Lot Number

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupe

Sold For $302,500

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 19 - 20 JANUARY 2017 - Offered from the Jules Barsotti Collection

Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Offered from the Jules Barsotti Collection
  • An exceptional “numbers-matching” 300 S coupe, ideal for restoration
  • Ownership by a famous name in Mercedes-Benz for nearly four decades
  • Extremely solid and complete throughout
Please note that this lot is titled as 5500037.

150 hp (DIN), 2,996 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel coil-spring independent suspension with control arms in the front and swing axles in the rear, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 116 in.

One of the great grand touring cars of the post-war era, the remarkable Mercedes-Benz 300 S combined elements of the existing luxury 300 series with the upcoming 300 SL sports car. Its most notable enhancement was under the hood, where the engine’s horsepower was increased to 150, while the bodywork, all two-door styles, was hand-built to individual customer order, in the great tradition of Classic Era craftsmanship. Spectacularly appointed interiors featured acres of beautiful, thick walnut; cushy leather armchairs; and jewelry-like gauges, providing an incredibly comfortable space in which to reach the remarkable top speed of 110 mph.

With a price tag of $12,680, a new 300 S cost as much as 10 average automobiles. Perhaps unsurprisingly, only about 560 were built, for a roster of clients that included the Aga Khan, Gary Cooper, and Cary Grant. Just 216 of that number were coupes.

According to its Mercedes-Benz data card, the 300 S coupe offered here was originally delivered to a Fa. Santos of Lisbon, Portugal, finished in Dark Grey (DB 164) with a grey (955) leather interior and grey cloth headliner. Its subsequent ownership history has not been traced, but in 1979 it was purchased by longtime Northern California Mercedes-Benz dealer Jules Barsotti, through his European Motors, Ltd., of Oakland. Over the next seven years the car was conscientiously repaired and restored, in time to be exhibited in the European Motors showroom during the Mercedes-Benz centennial year of 1986.

While kept off the road in recent years, the 300 S, now showing 59,933 miles, remains very presentable. Furthermore, the car retains many of the rare and hard to find accessories and trim pieces, including the original headlamp rings, while the star mascot on the radiator, and the front turn signal lenses are OEM replacements. Its older Strawberry Metallic paint has a good shine, and the tan leather is still in excellent condition and would be suitable for driving and local shows. Given the attractiveness of its original color scheme, and the inherent desirability and beauty of the body style, it would also be an ideal basis for a complete restoration. Some mechanical work will likely be required, as the car has been in storage for several years.

The 300 S is among the most significant and sought-after of modern Mercedes-Benzes. Offered here is one of the most publically visible examples on the West Coast, familiar to anyone who visited European Motors and bought a new 450 SL or 500 SE from the late Jules Barsotti.

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