The 300 series, introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951, was designed specifically for the export market. Germany’s postwar economy was desperate for hard currency and at the same time, the U.S. economy was booming. It was only natural for Mercedes to design a car to meet the needs of that market. Although not flamboyant, the 300 was nevertheless very attractive, with a modern wraparound windshield and flush-mounted headlights.
The 300S variant was introduced in 1952, and featured a number of enhancements, most notable of which was a 30% 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 graceful new fender lines and a new curved rear body line. At $12,500 each, each one cost as much as ten ordinary cars. Over six years, only 560 cars were built.