On Behalf of the Trustees in Bankruptcy
FOR SALE BY PRIVATE TREATY – 1952 MERCEDES BENZ 300B CABRIOLET D
- CHASSIS NO. 1860140297052
- ENGINE NO. 1869202002052
- RENOVATION BY MERCEDES-BENZ STUTTGART
The Autocar magazine, May 1952, declared that ‘A Continental test on a (Mercedes-Benz 300) production model recently made available by the manufacturers shows that the car now challenges the best produced anywhere in the world today. There are still very few saloon cars which are capable of a mean speed of over 100mph, but to obtain this result on a five/six-seater saloon car with generous room for passengers and luggage, using an engine of three-litre capacity said to deliver only 114bhp, is a notable achievement.’
Introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951, the Mercedes-Benz 300 owed the design of its independently suspended oval-tube chassis to the 170S of 1949 and would later provide the mechanical basis for the incomparable 300SL sports car. Additional refinements appropriate for the company’s top-of-the-range luxury saloon included an improved steering mechanism and remote electrical control of the rear suspension ride height. Initially developing 115bhp (DIN), the 3-litre, overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine was increased in power for succeeding models, producing 125bhp in the 300b built between March 1954 and August 1955. Other improvements included larger brakes (with servo-assistance from 1954) optional power steering and three-speed automatic transmission as standard on the 300d. Conservatively styled, the Mercedes-Benz 300 was one of very few contemporary vehicles capable of carrying six passengers in comfort at sustained high speeds. Priced at DM24,700 in 1954, the 300b Cabriolet D was among the world’s most expensive – if not the most expensive – automobiles of its day.
‘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.
A most worthy upholder of the Grosser Mercedes tradition of pre-war years, this rare Cabriolet D is one of only 262 of its type built on the 300/300b chassis during 1952 out of a total convertible production of 591. Manufactured at the end of 1952, we believe this car was purchased by the gentleman for who’s trustees in bankruptcy we act at a Bohnams auction in December 2012. Sadly, due to the manner through which the car has come to us, we have no documented history but understand that a prior owner had acquired it via an auction sale at Pebble Beach. It is understood that the chassis and engine numbers shown in the auction catalogue for that auction differ from the ones actually on the car but this question was addressed during 1996 and seems to have been put down to a misprint. At the time of that sale the car was described as ‘being well maintained since a complete restoration’ though there is no supporting history to confirm this.
During 1994 the car was sent to Mercedes-Benz Stuttgart for what might best be described as an extensive renovation rather than a full restoration. We gather that when sold by Bonhams the car came with a photographic record of this renovation together with detailed invoices for parts and labour totalling circa 148,000 DM (approximately £65,000-70,000) but sadly (again) this documentation has not been passed to us.
Finished in cream with matching convertible hood and red leather interior with wood trim this beautiful Mercedes-Benz cabriolet is offered in running condition having recently received a mechanical fuel pump refurb kit and replacement electric supplementary fuel system pump. We have also had a new set of keys cut for the ignition(x2), driver’s door lock, petrol cap access hatch lock, boot lock and glove box lock. The odometer shows 17093km and our research into the cars MOT history suggests this may be accurate.