1953 Mercedes-Benz 300

W186

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1953
  • Car type 
    Saloon
  • Chassis number 
    1860110145753
  • Condition 
    Restored
  • Interior colour 
    Beige
  • Number of doors 
    5
  • Number of seats 
    5
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    White
  • Performance 
    78 kW / 107 PS / 106 BHP
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

Mercedes-Benz Adenauer (W186) restored.

HISTORY:

This is the first car created totally from scratch by Mercedes-Benz after the Second World War. According to Paul Bracq, who worked for a long time in Stuttgart’s design department, its lines were inspired by the late 40s Packard bodies. Under this imposing aspect there was the classic Mercedes X-shaped frame but also several mechanical innovations. The engine is a straight-six with cast-iron block and light-alloy head, fed by two double Solex carburettors. These mechanics have been conceived to turn at high regimes thanks to the overhead camshaft and turbulence chambers between piston and cylinder head. Its total displacement was just under 3 liters, below the 4 and 4.5 liters of the equivalent English and American models.

Konrad Adenauer, then Chancellor of German’s Federal Republic, immediately adopted the Mercedes 300 as official car. During his long term government (1949-1963) he would have half a dozen units in the chancellery fleet, four of them sedans or Innenlenker limousines (20 cm longer) and two landaulettes, fitted with specific features, such as folding desks, dividing partitions, sirens, sunroofs or raised ceilings. US president John F. Kennedy was one of his most famous passengers. In 1963, during his official visit to Germany he paraded through Berlin in one of the two half-roof open cars. For all this, the 300 would be popularly known by the nickname of Mercedes Adenauer.

In 1955, BMW would make an attempt to dispute the primacy of Mercedes by presenting to the government a 505 limousine chassis by Ghia-Aigle with a 3.2-liter V8 engine. According to the chronicles of the time, Adenauer was upset because the rear door was too low to get inside without taking his hat off ... So the chancellor did not want to know anything about that BMW and remained faithful to his inseparable Mercedes 300. Other leaders of the time who also used the 300 were Pope John XXIII and the Shah of Iran.

The 300 was the largest, most expensive and luxurious car of the German firm, manufactured in five types (saloon, limousine, landaulette, coupé, convertible) and equipped with refinements such as central lubrication, hydraulic brakes, fully synchronized 4-speed gearbox and a dashboard-operated rear load-levelling suspension to reduce stiffness. Mechanics were being improved over time -its power would reach 175 HP- and taken as a base to develop the most legendary Mercedes sports car, the 300 SL Gullwing. After eleven years on the market, production ceased in 1962 with more than 11,000 units sold, of which slightly less than half correspond to the first version W186, like the one in this collection. This vehicle was acquired a long time ago, nowadays perfectly preserved and fully roadworthy.