Lot 344

Dare to Dream Collection

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 Sc Cabriolet

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$650,000 - $800,000 USD  | Offered Without Reserve

Canada Flag | Toronto, Ontario

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Chassis No.
188.013.7500015
Engine No.
199.980.6500170
Body No.
A188.013.7500004
To be offered on Saturday, 1 June 2024
  • A potent fuel-injected coachbuilt luxury touring car; one of only 49 built
  • Well-preserved, attractive restoration by the legendary Chuck Brahms; retains numbers-matching chassis, engine, and body
  • Multiple award-winner at national concours over two decades
Please note, this lot is registered in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States.

HIGH PERFORMANCE AND HIGH LUXURY

Mercedes-Benz’s 300 series of the early 1950s is widely considered the company’s final true hand-made, coachbuilt model. With styling that was a bridge between pre-war elegance and modern streamlined simplicity, each example was built on an oval tubular frame with independent suspension, and used a six-cylinder engine similar to that of the company’s feared racing models of the era. This was especially true of the two-door models, which boasted construction quality second to none, with the very finest materials used throughout, including magnificent polished woodwork, and the thickest and richest leathers stretched over seats of armchair-like depth. Each multi-layered convertible top served as insulation from everything but comfort. Not for nothing were these among the most expensive automobiles in the world—most costly, originally, than a 300 SL, which was no small feat.

The original 300 S line of two-door styles was succeeded by the 300 Sc, which as its name suggested boasted an engine with Bosch mechanical fuel injection for increased performance, 173 horsepower, as well as revised “low-pivot” swing-axle rear suspension for improved handling. This was the ultimate version of the 300, and among the most exclusive cars that money could buy. A total of 200 were built, a number that included only 49 Cabriolets, the rarest of the available styles.

THE BELGIAN CABRIOLET

According to its Mercedes-Benz data card, a copy of which is on file, this early 300 Sc Cabriolet was originally delivered to Belgium on 29 May 1957, finished in White Grey (DB 158) with blue leather upholstery, matching soft top, electric windshield washers, Becker Le Mans radio with Reims short-wave adapter and electric antenna, European “continental-style” headlight lenses, and metric instrumentation. Longstanding rumor indicates that this very early-production car was earmarked for the famously automobile-mad Belgian Royal Family, but no documentation of this has survived.

By 1984 the car had moved to New York State, and was there acquired from its owner by the late Tom Kreid, then one of the most prolific traders in vintage Mercedes-Benzes. Kreid sold the car to Craig McFarland of California, who in turn sent it for restoration to Chuck Brahms. One of the most revered and expert names in these cars, Brahms remains highly regarded for the lasting quality of his workmanship. In his hands, the Cabriolet was refinished in its elegant Burgundy livery, with proper Roser leather upholstery and Wilton wool carpets, and magnificent burled wood interior veneers. Following completion of the restoration, McFarland and Brahms exhibited the car at the 1986 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, winning First in Class.

Subsequent to the car’s win at Pebble Beach, it was sold at the height of the worldwide collector car market boom to a buyer in Japan, a Mr. Nakamura of the Fromo Corporation, then acquiring an impressive sports and touring automobile portfolio. The Cabriolet remained in Japan until 2005, then returned to the United States. It was shown by its new owner, the highly-regarded 300 specialist Alex Dearborn, at the concours at both Greenwich and Newport in 2006, winning Best Mercedes-Benz and First in Class, respectively—testament to the durability of a Brahms restoration. Afterward the car was sold to one of Dearborn Automobile Company’s clients, and freshened by specialist Jim Cosgrove with new rear axle gears, per a document on file.

Acquired for the Dare to Dream Collection in 2018, the car remains in excellent older restored condition, and is accompanied by a set of correct fitted luggage, procured by Brahms during the restoration, an instruction manual, and a tool roll.

The collector who savors the power of a 300 SL will find much familiarity with the sound and glory of this 300 Sc Cabriolet—cushier, perhaps, but no less potent, and surpassingly rarer. It is, in many senses, the Black Series of 1957.