Mercedes-Benz 300 S
The 300 series was introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951 and was designed specifically for the export market. At the time the US economy was booming, and it was only natural to design a car to meet that market’s needs. The 300 was beautifully designed, with a modern wraparound windshield and flush-mounted headlights. At first the 300 series was only available in four-door configuration as either a sedan or cabriolet.
The 300S, or “Super,” model was introduced in mid-1952 and combined elements of the existing 300 series with the upcoming but delayed 300SL sports car. The most notable enhancement included a 30 percent increase in horsepower, from 115 to 150. Praised by the motoring press, this new car was capable of a remarkable top speed of 110 mph. It also had a wraparound windshield, graceful fender lines and a curved rear bodyline. The comprehensive list of standard equipment included a signal-seeking radio, no-glare mirrors, vacuum-assisted brakes, backup lights, reclining seats and windshield washers. Priced from $12,680, these cars cost as much as 10 standard cars, and as a result, approximately 560 examples of the 300S were built, 216 of which were coupés. Of course, such exclusivity resulted in an enviable list of wealthy and famous clients, including the Aga Khan, Gary Cooper and Cary Grant.
More importantly, the 300S introduced three sporty new bodies on a 25-centimetre shorter chassis, including a coupé, cabriolet and roadster. Although the styling was fresh and modern, the interior was most impressive. In comparison to the Spartan automotive furnishings of some of its contemporaries, the new 300S featured a lavish interior with supple leather, glossy and perfect burled walnut trim, a dash with chrome-accented instruments and switchgear made with the precision of fine jewelry.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2011 at the Battersea Evolution, London.
150 bhp, 2,996 cc overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, front suspension by forged A-arms with frictionless coil springs and anti-roll bar, swing axle rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,900 mm.
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Simon Clay