Paris

7 February 2018

1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Roadster

  • Chassis no. 188.012.00244/53
  • Engine no. 188.920.00258/53

Documents: UK V5


  • Grand tourer built regardless of cost
  • Truly rare, one of just 54 built
  • Tastefully updated with drivability in mind


Mercedes-Benz set out after WWII to re-state its reputation as a marque of excellence, and the result was the 300 S. This new car would be specifically aimed at celebrities and wealthy clients as the world’s most expensive and exclusive automobile, and its Hermann Ahrens styling was an homage to the iconic 540 K.

When launched at the Paris Salon in October 1951, it was twice the cost of a Cadillac before tax and shipping costs. The plan worked as owners included King Faruk of Egypt, the Aga Khan, Cary Grant and Gary Cooper. Customers could choose from three body styles; a roadster, 2+2 or coupé and a wide range of wood veneers, leather, carpets and other materials to make their car bespoke.

Bodies were hand-built with the edges of each panel lead-loaded. The chromework was honed from brass and individually made to fit each car. At a time of austerity and rationing, this roadster was the last word in opulence and sophistication.
The mission to create a vehicle without compromise was accomplished with less than 800 examples made. Only 54 roadsters left the Sindelfingen coachworks in 1954. Each example of the 300 S is unique, but this Roadster is even more so.
Finished in perfect medium brown (DB442) over immaculate cream leather, the front seats are fitted with head restraints to provide extra comfort on long journeys. The interior leather is matched with the original handles and fittings, capped off with the carefully restored walnut dashboard. The rear compartment includes a purpose-built bench seat to carry passengers in true comfort.

To further ensure the perfect journey, air conditioning and a discreet sound-system upgrade that is hidden behind a bespoke walnut panel have been tastefully installed, along with a floor-shift gearbox, making driving slightly easier over the standard column-shift gearbox. Concessions to modern safety regulations included a high-visibility brake light and a fog light below the bumper. The mechanical parts have also been subject to a sympathetic restoration retaining the car’s original specification.

This 300 S has travelled with its current owner crossing continents between Europe and South Africa. Great road journeys of the world, whether along the French Riveria or the Western Cape, demand a truly grand tourer, and this 300 S certainly fits the bill.





• Grande routière conçue sans considération de coût
• Vraiment rare, 54 exemplaires seulement
• Intelligemment équipée, pour en faciliter l'utilisation

Après la deuxième Guerre Mondiale, Mercedes a cherché à retrouver son statut de marque d'excellence et a lancé la 300 S. Cette nouvelle voiture, la plus exclusive et la plus chère du monde, était spécialement destinée aux célébrités et aux clients aisés, et son dessin signé Hermann Ahrens était un hommage à la célèbre 540 K.

Lorsqu'elle a été dévoilée au Salon de Paris du mois d'octobre 1951, elle coûtait le double du prix d'une Cadillac, hors frais de transport et taxes de douanes. Mercedes atteignait son but en comptant parmi ses clients le roi Farouk d'Égypte, l'Aga Khan, Cary Grant et Gary Cooper. Les acheteurs avaient le choix entre trois formes de carrosserie : roadster, 2+2 ou coupé. Une large gamme de boiseries, cuirs, moquettes et autres matériaux leur permettait de choisir une finition correspondant à leurs goûts.

Les panneaux de carrosseries étaient travaillés de façon artisanale, et les enjoliveurs chromés étaient formés en cuivre et adaptés à chaque exemplaire. A une époque d'austérité et rationnement, ce roadster était ce qui se faisait de mieux en matière d'opulence et de sophistication.

La mission de créer un véhicule sans compromis était atteinte avec un nombre d'exemplaires inférieur à 800 produits. Seulement 54 roadsters ont quitté les ateliers de Sindelfingen en 1954. Chaque exemplaire de 300 S est unique, mais ce Roadster l'est plus encore.

Dans sa superbe teinte marron moyen (DB442) avec intérieur en cuir crème, cette voiture est équipée de sièges avant avec appuie-tête, pour parfaire le confort lors de longs voyages. Assorti aux équipements et commandes, le cuir de la sellerie est rehaussé par la ronce de noyer du tableau de bord restauré. Le compartiment arrière présente une banquette conçue spécialement, pour transporter les passagers de façon confortable.

Pour que le voyage soit parfait, un système d'air conditionné et un dispositif audio de qualité, dissimulé derrière un panneau de bois spécial, ont été habilement installés, ainsi qu'un levier de vitesses au plancher, dont le maniement est un peu plus facile que celui du levier au volant. Les concessions à la sécurité moderne incluent un puissant feu arrière de frein, ainsi qu'un feu de brouillard installé sous le pare-chocs. La mécanique a fait l'objet d'une restauration discrète, qui a respecté les spécifications d'origine de la voiture.

Cette 300 S a voyagé avec son propriétaire actuel, traversant les continents, en Europe et en Afrique du Sud. Les grand voyages sur les routes du monde, que ce soit sur la Côte d'Azur ou dans la région du Cap, réclament une vraie grande routière et cette 300 S en est un exemple parfait.

Addendum

Please note that the title is in transit.
Veuillez noter que le papiers sont en cours d'acheminement.

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