1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 D (W189)SOLD

RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island - March 10, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $30,000 - $50,000


$18,700 Sold

180hp, 2,996 cc, M189 overhead cam, inline six-cylinder engine, Bosch fuel-injection, three-speed automatic transmission, independent front and single swing axle rear suspension with coil springs, front and rear dual piston drum brakes. Wheelbase: 124"

From the outset, the new 300 was intended to cater to the needs of the American market. The car ’ s outstanding quality was matched only by its breathtaking price – costing as much as three Cadillacs! The high price ensured exclusivity, and early customers ranged from renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright to actor Yul Brynner. The cars were also the choice of distinction for royalty and heads of state, including the Shah of Iran and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, in whose honor the car would come to be referred to as simply “ an Adenauer. ”

From its introduction in 1951 through 1954, the car was referred to simply as the 300. Comprehensive improvements resulted in the 300b for 1954/1955, followed by the 300c for 1955/1957.

By 1958, however, a virtually brand new 300 emerged, the 300d. A completely new body was designed featuring a four inch longer wheelbase for improved ride and increased rear legroom. Styling remained conservative, but subtle details brought the design up to date.

The chassis adhered to current Mercedes-Benz practice, including the swing-arm rear axle design. Although providing the benefits of an independent rear suspension, loading changes altered rear wheel camber, an awkward-looking, if not unsafe, condition. The solution, introduced on the 300d, was a unique self-leveling device, consisting of electric motors actuating jackscrews that moved an extra pair of torsion bars. Unlike later systems, the 300d ’ s leveling system was driver controllable.

The new, longer hood gave the car a more graceful look, while providing room for an updated version of Mercedes-Benz ’ s three-liter SOHC six-cylinder engine. Equipped with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, horsepower was increased to 180 horsepower. All U.S. delivered cars were fitted with a Borg Warner three-speed automatic transmission. Larger brake drums and a new brake booster increased the power assist, resulting in much improved stopping distances. With power steering now standard, the 300d offered a much better driving experience.

The example presented here is a highly original 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer, finished in black with a red leather interior. It has never been restored, although it was partially repainted some time ago. During a recent test drive, it was fount that the Mercedes starts easily, idles smoothly and the automatic transmission shifts effortlessly, providing a relaxed and enjoyable ride.

This 300d, being a commendable running and driving example with 60,000 original mile, may be enjoyed as is, or would make a fine candidate for a complete restoration.

Reference Number 7245

as of 2/18/2007

Car 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 D (W189)
VIN 18998012002056 
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