1957 Mercedes-Benz 300
Year of manufacture1957
Craig McFarland, Carmel, California (acquired circa 1985)
Mr. Nakamura, Osaka, Japan (acquired circa late 1986)
Alex Dearborn, Topsfield, Massachusetts (acquired in early 2006)
Current Owner (acquired from the above in November 2006)
Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, Greenwich, Connecticut, June 2006 (Best Mercedes-Benz)
Newport Concours d’Elegance, Newport, Rhode Island, June 2006 (First in Class)
Legends of the Autobahn, Monterey, California, August 2011 (Class Award)
In September 1955, Mercedes-Benz introduced fuel injection to its range-leading flagship model line, the 300 S, resulting in the 300 Sc. Manufactured for less than three years, just 200 examples were built, of which 49 examples were bodied as cabriolets. Now recognized as the spiritual descendant of the marque’s celebrated prewar supercharged open models, the 300 Sc Cabriolet abounds in luxurious hand-built details, as typified by this superb example.
Displaying a beautifully maintained restoration by a noted 300 Sc expert, this award-winning Mercedes-Benz is a particularly fetching example of the exclusive model and wears just the fourth cabriolet body built in 1957. According to its factory build record, chassis 7500015 was delivered on May 29, 1957, finished in White Gray (DB 158) and trimmed with blue leather upholstery and a matching soft top. Factory options included electric windshield washers and a Becker Le Mans radio with Reims short-wave adaptor and electric antenna. Specified for Europe, the car was equipped with the large, continental-style headlamp lenses and instruments in kilometers.
This Mercedes-Benz was dispatched to a distributorship in Brussels, Belgium, reputedly earmarked for the Belgian royal family. At some point, the cabriolet was exported to the US, and by the early 1980s, it had come into the care of a resident of New York. Around 1985, the car was purchased by dealer Tom Kried on behalf of collector Craig McFarland of Carmel, California. Mr. McFarland commissioned the highly respected 300 Sc specialist Chuck Brahms to perform a full restoration, which included an engine rebuild as needed by Walter Quitt. Brahms optimally refurbished all running gear and related components, even going so far as to recondition an original four-piece set of Karl Baisch factory luggage.
Cosmetically, the interior was re-trimmed by Jim Hook with Roser four-ounce leather and proper Wilton wool carpets, as well as a new six-layer padded top made from dark red Aresma fabric and Happich patterned headliner sourced from Germany. The burled wood interior trim was replaced as needed with proper veneers, and the exterior received a deep new finish in burgundy using Glasurit paint.
Not long after the elegant restoration was completed in mid-1986, the 300 Sc was sold through broker John Masuda to a Japanese collector in Osaka and later transferred to his fashion company Raika. In 2005, the car was purchased and imported to the US by Symbolic Motorcars in La Jolla. The Cabriolet was then sold to Alex Dearborn of Topsfield, Massachusetts, an esteemed dealer specializing almost exclusively in premium vintage Mercedes-Benz motorcars. In 2006, Dearborn presented chassis 7500015 at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, winning the Best Mercedes-Benz trophy, and the car also garnered a class win at the Newport Concours d’Elegance in Rhode Island.
The consignor, a marque enthusiast based in Northern California, acquired the 300 Sc in November 2006. He entrusted a rebuild of the rear end to Jim Cosgrove, whose Massachusetts-based Oldtimer Restoration Center specializes in vintage Mercedes-Benz refurbishment. Cosgrove used new gears sourced from the factory in Germany. Since then, the car has been fastidiously maintained, including a May 2018 service and installation of new whitewall tires, and is reported by the consignor to be in excellent condition. He has driven the car very minimally over his 12-year ownership, with an odometer reading of 42,096 km at the time of cataloguing, reflecting less than 800 km accrued since his purchase.
Accompanied by owner’s manuals and a tool kit, this 300 Sc is fitted with the factory luggage set by Karl Baisch that was so beautifully reconditioned by Chuck Brahms. The Cabriolet also retains its matching-numbers engine, as per the factory build record. As beautiful and rare as it is driveable and enjoyable, this hand-built postwar Mercedes-Benz flagship represents the epitome of the marque at a time when cost was no object.