Motor City

30 July 2016

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Lot 167

1962 Mercedes-Benz 300 d 'Adenauer' Sedan

  • Chassis no. 189.010.12.003041
  • Engine no. 189.980.12.002289

$70,000 - $90,000


175 hp, 2,996 cc inline six-cylinder with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, three-speed automatic transmission, independent front coil-spring suspension, rear single-pivot swing-axle with coil springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 124 in.

  • A fine example refreshed after extended storage
  • Only three owners from new, including 52 years of single ownership
  • Suspension rebuilt, including the brakes and new shock absorbers
  • Original interior with nice patina; good wood, reconditioned leather
  • Very complete example of the last and best “Adenauer” model produced


Out of the shambles of World War II, Daimler-Benz used cash flow from producing basic utility vehicles and family sedans to create the four-door 300 sedan with its M189 engine to re-enter the luxury market. Several examples of the flagship diplomatic-quality model were used with pride by German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer as his state limousine while he presided over the economic miracle of Germany’s post-war recovery, hence its ubiquitous nickname.

Over its long production run from 1951–1962, barely more than 10,000 units of the 300 sedan were produced, but the powertrain, suspension, body, and interior were all upgraded four times. The example offered here, from the very end of the last upgrade, has the improved fuel-injected engine adopted from the 300 SL sports cars, as well as the higher greenhouse. As such, it is a most desirable example of one of the 3,077 units of the 300 d that were built. When all the windows are rolled down, there are no center pillars—one reason Adenauers made such great parade cars.

This example, when purchased by the first owner in 1962, was fitted with factory-approved Artic-Kar air conditioning, which was installed by the dealer after purchase. The first owner only owned the car for several months before he passed away, and it was then acquired by his brother-in-law, who kept the car for an incredible 52 years. The 300 d was used sparingly after the mid-1980s, mostly for parades and gala events, and the 38,600 miles on the odometer are confirmed to be original. The current owner bought the Mercedes-Benz about two years ago because of the excellent overall condition and completeness of the car. With the advice of one of the country’s leading experts in W189 Mercedes automobiles, the car was carefully mechanically refreshed. After test drives, the brake system was rebuilt and new shock absorbers were installed. The engine compartment and trunk were cleaned to original appearance.

The chrome and trim were removed, a few small dings from storage were repaired, and the car was carefully repainted in the original Black (040) color to correct overall aging of the original paint job. The chrome bumpers, grille, and other minor parts were re-plated, while the remaining trim was simply re-polished. At the same time, the interior was carefully cleaned and the original leather was reconditioned to preserve the car’s attractive patina. The extensive real wood trim in the interior, with its unusual burled-wood graining, is a particularly appealing feature. The car also retains its original Becker Mexico radio and working power antenna, as well as the original owners’ manuals and shop manual. Included is also an extensive file of documentation, as well as the original pouch for the rear quarter windows and a spare hubcap in the trunk.

Overall, this 300 d could be a good addition to a Mercedes-Benz collection and would be easily eligible for Silver Star Preservation recognition, or it could be used as a centerpiece vehicle for weddings and social occasions.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

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