<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363

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Lot 145
1954 MERCEDES-BENZ 300S Coupe

Sold for US$ 429,000 inc. premium
1954 MERCEDES-BENZ 300S Coupe

Chassis no. 188011.3500356
Engine no. 188920.3500363

2,996cc SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
3 Solex Carburetors
150bhp at 5,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Highly exclusive, top-of-the-line 300S Coupe
*One of only 216 built
*Tastefully restored in its original color scheme
*Original US delivered car
*Offered with copy of Mercedes-Benz factory build sheet



THE MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SERIES

More expensive than the 300SL sports car and almost double the price of the contemporary top-of-the-range Cadillac, the Mercedes-Benz 300S was one of the world's most exclusive automobiles. It is also historically significant as one of Mercedes-Benz's first all-new designs of the post-war era, debuting at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951. The 300's arrival re-established Mercedes-Benz in the front rank of prestige car manufacturers, marking as it did a return to the marque's tradition of building high-performance luxury automobiles of the finest quality.

"To the characteristics of high performance, impressive appearance and fine detail finish which distinguished the big Mercedes models of pre-war days are added new virtues of silence, flexibility and lightness of control, while the latest rear suspension, a product of long experience on Grand Prix cars and touring cars, confers a degree of security at high speeds on rough and slippery surfaces which it would be very difficult indeed to equal," observed Autocar magazine.

Although Mercedes-Benz would adopt unitary chassis/body construction for its lower and mid-priced cars as the 1950s progressed, the retention of a traditional separate frame for the 300 enabled a wide variety of coachbuilt body types to be offered. The 300's cross-braced, oval-tube chassis followed the lines of the 170S and 220, with independent suspension all round and four-wheel drum brakes, but incorporated the added refinements of hypoid bevel final drive, dynamically balanced wheels and remote electrical control of the rear suspension ride height.

Initially developing 115bhp, the 3-liter, overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine - used in fuel-injected form in the 300SL sports car - was boosted in power for the succeeding 300B and 300C models, finally gaining fuel injection in the re-styled 300D of 1957. Other improvements along the way included larger brakes (with servo-assistance from 1954), optional power steering (on the 300D) and the adoption of three-speed automatic transmission as standard on the latter.

Custom built by Mercedes-Benz's most experienced craftsmen, the Mercedes-Benz 300 was luxuriously appointed and trimmed with materials of the highest quality. Fast and elegant, it was one of very few contemporary vehicles capable of carrying six passengers in comfort at sustained high speeds. The 300 was the car of choice among West German government officials, and throughout Europe and the USA was widely favored by businessmen, financiers and politicians. Indeed, 'Adenauer' became the 300's unofficial model name, after German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, its most famous customer.

The conservatively styled 300 Saloon was soon joined by the 300S (Super), a model that succeeded in recapturing all the elegance of the pre-war 540K. Introduced at the Paris Salon in October 1951, the 300S was built in two-seater coupé, cabriolet and roadster forms on a shortened 300 saloon chassis.

Not only was the two-seater 300S considerably lighter than the saloon, it was also more powerful, boasting an engine equipped with triple (as opposed to twin) Solex carburetors and a raised compression ratio. Maximum power output was increased to 150bhp and top speed to 110mph (176km/h). Unlike some of its spartanly furnished contemporaries, the 300S boasted a lavishly equipped interior featuring supple leather upholstery; beautiful burr walnut trim, chromium-plated dashboard instrumentation and precision-made switchgear.

Elegantly styled in the pre-war manner yet technologically bang up to date, the 300S was built to the Stuttgart firm's uncompromising quality standards. Inevitably, production was limited, only 760 examples of the 300S/Sc (560/200) leaving the factory between 1951 and 1958. Ownership of such an exclusive automobile was necessarily restricted to a wealthy few, among them film stars Cary Grant and Gary Cooper, and the Aga Khan.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Undeniably beautiful, the 300S models looked exactly what they were, well-built, well-engineered and designed. Mercedes was arguably far ahead of the curve with their offerings of hard to improve upon coachwork in the pre-war era. As the 1950s began they were even clearer in their tailoring of types of cars and appropriate bodies for their clientele. For the 'S' designation 300 models, the very ultimate in luxury was presented in three forms a Roadster, Cabriolet and this the Coupe.

From their introduction in 1951, through to the transition to the Sc models, Mercedes built 560 total for all three variations, the Coupe proved to be the most popular with some 216 being delivered but even that, particularly in modern terms, was an extremely modest production run.

As one might expect for this brand, they have kept exceptional archives of their production and the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center have been pleased to confirm for Bonhams that this 300S Coupe was delivered new almost 62 years ago to this day, on March 16, 1954. Its destination was the U.S. market where it was delivered as a 'direct sale' to a Mr. Hatch.

Mr. Hatch's Mercedes Coupe arrived looking identical to how we see it today, in a subtle 'graubeige', or 'beige grey' hue and with a tastefully appointed interior in green leather. It is an undeniably elegant combination, a statement of both its period and the classy tastes of its owner.

We believe its restoration was carried out approximately 25 years ago, in those same colors. Owing to very limited use over the ensuing couple of decades, and only a double digit mileage accrual this refurbishment remains extremely fresh and the car still presents beautifully today. The interior woodwork simply sparkles and is replete with plush carpeting, and period features including a Becker radio.

Mercedes contemporary marketing described these Coupes as being 'for connoisseurs with individual taste' - a sentiment which surely holds true to this day.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this car is titled as a 1953 and its title is in transit.
Contacts
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
<B>1954 MERCEDES-BENZ  300S Coupe<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188011.3500356 <BR />Engine no. 188920.3500363
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