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Lot 247: Mercedes-Benz 300 Sliding-roof Limousine

The Monaco Sale, Bonhams (11 May 2012)

One of Mercedes-Benz's first all-new designs of the post-war era, the 300 debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951 and would succeed in re-establishing the Stuttgart firm in the front rank of prestige car manufacturers, marking as it did a return to the marque's tradition of building high-performance luxury automobiles of the finest quality. 'To the characteristics of high performance, impressive appearance and fine detail finish which distinguished the big Mercedes models of pre-war days are added new virtues of silence, flexibility and lightness of control, while the latest rear suspension, a product of long experience on Grand Prix cars and touring cars, confers a degree of security at high speeds on rough and slippery surfaces which it would be very difficult indeed to equal,' observed The Autocar. The 300's cross-braced, oval-tube chassis followed the lines of the 170S and 220, with independent suspension all round and four-wheel drum brakes, but incorporated the added refinements of hypoid bevel final drive, dynamically balanced wheels and remote electrical control of the rear suspension ride height. Initially developing 115bhp, the 3-litre, overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine - used in fuel-injected form in the 300SL sports car - was boosted in power for the succeeding 300b and 300c models, finally gaining fuel injection in the re-styled 300d of 1957. Other improvements along the way included larger brakes (with servo-assistance from 1954), optional power steering (on the 300d) and the adoption of three-speed automatic transmission as standard on the latter. Custom built by Mercedes-Benz's most experienced craftsmen, the 300 was luxuriously appointed and trimmed with materials of the highest quality. Fast and elegant, it was one of very few contemporary vehicles capable of carrying six passengers in comfort at sustained high speeds. It was the car of choice among West German government officials, and throughout Europe and the USA was widely favoured by businessmen, financiers and politicians. Indeed, 'Adenauer' became the 300 saloon/limousine's unofficial model name, after German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, its most famous customer. Given its maker's uncompromising approach to delivering nothing but the best, it is not surprising that the 300 was more expensive than the 300SL and cost considerably more that the contemporary top-of-the-range Cadillac. Finished in coffee brown with a contrasting beige leather interior, this beautiful example was purchased by the immediately preceding owner in Arizona, USA in 1990. Between 2003 and 2010 the 300 was treated to a comprehensive, no-expense-spared restoration and is described by the vendor as 'like new', benefiting from regular servicing by marque specialists Mechatronik in Germany. Equipped with the rare and desirable sliding sunroof option, the car is offered with all restoration invoices and photographs, German T�V and UK V5C registration document.

Lot Details
Auction The Monaco Sale
Bonhams, Monaco
TypeCar
Lot Number247
Estimate€60000-€90000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1952
Condition rating1
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number1860110264352
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4