Image credits: © Mercedes-Benz.

1952 Mercedes-Benz 300

2+2 Cabriolet
Chassis Num: 0004452
Engine Num: 020.00063.52
Sold for $255,750 at 2009 RM Sothebys.
Mercedes-Benz chose the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951 to introduce their new 300 Series. This was a very important line of vehicles as it was the marque's first new postwar automobile and its design was specifically styled for the export market. This new flagship model was modern and attractive, with its wrap-around windshield and flush-mounted headlights. It would remain in production for the next 11 years and during that time would receive incremental updates.

The 300S, also known as 'Super', was introduced in mid-1952. It combined the elements of the 300 series with the soon-to-be-introduced 300SL sports car. The most noticeable difference was under the hood, with a 30 percent increase in horsepower, from 115 to 150. Top speed was in the neighborhood of 110 miles per hour. The S was more than just a performance upgrade, it also included a signal-seeking radio, no-glare mirrors, vacuum-assisted brakes, backup lights, reclining seats and windshield washer. The interior had chrome-accented instruments, leather seats, and burled walnut trim.

This long list of improvements and features did come at a price, one that was as much as ten standard cars. The base price for the '300S' was a staggering $12,680 and as such, around 560 examples were produced.

With the 300S introduction, there were three new sporty bodies introduced on a 25-centimeter shorter chassis. The list included the cabriolet, roadster, and a coupe.

This particular 300S Cabriolet was in the collection of a Midwestern collector for over 35 years. It was given a rotisserie restoration in the mid-1980s and has since been driven a mere 900 miles. It was purchased by the current owner in 2003 who embarked on a bare-metal repaint and given a new interior and new canvas top. This is a very complete and rare car that still has its original fitted luggage, tools and jack.

In 2009, this Cabriolet was offered for sale at the Automobiles of Amelia Island auction presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $200,000 - $275,000. The lot was sold for $255,750, including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
Chassis Num: 186.014.02905/52
Engine Num: 08242/52
After leaving the factory on December 31, 1952, this car was delivered new to Mr. Franklin Eli, of Buffalo, New York. He enjoyed the car for seventeen years, driving it 66,243 miles. In 1969, he put the car in storage, where it remained until his demise. He left the car to his nephew, James Eli, who brought it to Warren L. Riter and Sons restoration facility.

The current owners purchased the car in 2009, from Mr. Eli's widow. They continued the restoration at the same facility. It was completed July 25, 2012, consuming more than 12 years. It was completed to the highest possible standards, including all factory colors.

The car features a Nuremburg III radio, tuned to all the European Capitals and the interior wood is solid ebony, not the typical wood veneer used by the factory in teh 1950s.
Chassis Num: 300/186011 00578/52
Sold for $60,840 at 2010 Bonhams.
The Mercedes 300 was built on a 120-inch wheelbase and powered by a 2996 ohc six, and available as a sedan or four-door convertible. These vehicles were known as 'Adenauer Mercedes', as they were particularly favored by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer during his administration of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Produced through 1957, these cars had a tubular chassis frame, and impendent suspension all around. Production of the first run of sedans through 1955 totaled 6,214 units. Subsequent models 300b, 300c and 300d through 1962 totaled just over 12,000.

This sedan is pained in maroon that Mercedes called 'Bordeaux.' It is a US specification model that was restored for a previous owner by the L&N Olde Car Company in Newbury, Ohio, in the early 2000s. The interior is beige leather. The current owner purchased the car in 2006, it shows just 22,000 miles, and has an extensive list of service records.

In 2010, this 300 Sedan was offered for sale at the Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia auction presented by Bonhams. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $60,840 inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010
Chassis Num: 1869200117852
Sold for $115,500 at 2010 RM Sothebys.
This four-door Cabriolet D is powered by a Type M186 OHC six-cylinder engine that has a seven-bearing crankshaft, and twin Solex 40 PBJC dual downdraft carburetors. These cars were hand-built in limited numbers at the Sindelfingen body works beginning in March of 1952. Production continued through June of 1956, though it is believed that individual cars continued to be built to special order at Sindelfingen until the following spring.

This example was given a restoration in Missouri by its current owner in the late 1990s. The car is equipped with Bosch driving lights and rides on Firestone whitewall tires.

In 2010, the car was offered for sale at the Sports & Classics of Monterey presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $60,000 - $90,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $115,500 inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2010
Chassis Num: 1860110264352
Sold for $99,176 at 2011 RM Sothebys.
The 300 was custom-built by Mercedes-Benz's craftsmen and it was luxuriously appointed and well-trimmed with materials of the highest quality. It was the car of choice for West German government officials. It was highly favored by businessmen, financiers and politicians. 'Adenauer' became the 300 saloon/limousine's unofficial model name, after German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, its most famous customer.

This example is finished in coffee brown with a contrasting beige leather interior. It was purchased in Arizona, USA in 1990 and between 2003 and 2010 it was treated to a comprehensive, no-expense-spared restoration. The present owner offer the car for sale in 2012 at Bonhams auction in Monaco where it was estimated to sell for €60,000 - 90,000. As bidding came to a close, the car failed to find a buyer willing to satisfy the reserve. It would leave the auction unsold.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2012
This vehicle is a luxuriously appointed comfortable, roomy, moderately priced touring sedan. (concept carz) It showcases Mercedes-Benz's penchant for building high quality luxury automobiles. These cars had advanced German design and engineering for safe, comfortable, high speed autobahn cruising. This car can cruise all day at 100+ mph while using only moderate amounts of gasoline.

