Paris

5-6 February 2014

Previous Next

Lot 36

1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Roadster

  • Chassis no. 188.012.00301.53
  • Engine no. 188.920.00690.52
  • Body no. 188.18.00102.53

Sold for €448.000


150 bhp, 2,996 cc overhead-camshaft 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 drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,900 mm

  • One of 141 300 S Roadsters built
  • Beautifully restored by marque specialist


Bridging the gap between the Classic and Modern Eras, the Mercedes-Benz 300 was launched in 1952 with an unbeatable combination of modern engineering and performance and meticulous Old World build quality. They were built to uncompromising standards, and they employed the latest materials and technologies to achieve maximum power and minimum weight. Each car was lavished with beautiful finishes and woodwork, and each could travel at triple digit speeds with a full load of cosseted occupants and their luggage.



The 300 S was built upon the already sumptuous top-range 300 series chassis, with special attention being given to appearance details and build quality. The extraordinary costs to do so resulted in a “halo” car for Mercedes-Benz, which was priced nearly 50 per cent higher than its counterparts. This car was equipped with triple Solex carburettors that were mounted to the 2,996-cubic centimetre engine, which could produce 150 horsepower, and it was inarguably one of the best luxury touring cars available in the 1950s.



The sportiest 300 S variant was the Roadster, which was a dashing convertible that had a top that folded completely flat, giving the car a very elegant appearance. Only 141 were produced, and they are the most desirable 300 Ss amongst enthusiasts today.



A copy of this Roadster’s original Daimler-Benz data card, which is on file, notes that the car was purchased by the Ferrikh Company of Iran and was originally delivered to Geneva, Switzerland. A longstanding story that accompanies the car is that it was purchased by West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer as a present for Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Persia. As the Shah was in Geneva at the time, the car was delivered there. Whilst no additional documentation exists to support the story, the car was originally delivered completely in green, including the paint, leather, and even the top fabric. This seems appropriate, as green is one of the colours of the Persian flag and is a colour of great significance in Iranian culture.



Recently, this car was body-off restored with great care, and included in the work performed was a complete rebuild of the engine and mechanicals, as necessary, by renowned German Mercedes-Benz specialist Lars Rombelsheim. It was refinished in a sophisticated combination of Fishsilver Metallic paint over beautifully tailored red leather upholstery and a black fabric top. Other features include bumper guards, yellow driving lights, the desirable Becker Mexico radio, and a lovely set of fitted luggage, including a hat box, which is painted in a striking, contrasting olive and stows neatly in the boot.



As perhaps the finest German grand tourer of its era, this sporty 300 S Roadster boasts intriguing history, a superb restoration in striking colours, and excellent equipment. Whether its new owner’s choice of destination is the Pacific Coast Highway, the autobahn, or a curving Alpine grade, here is a class act of an automobile that is suitable for all occasions.






Moteur six cylindres en ligne, 1 ACT, 2 996 cm3, 150 ch, trois carburateurs Solex inversés, boîte manuelle à quatre rapports sélecteur au volant, suspension avant indépendante par doubles triangles et barres de torsion, suspension arrière à essieu brisé à ressorts hélicoïdaux, freins à tambours à commande hydraulique assistée. Empattement: 2900 mm.



  • Une des 141 Roadster 300 S produites
  • Superbement restaurée par un spécialiste de la marque




Trait d’union entre les périodes classique et moderne de l’automobile, la Mercedes-Benz 300 lancée en 1952 proposa une imbattable combinaison de technique et de performances modernes et de rigoureuse qualité de fabrication propre au Vieux Monde. Construite selon des normes sans compromis et utilisant les matériaux et les technologies les plus récents en vue d’obtenir un maximum de puissance et un minimum de poids, chaque voiture dotée des plus belles finitions et des plus belles boiseries était en mesure de rouler à plus 160 km/h avec sa charge maximale de passagers et de bagages.



La 300 S extrapolée de la déjà somptueuse série 300 haut de gamme fut l’objet d’une particulière attention apportée aux détails apparents et au niveau de qualité de fabrication. Les coûts de production exceptionnels se traduisirent pour Mercedes-Benz par une automobile sacralisée dont le prix était 50 pour cent supérieur à celui de ses homologues. Alimenté par trois carburateurs Solex, son moteur de 3 litres qui délivrait 150 ch faisait de la 300 S la plus belle voiture de tourisme des années 1950.



La variante la plus sportive de la 300 S fut la Roadster, un spectaculaire cabriolet dont la capote repliée disparaissait totalement en préservant toute l’élégance de la carrosserie. Seules 141 voitures furent produites qui restent de nos jours les plus recherchées des 300 S.



Une copie de la fiche de production de cette Roadster qui figure au dossier précise que cette voiture a été achetée par la Ferrikh Company of Iran et livrée initialement à Genève, en Suisse. Une histoire veut depuis longtemps qu’elle ait été achetée par le Chancelier de la RFA, Konrad Adenauer, en vue de l’offrir à Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah d’Iran. Comme le Shah était à l’époque à Genève, la voiture y fut livrée. Sans autre document confirmant cette histoire, nous savons que la voiture fut finie totalement en vert dont la laque extérieure, la sellerie et même la toile de la capote – le vert étant une des couleurs du drapeau iranien et une couleur d’un très grand symbolisme dans la culture de ce pays.



Récemment, la voiture a été méticuleusement restaurée depuis le châssis, y compris une réfection du moteur et des organes mécaniques qui le justifiaient par le réputé spécialiste allemand de la marque, Lars Rombelsheim. Elle a été repeinte selon un schéma raffiné en argent métallisé avec intérieur en cuir rouge et capote noir. Son équipement comprend des pare-chocs à extensions, des projecteurs longue portée jaune, un très désirable récepteur de radio Becker Mexico et un superbe jeu de bagages adaptés de teinte vert olive qui se logent impeccablement dans le coffre y compris le carton à chapeau.



Sans doute la plus belle Grand Tourisme allemande de son temps, cette 300 S Roadster à tendance sportive qui s’accompagne d’un historique intéressant sort d’une magnifique restauration sous des teintes à la fois élégantes et spectaculaires assortie d’équipements de qualité. Que son nouveau propriétaire l’emmène sur la Pacific Coast Highway, sur les autobahnen allemandes ou dans les sinuosités grandioses des plus belles routes alpestres, il s’agira toujours d’un moment automobile de très grande classe.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more