travel at triple digit speeds with a full load of sheltered occupants and their luggage.
The 300S was built upon the already sumptuous top-range 300 series chassis, with special attention being given to appearance details and build quality. The extraordinary costs to do so resulted in a “halo” car for Mercedes-Benz, which was priced nearly 50 percent higher than its counterparts. This car was equipped with triple Solex carburetors that were mounted to the 2,996 cubic centimeter inline six-cylinder engine, which could produce 150 horsepower, and it was inarguably one of the best luxury touring cars available in the 1950s. Road and Track magazine stated, "Where the Mercedes Benz 300S has been since its first appearance it has caused a quiet riot of enthusiasm and its attitude of 'going' even when it's standing still."
The sportiest 300S variant was the Roadster, which was a dashing convertible that had a top that folded completely flat, giving the car a very elegant appearance. Only 141 were produced, and they are the most desirable 300S models amongst enthusiasts today. The other body styles consisted of a Cabriolet with a rear seat and impressive landau bars, plus the fixed roof Coupe with an elegantly formal air. When new, the price was a staggering (for the time) $12,500.
It was the most expensive luxury car of its day; twice as much as the 300SL and American luxury cars of the day. Equally important, it was the model that returned Mercedes-Benz to its old prewar international clientele. Hence this was a car of the rich and famous including the Aga Khan, the Shah of Iran, King Gustav of Sweden, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gary Cooper, Yul Brenner, Maria Callas, Clark Gable and Bing Crosby. Even Field Marshall Montgomery, now referred to as Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, bought a 300.
This 300S is beautifully presented in cream with tan leather interior and a tan canvas soft-top. Among the exquisite features is wool carpets, original Becker radio, original speakers, clock, refinished rosewood panels, radial tires and the desirable original factory luggage. Often considered to be inspired by the 540K of the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz stated in factory literature that the 300S was “The dream of all sports drivers throughout the world. A symbol of speed and beauty.” It has always signaled supreme style and sophisticated taste, and will continue to do so. 1952 Mercedes-Benz 300S Roadster