J. Paul Getty (acquired new in 1955)
Joseph Sirola, Beverly Hills, California (acquired via Mr. Getty’s mechanic circa 1964)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
By 1951, Mercedes-Benz, with the exclusive 300 series, reclaimed the level of handcrafted magnificence that the company had been known for prior to WWII. Commonly known as the “Adenauer” due to its association with German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, the driving force behind German reconstruction, the 300 was in all ways a superbly engineered machine. Following the standard 300 and uprated 300 S, the fuel-injected 300 Sc debuted in 1955. The Sc’s extremely limited production included just 98 coupes and 102 open cars bodied by the craftsmen at Mercedes-Benz’s Sindelfingen coachworks in the finest Old World style. Details include intricate handformed and fitted panels, extensive yet tasteful brightwork, luxurious leather upholstery, and copious wooden interior trim. Although weighing nearly 4,000 lbs., the 300 Sc was capable of exceeding 110 mph in serene luxury.
This 300 Sc Coupe, one of the earliest built, reportedly was first owned by famed industrialist J. Paul Getty, who is said to have used the car until his permanent move to the UK. In the early 1960s, the Sc was purchased by stage, screen, and voice-over actor Joseph Sirola, who states that he bought the Coupe via Mr. Getty’s mechanic. Mr. Sirola recently recounted that, during his more than 50 years of ownership, he drove the Sc to 28 installments of the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational golf event near Palm Springs, California, where the classic Mercedes-Benz was always given pride of place in front of the venue by the valets.
In the engine compartment, the air filter housing and its ducts were chromeplated long ago, and the aluminum intake manifold was once polished to a high luster. This combination indicates that this 300 Sc might have been used by Mercedes-Benz prior to its initial delivery as a display or press car. According to its factory build record, the Sc was originally finished in Silver Metallic (DB 180), with a black leather interior. The door panels, headliner, and other sections of the interior appear to retain their factory materials.
Far rarer than 300 SLs and nearly twice as expensive, the 300 Sc line was available only to a privileged few, and the surviving examples of the tiny 200-car production run are a testament to the capability of Mercedes-Benz to craft an extremely labor-intensive, low-volume vehicle while in mass production on other models.
Never restored, and displaying less than 75,000 miles, this fascinating Sc could provide the basis for a high-level restoration, or may be recommissioned for a return to the road. The avenues of the mid-century-steeped desert city of Palm Springs remain a most appropriate destination.