Mercedes-Benz introduced two new six-cylinder models in April of 1951 at the first international West German auto show in Frankfurt. The 2.2-liter engine was used to power the Model 220 while a 3-liter version was used in the Model 300, which was Daimler Benz's first post war luxury car. Engineer Karl Wilfort and his team had been instructed to design a modern car that retained the classic Mercedes radiator grille. The result was a vehicle that was unmistakably a Mercedes and helped return the company's reputation and tradition of building quality, luxurious, high-performance automobiles.
Initially the 3-liter, overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine offered 115 horsepower. It was also used in the 300 SL sports car, latter gaining fuel injection in the restyled, longer wheelbase 300 d of 1957. In this guise, the engine offered 160 horsepower.
The 300 was given an independent suspension setup in both the front and rear. It had four-wheel rum brakes, hypoid bevel final drive, dynamically balanced wheels and remote electrical control of the rear suspension ride height. Later, it received larger brakes (servo-assisted from 1954), optional power steering (on the 300 d) and the adoption of three-speed automatic transmission as standard on the latter.
The 300 was luxuriously appointed and given the finest materials of the highest quality. Custom built by experienced craftsmen, they were elegant, fast, and spacious with seating for six passengers. They were popular with West German government officials, businessmen, financiers and politicians.
It received its unofficial model name of 'Adenauer' after West German Chancellor Dr. Konrad Adenauer, the models most famous customer. With a price of DM23,700, the 300 Cabriolet D was among the world's most expensive automobiles of its era.
In 1953, Mercedes-Benz built just 181 Cabriolet D models out of a total (300/300b) production of 591.By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2019