Lot 121

Amelia Island 2023

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 Sc Cabriolet


$835,500 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



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Engine No.
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  • One of only 49 300 Sc Cabriolet A examples built
  • Retains numbers-matching fuel-injected 3.0-liter inline-six
  • Wears a carefully maintained restoration by marque specialist Charles Brahms; 2018 Cavallino Classic Mercedes-Benz Excellence in Class award-winner
  • Well-documented, including correspondence from previous owners and data card copy
  • A marvelous blend of traditional hand-craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology

In 1955, Mercedes-Benz upgraded its classically styled, exquisitely hand-crafted 300 S models with state-of-the-art technology derived from the storied 300 SL—most notably, a 173-horsepower 3.0-liter inline-six engine with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, as well as a “low-pivot” swing axle rear suspension. The resulting 300 Sc was the ultimate incarnation of the ultra-exclusive 300, combining cutting-edge performance with world-class luxury in keeping with the grand Mercedes-Benz tradition.

Two-hundred examples of the 300 Sc were built across three body styles, the Coupe, the Roadster, and the formal Cabriolet A, before production ceased in 1958. The Cabriolet A—as presented here—was the rarest of the three, with only 49 produced.

CHASSIS NUMBER 188.013.6500077

Chassis number 188.013.6500077 boasts well-documented provenance, with known ownership since it was only a few years old. It was delivered by the Mercedes-Benz factory on 27 April 1956 to dealer Schoemperlen & Gast of Karlsruhe, in southwest Germany; reportedly, while in the original ownership of a Karlsruhe-area brewer, the car was seen by a visiting importer from New Jersey, who negotiated its purchase and transport to the United States.

The importer sold the car to David Siegrist, the president of Montclair Studebaker-Packard in Montclair, New Jersey (this at a time when Studebaker-Packard dealers often acted as Mercedes-Benz dealers). It was acquired from him in 1960 by Ben Halsell, of the exclusive enclave of Greens Farms, Connecticut.

Mr. Halsell retained the magnificent Mercedes-Benz until July 1978, when he sold it to marque specialist Alex Dearborn. The car’s file retains Mr. Halsell’s correspondence with Mercedes-Benz of North America, from which he received information about 300 Sc production, its original German delivery dealership, and a copy of the original handwritten build sheet, with typewritten transcriptions in German and English. Note that while copies of this correspondence remain in the car's file, the referenced copy of its original build sheet is absent.

In correspondence written at the time of the sale, also retained in the car’s file, Mr. Halsell notes that the luggage accompanying the 300 Sc appeared to be unused at the time and that in all the time he had owned it, he only added 39,000 kilometers to the odometer, for a total of 77,000. He closed his letter by saying that “to stand and see this machine leave our place might be like losing the warmth and other attractions of a Sophia Loren or a Raquel Welch.”

Mr. Dearborn retained the 300 Sc for four years before passing it on to Michael Hall, of Newport Beach, California. In correspondence to a subsequent owner, Dearborn noted that at the time “the car was completely original, including the paint, and beautiful enough to win the local MBCA Concours.” Mr. Hall enlisted Mercedes-Benz to marque specialist Charles Brahms, who was one of the leading 300 Sc experts of the time and was respected for his excellent, thorough workmanship, to undertake a flawless restoration.

Following several intervening owners, the 300 Sc spent well over a decade in the renowned collection of James Patterson in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Patterson entrusted the car to specialists at Hjeltness Restoration, of Escondido, California, where it was thoroughly inspected and any items that required freshening or correction were expertly executed. The front and rear carpeting was replaced and other cosmetic items were addressed, including a re-veneering of all the interior wood, a recovering of the leather dashboard and glove box door, a repairing of any nicks or blemishes in the paint, a replacing of the bumper guard rubbers, and having the radio rebuilt by specialist Charles Siegfried.

In addition to the cosmetic work, all mechanical items possibly needing attention were addressed, such as having the water pump rebuilt and the brakes serviced, which included having White Post Restorations sleeve the master and wheel cylinders. At the same time, the temperature and amperage gauges were repaired and reinstalled, various gauges and seals were replaced, and various other minor details were sorted, down to the battery cables and hold-downs.

Acquired by the present consignor, a private collector, in 2015, the 300 Sc has been properly maintained, receiving regular service and exercise, and it remains imposing and simply beautiful, with its dark blue paint, straight body panels, and impeccable chrome all being in excellent condition. The blue top is just as fine and is complemented by the grey leather upholstery, which exhibits only the faintest signs of wear. The luggage remains in excellent condition and shows little-to-no wear. In a testament to its high-quality presentation, it achieved the Mercedes-Benz Excellence in Class award at the 2018 Cavallino Classic.

Powerful, exceedingly rare, and built to the highest standards, this Mercedes-Benz is a spectacular display of the famed marque’s capabilities. Few cars built in the period featured this level of quality and refinement, and every enthusiast should experience the many merits of the impressive 300 Sc.