1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Roadster

Sold For $506,000

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 10 - 11 MARCH 2017 - A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

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  • One of only 141 Mercedes-Benz roadsters built; the rarest 300 S variant
  • Well-maintained older restoration by noted specialists Paul Russell & Company
  • Very satisfying authenticity, including original engine
  • An original U.S.-delivery example, sold new in Hollywood
  • Offered with three-piece set of fitted luggage

150 hp, 2,996 cc overhead-camshaft inline six-cylinder engine with three downdraft Solex carburetors, four-speed column-shift manual transmission, double-wishbone, coil-spring, and torsion bar front suspension, coil-spring swing axle rear suspension, and four-wheel vacuum-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 110 in.

In an effort to bridge the gap between the Classic and Modern Eras, the Mercedes-Benz 300 was launched in 1952 with an unbeatable combination of modern engineering and performance with meticulous Old World build quality. They were built to uncompromising standards, and Mercedes-Benz employed the latest materials and technologies to achieve maximum power and minimum weight. Each car was lavished with beautiful finishes and woodwork, and each could travel at triple-digit speeds with a full load of cosseted occupants.

The 300 S was built upon the already sumptuous top-range 300 series chassis, with special attention being given to its appearance, details, and build quality. The extraordinary cost to do so resulted in a “halo” car for Mercedes-Benz, which was priced nearly 50 percent higher than its counterparts. This car was equipped with triple Solex carburetors that were mounted to the 2,996-cubic centimeter engine, which could produce 150 horsepower, and it was inarguably one of the best luxury touring cars available in the 1950s.

The sportiest 300 S variant was the roadster, which was a dashing convertible that featured a top that folded completely flat, giving the car a very elegant appearance. Only 141 were produced, and they are the most desirable 300 S amongst enthusiasts today.

The car offered here is documented by its Mercedes-Benz data card, a copy of which is on file, as being a genuine 300 S roadster, retaining its original engine; the proper engine and chassis tags and stampings are both present and fully satisfying, as is the body number tag within the door. Equipped with the Becker Nürburg radio, English instrumentation, and sealed-beam headlamps, it was delivered by International Motors of Hollywood, California, earmarked for a Mr. Shriver.

Information on file indicates that the 300 S was restored in its present livery of Ivory over Chestnut leather by the renowned Essex, Massachusetts, firm of Paul Russell & Company, and was then maintained by them for another 10,000 miles before joining Mr. Smith’s collection.

The paint is slightly older but still in overall excellent condition, with only minor markings on the door hinges and other stress areas; the leather interior is still very good and only lightly stretched from occasional use. The burled walnut woodwork is solid and attractive, with no visible cracking, and the dashboard instruments are fully restored and beautiful. Underneath, minor surface corrosion from occasional use is visible, but the chassis is overall clean and solid. The appearance throughout is thoroughly attractive and honest, and it is completed nicely by a three-piece set of Dare Classics fitted luggage within the trunk and a correct jack.

Accompanying the car is a selection of paperwork, including copies of an original brochure; a handful of service invoices from 2013, covering rebuilds of the carburetors and a major engine service; and an English language instruction manual for the model, in leather folio.

The 300 S has become one of the most desirable Mercedes-Benzes and is a car that must be driven and enjoyed to be fully appreciated for the modern high-speed marvel that it is. This fine example, restored by marque specialists and well-maintained since, is ideal for the choosing.

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