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Daimler-Benz AG emerged from the smoking rubble of World War II in somewhat precarious health, with production plants that had been pretty comprehensively levelled by Allied bombing. Far from being a broken nation, the resilience of the workforce was remarkable and Mercedes-Benz resumed car production in 1946, albeit with the prewar 170V, a modest middle-class car that had been their best-seller in the 1930s. However, in less than six years, the company was sufficiently confident to return to the luxury market when the Mercedes 300 was introduced at the 1951 Frankfurt Motor Show and for the duration of the Fifties, Mercedes-Benz prestige line-up was based on the 300 range, at the heart of which was essentially the same superb 2996cc overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine found in the legendary 300SL 'Gullwing'.
The 300 Saloon was aimed squarely at Captains of Industry and Heads of State - indeed, the model was nicknamed 'Adenauer' after Konrad Adenauer, the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. In office from 1949 to 1963, he employed six custom convertible, hardtop, and landaulet versions during his tenure. Inside, the 300 was beautifully executed in polished wood, with deep bucket seats trimmed in either cloth or leather and a division was available as an option for those who preferred to be chauffeur driven. Improvements came with the 300B of 1954 in the form of twin Solex carburettors, along with servo-assisted brakes and minor styling changes while the 300C model of September 1955 saw the option of a Borg-Warner three-speed automatic for the American market. Introduced in August 1957, the 300d was the linear successor to the 300c, with a longer wheelbase, fuel injection, and unique hardtop configuration transforming it into a pillarless 'Phaeton'. An additional four-inches of wheelbase provided greater rear legroom, equalling that of the long wheelbase Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. Removable rear quarter lights allowed an unobstructed view in and out from the front vent window all the way to the back, much valued in the model's popular role as a 'parade car'. Employing a slightly detuned version of the 300 SL sports cars Bosch fuel injected engine, the 300D produced 180 hp at 5500 rpm. Automatic transmission was standard and power brakes, power steering, and Artic-Kar air-conditioning were added as options.
This, wonderfully finished, 300D was delivered to North America in 1960, where its first proud owner was a lawyer in Tampa, Florida. It remained there until 1989 when it was shipped over to the UK and underwent some restoration work in the early nineties before spending some time in a private collection prior to being purchased by its current owner in 2016. Today, the car presents beautifully and does have real 'presence'. The Tunis Beige over Glazing Maroon paintwork is clean and properly detailed with high gloss and quality finishing over the expansive surfaces with just a little evidence of paint touch up on the lower front arches. Although there are a few minor flaws, the car is remarkably preserved and in excellent overall condition. Panel fit is representative of the precision factory assembly as are the tight body to wing bead lines and door chrome trim. The stout doors hinge smoothly open and shut very well, retaining very good panel gaps and crisp latching. The bonnet and boot lid also exhibit proper fit and closure with consistent gaps. The chrome throughout is in very good condition, clean, bright reflections, though some areas show light hazing on the bumpers. All lenses, lighting, and glass are in excellent condition including the windscreen. The steel wheels are covered with beautifully polished stainless wheel covers, painted to match the factory paintwork.
The interior is a remarkable example of Mercedes-Benz quality showing handsome leather finishes and retains a fine original patina. The factory optional AM/FM Becker radio remains installed in the dash but currently is not working. The engine compartment is in very good condition overall and properly presented with correct parts, correct power steering, fuel-injection, and proper factory components, with attention to hard lines, hoses, and electrical as needed. The fuel injection plenum is clean and nicely detailed echoing much of the originality and care exhibited while preserving the 300D series engine. Though not detailed to a Concours level, the engine and engine compartment are tidy and properly finished, with an authentic and tidy presentation that reflects the undisturbed and well-loved character of this car. The car has reportedly only covered 88,000 miles from new, verified by many old MOT test certificates. It's matching numbers and is supplied with the original owner's handbook and a history file which contains correspondence between the original owner and the local Mercedes-Benz dealership in the early seventies, a V5c registration document and an MOT valid until January 2020. A number of mechanical parts (brake cylinders, pads, seals, boot lock, door locks and handles, oil and air filters, spark plugs, etc.) have been replaced with original parts from Werner Karasch & Co GmbH near Essen.
This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a truly remarkable 300D 'Adenauer'. A marvellously preserved, mechanically sound, original example which has clearly been loved its entire life, presented in a fabulous colour combination with a Becker radio, power steering, and automatic transmission. Its commanding presence and stately manner are irresistible to both occupants and bystanders alike.