<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071

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Lot 39
1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster

Sold for US$ 951,000 inc. premium

Quail Motorcar Auction

14 Aug 2020, 11:00 PDT

Los Angeles

1956 MERCEDES-BENZ 300SC ROADSTER
Chassis no. 188.015.6500069
Engine no. 199.980.6500071

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


Previewing at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California by appointment. Please contact [email protected] for scheduling.


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.

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. 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.

The top offering of the series was the 300Sc. The 300Sc 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. 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.

According to the factory build sheet that accompanies this exceptional 300Sc Roadster, it was dispatched new from the Sindelfingen factory on April 4th, 1956 to Mihlenverwaltung a. Lagerhaus to Clemens Auer, Industrial Ports in Köln-Deutz, Germany. At some time early in its life, the car would make the journey to the United States where it would have several private owners in the Midwest before being acquired in the early 1970's by Tom Kreid of Illinois. In the late 1980s, Mr. Kreid would sell the 300Sc to Richard Freshman of Chatsworth, California who noted at the time of purchase that the car was rust free with anthracite paint and that it had an older interior but was in a usable driving condition. Shortly after purchasing the car, Mr. Freshman commissioned renowned 300S and Sc restorer Charles Brahms to commence what Mr. Brahms would go on to call his best effort as a multiple time best of show winning restorer.

Charles Brahms recalls 6500069:

"In or around 1990 I was approached by my friend and fellow car enthusiast Richard Freshman to restore his 300Sc Mercedes. The goal of the restoration was fairly straightforward, though by no means simple with a car such as this. He wanted me to restore his Mercedes to the highest standard possible so that it could compete at shows and win against the finest cars in the world. The goal was to win best of show prizes, not just best in class. The car was anthracite with a shade of tan leather interior when it arrived to me, in a decent driver quality condition. As I recall, it had been repainted one time but otherwise the car was largely original with little else remarkable having been done to it. There was no significant damage or rust as I recall. Being a good car to start with, and because the financial resources to do the job were at the ready, we knew it would be possible to get the result we eventually achieved with the car."

"We spent 2 years restoring 6500069, and no expense or effort was spared. I was given the latitude to do everything necessary to achieve a result that, looking back, is likely my best effort as a restorer who was always known for Mercedes 300S cars. Over the years I had collected a huge amount of stock OEM "new-old" factory Mercedes parts for the 300S line of cars, so when it came time to replace or to perfect a part on the car, I had the convenience of simply being able to pull the part or supply off the shelf. There isn't a part on the car that isn't OEM, to my recollection nothing on the car is aftermarket. I think that makes this 300Sc quite unique, even among an already rare model, given the lengths to which we took all processes of the restoration itself. Every nut and bolt of the car was attended to and extreme lengths were gone to in pursuit of perfection. The painted surfaces were exhaustively prepared to produce mirror quality finishes with the same being done for the chromed pieces. The 300Sc has a lot of chrome, in particular it is important to make sure the chrome pieces fit and are placed exactly right to tie the exterior together. If something on the exterior is off even the slightest amount, it is easy to spot on these cars, so we spent enormous amounts of time getting fits, finishes and chrome placement just right. The interior was equally well attended to with every attention to detail possible paid to correctness and to using the best in quality regarding the wood, leather, chrome and other. We even had a full 7-piece luggage set made by Oliver Dare at great and unnecessary expense to really emphasize the true luxury of the model. The engine bay and underside were no different than the exterior and interior even though those areas are often afterthoughts in restorations, especially regarding the underside which is rarely seen. We even went to the trouble of lining up all the bolts and screw heads on the bottom of the car perfectly, nothing was skipped or overlooked, and everything was done for an above and beyond result. I think we achieved what we set out for, and in midnight blue it was hard not to admire the work my team and I accomplished. When all was said and done, I recall that the restoration cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $400,000, which was a lot for the early 1990s."

After completion of the comprehensive restoration by Brahms, the car was shown at the Santa Barbara Concours where it won Best of Show. Shortly thereafter the Mercedes was purchased for a staggering amount by noted Mercedes-Benz collector, with whom the car would stay with for the next 25 plus years while housed in a state-of-the-art climate-controlled collection facility.

This spectacular 300Sc Roadster is offered with a copy of factory build sheet, an abundance of restoration records and receipts, tools, various owner's manuals and books, tools, and the 7-piece luggage set. 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.



Footnotes

  • Special formalities are required to bid on this lot. Contact Client Services at +1 (212) 644 9001 or [email protected] at least 48 hours in advance of the auction. Please also note Online Bidding is not available for this lot.
Contacts
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
<b>1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster</b><br />Chassis No. 188.015.6500069<br />Engine No. 199.980.6500071
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