Stuttgart’s choice of pre-WWII, 540K designer Hermann Ahrens masked brilliant new engineering with an image of the past
More expensive than the 300SL sports car and almost double the price of a contemporary Cadillac, the Mercedes-Benz 300S was one of the world’s most exclusive automobiles. Elegantly styled in the prewar manner, yet technologically up to date, the 300S was built to the Stuttgart firm’s uncompromising standards. Such conservative luxury produced predictable results: Only 760 300S/Sc cars left the factory between 1951 and 1958.
The 300S was a short-wheelbase derivative of the 300 saloon, one of Mercedes-Benz’s first all-new designs of the postwar era, which had debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951. The 300 re-established Mercedes-Benz in the front rank of prestige car manufacturers.
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 variety of coachbuilt body types to be offered. The 300’s cross-braced, oval-tube chassis followed the lines of the 170S and 220, with independent suspension all round and four-wheel drum brakes, but incorporated hypoid bevel final drive, dynamically balanced wheels, and driver-activated front suspension and clutch lubrication.
We are advised that this 300S Coupe has enjoyed only three owners and covered a mere 64,000 miles from new. In the vendor’s hands since 2006, it benefits from thorough servicing and extensive refurbishment carried out that same year by his personal mechanic. The refurbished interior retains a delightful original patina, while other noteworthy features include a clock, Becker radio and electric antenna.
The 1955 300S Coupe is offered with sundry invoices, assorted original and period documents, original Hirschman warranty booklet, original Becker warranty booklet and address list, instruction manual, a photographic record of its re-commissioning (on CD), and Belgian registration papers.