8-9 September 2013

Mercedes Collection

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Lot 125

1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet A

  • Chassis no. 188.010.3500280
  • Engine no. 188.920.3500290

Sold for £280,000

150 bhp, 2,996 cc overhead-cam 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

  • Mercedes-Benz’s famous luxury grand tourer
  • One of 203 Cabriolets built

The 300 S was introduced in 1952, and it featured a number of enhancements over the 300 Saloon; most notably, there was a 30 per cent increase in horsepower, from 115 to 150. Praised by the motoring press, this new car was capable of a remarkable 110 mph top speed. Appearance was also enhanced with a wraparound windshield, graceful new wing lines, and a new curved rear body line. At $12,500 each, they cost as much as 10 standard cars, and as a result, only 560 cars were built over six years. Such exclusivity resulted in an enviable list of clients, including Aga Khan, Gary Cooper, and Cary Grant.

More importantly, the 300 S introduced three sporty new bodies on a 25-centimetre shorter chassis; these bodies were a coupé, roadster, and cabriolet, and all three of them were priced equally. The coupé offered secure weather protection, the roadster had a sleek look, and the cabriolet gave the versatility of excellent all-weather protection in a true open car.

Although the styling was fresh and modern, it was the interior that was most remarkable. In an era of spartan furnishings, the new 300 S featured a lavish interior that had acres of supple leather, glossy burl walnut trim, a dash with chrome-accented instruments, and a switchgear that was made with the precision of fine jewellery.

This Cabriolet being offered today was one of two-hundred and three built, and it was delivered new in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., in December 1954. It was painted in black and came with a dark beige leather interior and a tan soft top, as it is still presented today. It presents as an older restoration that still remains in attractive condition today. All trim shows negligible wear from having been lightly driven, and it would be improved by a thorough detailing. Included amongst the many nice accessories that this Cabriolet has are a pair of bumper-mounted Bosch fog lamps and black wheels that are shod in BF Goodrich Silvertown wide whitewall tyres. Under the hood, the powerplant of this 300 S displays as a well-executed detail that has modern hoses, wiring, and cables.

The cabin is trimmed in rich red leather and corresponding red carpet, with both exhibiting inviting wear. A tan headliner shows enjoyment and light soiling, which gives support to the assumption that this car has been toured at length. The interior chrome trim and switchgear wear some light patina, which could be resolved with a thorough polishing, and they are surrounded by beautiful woodwork. Pleasant accessories include smoke-colour tinted sun visors and a Becker Nürburg radio with additional modern-style speakers that were installed in the rear passenger compartment. The boot is finished in the same red carpeting as the interior and black rubber matting. A full whitewall spare tyre and tool kit is included in the boot, and there is enough room left within for luggage.

This Cabriolet will provide just as much luxurious and elegant touring satisfaction to its next owner as it did in the 1950s, with the top up or down.

Alexander Weaver

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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