Source - Canton Classic Car Museum
The Mercedes-Benz 300 was produced from 1951 through 1958 and is one of the most graceful and classic creations of the post-World War II era. The style was both classic and modern and built to high standards. They were constructed from fine materials using the latest in technology and achieving minimal weight with a high degree of strength.

The 300 was built on a traditional body-on-frame construction as many other marque's, including most of the Mercedes-Benz line, had switched to unit-body construction. The body-on-frame construction was ideal for maintaining a high level of quality for vehicles produced in limited quantities. The front end was suspended in place through the use of an independent suspension with A-arms and coil springs. The rear was the tried-and-true swing axle with coil springs.

Under the bonnet was a 2996-cc six-cylinder engine with Bosch mechanical fuel injection that produced 175 horsepower. Considering the modest wheelbase size and the overall low weight of the vehicle, the 175 horsepower was more than enough to carry these custom-built vehicles at highway speeds with little effort. The car was fast, luxurious, safe, and comfortable.

From November of 1951 through March of 1962, there were 11,430 examples of the Mercedes 300 constructed. Most were built atop of a 120-inch wheelbase and with four-door configuration. Just over 700 were convertible sedans.

The 300 had been introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Mercedes-Benz selected the Paris Auto Show to introduce the next iteration of the 300-Series, the 300S. This was a much sportier version that rode on a shortened, 114.2-inch, wheelbase and built in 2-door open and closed configuration. The engine was a multi-carbureted unit that produced just over 160 SAE horsepower.

The Mercedes-Benz 300S was a very fast automobile that still retained luxury, comfort, and style. Built in very limited quantities, it was an exclusive automobile.

Production of the 300S lasted from 1952 through April of 1958 with a total of 760 examples being constructed.

The final iteration of the 300-Series was the 300SC, which made its appearance at the 1955 Paris Auto Show. It was given a detuned version of the 300SL's Bosch mechanical fuel-injected engine and a new 'low-pivot' swing axle rear suspension.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
Large and luxurious, the Mercedes 300 series was built from 1951 until 1957 in its original form. The company's largest and most-prestigious models, the Mercedes-Benz Type 300 is considered a trademark of the era throughout the 1950s. With a 3 liter engine capacity, the name 300 said it all. Exclusive, expensive, elegant and full of power, the Type 300 vehicles were in an elite status all of its own. In a tribute to the Chancellor of Germany at the time, this series was often referred to as the Adenauer, after Konrad Adenauer. During his time as Chancellor, Adenauer used a total of six of these vehicles.

The main competition that the 300 Series faced during its production time was the less-expensive Ponton series. A large majority of the company's sales were directed in the area of this cheaper series. During the early 1960's, both the Ponton series and the Type 300 were eventually replaced by the 'Heckflosse' cars.

Available as either a sedan or cabriolet, the Type 300 was offered both with four doors, along with seating for six. With a more modern body, the 'W186' Type 300 was built on a pre-war chassis, yet it utilized a modern 3 L straight-6 engine. The most interesting feature was a rear load-levelling suspension that was operated by a switch on the dashboard. Many other luxury features were offered on this series, these included a VHF mobile telephone, a dictation machine and a Becker radio. The Chancellor's personal vehicle was equipped with a writing desk, sirens, a dividing partition, curtains, and many more features.

A special Type 300 Lang, Innenlenker model was a limousine version that rode on a 20 cm (7.9 in) longer wheelbase.

The Type 300 b was introduced with power brakes in 1954. In September of 1955, a larger rear window was featured on the Type 300 c. Also featuring a swing axle rear independent suspension, the Type 300 c was sold at $10,864 in the U.S. with the convertible available at an expensive $14,231.

In August of 1957, the B-pillar was updated for the hardtop look in the Type 300 d. With a total of 3,077 produced, the d was produced until March of 1963. Available with a compression ratio of 8.55:1 and Bosch fuel injection, the d produced 160 hp. The W112 300SE replaced the limousine version.

Mercedes-Benz's top-end vehicle in 1952 following its introduction, the 'W188' Type 300 S was available as a 2+2 coupe, cabriolet or roadster. Marketed as one of the top luxury vehicles in the world, the W188 was actually very similar mechanically to the more contemporary W186. The Type 300 Sc received the addition of fuel injection in 1955, along the same time that Mercedes-Benz's 'low-pivot' independent suspension was substituted. Dual chrome strips were placed on each side of the hood that denotes the 'Sc' model.

The 300 S line was an established Mercedes tradition, 2-door convertible and coupe versions of the limousine model. These models had a body built on a separate chassis, and were conventionally styled grand tourers. The SL, which stood for 'Sport Leicht', and can be broken down to lightweight sportscar, was introduced in the same year. Essentially a derivative of the ‘ordinary' Mercedes 300 series, there was really nothing ordinary about the 300 SL.

The vehicle that was responsible for re-establishing Mercedes-Benz as a formidable power in sports vehicle racing following World War 2, the 300 SL was introduced in 1952. Beginning as a thoroughbred road racing vehicle, the exotic 300 SL finished its career in 1963 as a very fast convertible for the wealthy.

Following such an impressive impact on car enthusiasts worldwide, there has continued to be an SL model in the Mercedes Range ever since. There has never been another SL model in the Mercedes range that has been able to live up to the prestige, engineering and styling of the original 300 SL.

Introduced at the 1953 Mille Miglia, where a total of 300 SL's took part in the event, the original 300 SL was first introduced as a contender for the famous road races of those days. One of the SL models took 2nd place, and another took 4th place, making a very impressive mark on viewers. This was only the beginning of many more racing successes soon after.

By Jessica Donaldson
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