<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019

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Lot 153
1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER
Coachwork by Sindelfingen

US$ 950,000 - 1,150,000
£ 770,000 - 930,000
Amended
1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER
Coachwork by Sindelfingen

Chassis no. 188015.5500016
Engine no. 199.980.5500019

2,996cc SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch Fuel Injection
175bhp at 5,400rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*One of only 53 examples built
*Matching numbers example
*Highly exclusive, top-of-the-line 300Sc Roadster
*Offered with Mercedes-Benz factory records
*Rarer than a Gullwing and more expensive when new



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 ranks of prestigious car manufacturers, marking 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 a 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 Coupe, 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.

The top offering of the series was the 300Sc. The 300 Sc featured a 175bhp dry-sump engine equipped with Bosch fuel injection, and boasted a revised rear suspension with single-pivot swing axles similar to that of the 300SL Roadster, a development that enhanced both road holding and handling. The car's top speed was now 180km/h (112mph) with 100km/k (62mph) reachable in around 13 seconds. To cope with the improved performance, servo-assisted brakes, optional from 1954, were standardized.

Coachbuilt in the traditional manner by Sindelfingen, the 300S family represents a standard of excellence that has rarely been equaled; only materials of the finest quality were used for the hand finished interiors, which were comparable with those of the contemporary Rolls-Royce. The 300Sc is widely regarded by discerning collectors as the most desirable of all Mercedes-Benz's post-war luxury models. Only 200 examples of the 300Sc were built and survivors are both rare and highly sought after. 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.

These exquisite top of the line 300 models represented the true transition from the pre-war era to the 1950s. The spiritual successor to the era of the 'kompressor' Mercedes, it was perhaps not surprising that in house designer Hermann Ahrens was entrusted to bring the concepts and styling into the modern day. As he had when creating remarkable designs such as the Autobahn-Kurier, the work on the 300 series had all of the key hallmarks for the brand: sports performance, presence and the height of luxury.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

"Comfort plus high performance for sporty drivers" - was how Mercedes-Benz described the ultra rare 300Sc Roadster model, in their sales brochures and shows the market that they positioned it towards. Over the course of 4 years of production, there would be mere 200 of the ultimate specification 300Sc models built, and of those only 53 Roadsters were built.

So modern are they in design that it seems incredible that this very car was ordered just over 60 years ago in February 1956. Always popular with the American market it is not surprising that this car would have headed here new, and its destination was New York.

According to copies of its original factory build card, in sequence this the 16th of 53 Sc Roadsters was delivered in their DB50 designated white paintwork, and upholstered in black leather hide. As such it must have cut a striking vision in Manhattan or its locale where it was likely sold.

Approximately 20 years ago the Mercedes received a restoration which brought it to the spectacular condition in which we see it today. A color switch of the paintwork now places it in that ever desirable scheme of triple black top, interior and exterior, which naturally draws greater contrast with the plethora of chrome trimwork which are unique to the 'Sc' models and is clearly a success. With an odometer reading of a little over 500 miles, its use since the rebuild has been extremely light and owing to sympathetic care it shows only light aging.

As noted, these cars truly were the zenith of production from the creator of and perpetual luxury market leader of automobile production. They were coveted when new and owing to their limited numbers are real collectible automobiles, so opportunities to buy them are rarely presented. The benchmark catalog example of the model, in all its splendor, the car is deserving of close attention.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this vehicle is titled as a 1955, and its title is in transit.
Contacts
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
<B>1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300Sc ROADSTER<BR />Coachwork by Sindelfingen<br /></B><BR />Chassis no. 188015.5500016<BR />Engine no. 199.980.5500019
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