Battersea Evolution
8 September 2014
Lot 114

1952 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet


£291,200 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom | London, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • One of only 203 Cabriolets built
  • Beautifully finished and appointed
  • An iconic grand tourer favoured by celebrities

150 bhp, 2,996 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine with triple downdraft Solex carburettors, four-speed column-shift manual transmission, double-wishbone, coil-spring, and torsion bar independent front suspension, coil-spring swing axle rear suspension, and four-wheel vacuum-assisted hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,900 mm

Addendum: Please note that this car has recently been subjected to a complete nut & bolt restoration including engine and gearbox rebuild, a new interior and the bodywork has been repainted.

The 300 S was introduced in 1952, and it featured a number of enhancements over the 300 Saloon. Most notably of these was a 30 per cent increase in horsepower, from 115 to 150. This new car was praised by the motoring press, as it was capable of a remarkable 110 mph top speed. Its appearance was enhanced with a wraparound windshield, graceful new wing lines, and a new curved rear body line. At $12,500 each, they cost as much as 10 standard cars, and as a result, only 560 cars were built over six years. Such exclusivity resulted in an enviable list of clients, including the Aga Khan, Gary Cooper, and Cary Grant.

More importantly, the 300 S introduced three sporty new bodies on a 25-centimetre shorter chassis; these bodies were a coupé, a roadster, and a cabriolet, and all three of them were priced equally. The coupé offered secure weather protection, the roadster had a sleek look, and the cabriolet gave the versatility of excellent all-weather protection in a true open car.

Although the styling was fresh and modern, it was the interior that was most remarkable. In an era of spartan furnishings, the new 300 S featured a lavish interior that had acres of supple leather, glossy burl walnut trim, a dash with chrome-accented instruments, and switchgear that was made with the precision of fine jewellery.

The Cabriolet offered here, one of only two hundred three produced, was formerly owned by an enthusiast in Mexico, as documented by extensive registration paperwork on file. It was beautifully restored in previous ownership in this rich coat of maroon and complementary tan leather upholstery, which is a correct and classic colour combination on a 300 of this era. Its paint and upholstery are in good condition overall, as is the biscuit tan cloth top overhead, which goes up and down well. Typical of a 300 S, the dashboard is capped in an immense section of rich walnut, with the classic ivory steering wheel as a lovely contrast. A correct original radio is also installed. The boot is properly lined in leather-bound cloth and includes a full-size spare.

Further restoration work has been performed for the current owner, including a rebuild of the engine, which utilises correct Mercedes-Benz parts, and receipts for the work are on file. The odometer records 4,125 kilometres, which is believed to be the mileage covered since restoration.

The enthusiast desiring one of the ultimate Mercedes-Benz models of its era can scarcely do better than this luxe grand tourer, as it has been a favourite of the world’s socialites both then and now!