1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupé
Chassis no. 188011 00318/53
•Unsurpassed style and luxury
•One of only 560 made
•Delivered new in Italy
•Recent extensive mechanical refurbishment
More expensive than the 300 SL sports car and almost double the price of the contemporary top-of-the-range Cadillac, the Mercedes-Benz 300 S was one of the world's most exclusive automobiles. Elegantly styled in the pre-war manner yet technologically bang up to date, the 300S was built to the Stuttgart firm's uncompromising quality standards. Inevitably, production was limited, only 760 examples of the 300 S/Sc (560/200) leaving the factory between 1951 and 1958.
The 300 S was a short-wheelbase derivative of the 300 saloon, one of Mercedes-Benz's first all-new designs of the post-war era, which had debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951. The 300's arrival re-established Mercedes-Benz in the front rank of prestige car manufacturers, marking as it did a return to the marque's tradition of building high-performance luxury automobiles of the finest quality.
'To the characteristics of high performance, impressive appearance and fine detail finish which distinguished the big Mercedes models of pre-war days are added new virtues of silence, flexibility and lightness of control, while the latest rear suspension, a product of long experience on Grand Prix cars and touring cars, confers a degree of security at high speeds on rough and slippery surfaces which it would be very difficult indeed to equal,' observed Autocar magazine.
Although Mercedes-Benz would adopt unitary chassis/body construction for its lower and mid-priced cars as the 1950s progressed, the retention of a traditional separate frame for the 300 family enabled a wide variety of coachbuilt body types to be offered. The 300's cross-braced, oval-tube chassis followed the lines of the 170 S and 220, with independent suspension all round and four-wheel drum brakes, but incorporated the added refinements of hypoid bevel final drive, dynamically balanced wheels and remote electrical control of the rear suspension ride height. Initially developing 115bhp, the 3.0-litre, overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine - used in fuel-injected form in the 300SL sports car - was boosted in power for the succeeding 300b and 300c models, finally gaining fuel injection in the re-styled 300d of 1957. Custom built by Mercedes-Benz's most experienced craftsmen, the Mercedes-Benz 300 was luxuriously appointed and trimmed with materials of the highest quality.
The conservatively styled saloon was soon joined by the 300 S (Super), a model which succeeded in recapturing all the elegance of the pre-war 540 K. Introduced at the Paris Salon in October 1951, the 300 S was built in coupé and cabriolet forms on a shortened 300 saloon chassis. Not only was the 300 S considerably lighter than the saloon, it was also more powerful, boasting an engine equipped with triple (as opposed to twin) Solex carburettors and a raised compression ratio. Maximum power output was increased to 150bhp and top speed to 176km/h (109mph). Only one significant change was made in the model's lifetime: the introduction in 1955 of the fuel-injected 300 Sc which incorporated improvements - including revised rear suspension - also made to the saloon.
A fast touring automobile in the tradition of the legendary 540 K, the 300 S was faster, better handling, more comfortable, and generally superior to its pre-war ancestor. It was Mercedes-Benz's flagship model: stylish, exclusive and intended for a wealthy and discerning clientele that demanded superlative performance but were unwilling to sacrifice luxurious appointments and generously sized accommodation. Today the 300 S is among the most sought after of post-war Mercedes-Benz automobiles.
Sold new in Italy, this Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupé has belonged to the current vendor since 2014, benefiting from considerable time and expense spent on refurbishment of the mechanicals a couple of years ago. Described by the vendor as in excellent running order, the car is offered with a Mechatronik GmbH certificate.
I am not a natural flatterer, I like to think that I "tell it like it is", politely I hope. So when I tell you that I am very impressed by the contents of your website, it is just not English politeness. I of course love the subject matter but you deal with it in an energetic and respectful manner. I am overwhelmed by the research that has gone into compiling the list of coachbuilders/bodybuilders for Europe and North America. I have never heard of the vast majority of them.
Congratulations on an excellent website.
- N. Maltby of Car Scene International
We use Coachbuild.com almost daily as our main reference source!
- Schloss Dyck Classic Days
We use Coachbuild.com all the time for references!
- Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
We are very impressed by your website!
- Bicester Heritage UK