8-9 September 2013

Mercedes Collection

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Lot 139

1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupé

  • Chassis no. 188.011.4500013

Sold for £218,400

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

The 300 series was introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951, and it was designed specifically for the export market. The 300 was beautifully designed, and it featured a modern wraparound windshield and flush-mounted headlights. Initially, the series was only available in four-door configuration as either a saloon or cabriolet.

The 300 S, or “Super”, model was introduced in mid-1952, and it combined elements of the existing 300 series with the upcoming but delayed 300 SL sports car. The most notable enhancement included a 30 per cent 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 wing lines, and a curved rear body line. The comprehensive list of standard equipment included 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, only approximately 560 examples of the 300 S were built, with 216 of those being 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 300 S introduced three sporty new bodies on a 25-centimetre shorter chassis; these three body styles were 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 300 S featured a lavish interior with supple leather, glossy and perfect burled walnut trim, a dash with chrome-accented instruments, and a switchgear that was made with the precision of fine jewellery.

This 300 S is one of those 216 coupés. It was delivered new in Dortmund, Germany, on 17 July 1954. It was dark green with a grey-green leather interior. Today, it exhibits an exquisite black exterior over a black leather interior upholstery and is fitted with elegant wood trimmings on the dash and doors. The upholstery has been replaced more recently, and it presents quite well. The interior chrome displays very well. Additionally, the dash has a removable radio delete plate, should the new owner choose to add this amenity. An interesting feature of the 300 S Coupé is the rear seat, as it can transform into a nifty package tray to accommodate the spoils of weekend shopping trips.

A well-detailed engine bay shows newer coolant hoses and heater hoses and the refinishing of several ancillary components. Underneath, the black chassis shows signs of road use and enjoyment from the previous owner. The standard wheels are painted in body-colour black, and they are shod with Firestone Deluxe Champion whitewall tyres. Optional dual Bosch fog lights add an attractive bit of character to this elegant sports coupé, and they remain “at the ready” to help light the roadway for the next lucky owner of this desirable 300 S.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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