Hand built, stately, and elegant; the post-war Grosser
Please note that this lot will need to be collected in Karlskron, Germany.
Although Mercedes-Benz’s initial post-war production efforts focused on higher volume production automobiles, by 1950, plans were underway for a new top-of-the-line car, which was intended to occupy the same position in the model line as the legendary pre-war 770K Grosser. The new car was introduced to the public in April 1951 at the Frankfurt Auto Show. It entered production later that year and was initially available in only two configurations: limousine or convertible sedan. The car’s outstanding quality was matched only by its breathtaking price, which was equal to three Cadillacs! The high price ensured exclusivity, and early customers ranged from renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright to actor Yul Brynner.
The 300 series marked a very important line of vehicles for Mercedes-Benz, as they were the first Mercedes-Benzes produced by the company after the end of World War II. The cars were also the choice of distinction for royalty and heads of state, which included such figures as the Shah of Iran and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, in whose honour the car would come to be referred to as simply “an Adenauer.” The Adenauer nomenclature was reinforced because Adenauer frequently used one of six custom examples of the 300. Given such high-profile and powerful owners, the 300 Adenauer symbolised success.
In comparison to the closed cars, the 300 four-door cabriolets were produced in much smaller quantities. From the 1951 model year through 1955, over 6,000 closed cars were built. In that same time frame, just 591 convertible sedans were ordered. A most worthy upholder of the Grosser Mercedes tradition of pre-war years, this rare Cabriolet D is one of what is thought to be only 181 convertible models built during 1953. Little is known about the early life of this Adenauer, but it made its way to Canada, where it was bought by the consignor in 1989 from Al Webster.
Prior to being exported to Germany, the car was full disassembled for restoration and the car was shipped disassembled to Germany in 1991 where it was fully restored by Böhringer-Wiltberger GmbH in Kernen-Stetten with cost no object and roughly 250,000 DM was spent in restoring the car. At this time, the interior and hood were fully replaced and everything that was not good enough to be restored was replaced. Since the completion of its restoration, the car has been driven less than 10,000 km.
Today, the restoration has aged well, and the 300 Cabriolet D can be described as presented in driver-quality condition. More recently, the engine’s cylinder head was serviced in 2014. This Adenauer would make for a wonderful open tourer, rather than a garage queen. The occupants could make the most of the top down motoring, watching the world go by, happy in the knowledge that if the 300 D Adenauer was good enough for royalty, captains of industry and Hollywood stars, then it’s good enough for themTo view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/0420.