1955 Mercedes-Benz 300S RoadsterSOLD
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Engine Type: 3.0 Litre 6-Cylinder
Color:Graphite Grey DB190 / Red Leather DB 1080

Reference Number 85556

as of 6/11/2010

Overview
Car 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300S Roadster
VIN 1880125500003 
Mileage 97,057 miles 
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Known History

 

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300S Roadster

s/n 1880125500003

Graphite Grey with Red Leather

 

Despite the depressed state of postwar Germany’s economy, Mercedes was able to produce a luxury car of the highest caliber during the 1950’s. In the same vein as the 500K and 540K that preceded it, the 300 series was a world-class touring car that successfully incorporated a blend of opulence, exclusivity, irreproachable build quality, sophisticated technological features, and surprising performance. They were extraordinarily expensive when new (nearly four times as much as a Cadillac in 1955 and nearly twice as much as a 300SL) and in spite of the contemporary unpopularity of all things German in the international community, these cars were able to transcend prejudices because of their inherent superiority. They brought incredible presence, yet were also quite understated, and above all beautifully engineered and built. Most chromed components were made of solid brass, and were test-fitted to cars before even being plated. The interiors were furnished with materials of the highest quality, and fitted luggage and Becker radios often fitted. The cars found a distinguished clientele who appreciated the exclusivity and outstanding quality of the cars, and perhaps even their 100mph plus performance.

 

The 300S was available in three trims, with the roadster being the most sporting. The roadster has a less bulky disappearing top, which permits a more rakish profile with the top erected or stowed. This particular example was completed on the 12th of March, 1955, finished in the same color combination it now has: DB190 Graphite Grey with Red Leather interior. Its specific model is a 300Sb meaning it is equipped with wing windows and Alfin brakes with brake booster. The car was sold new in the USA, and its second owner was a collector in Oregon, who had quite a few other Mercedes automobiles including a 300Sc Roadster and 300SL Roadster. The car’s third owner purchased the car in 1963, and owned it until 2004. He had the car restored in approximately 2000 to 2003 by the highly regarded Ken McMurphy of Auto Europa. It was one of Mr. McMurphy’s last restorations before his death. The car was purchased with 75,000 miles on it, and had 96,000 miles at the time of the restoration. Thus, the car’s current mileage of 97,000 is from new. Although the restoration was not yet completed, this example was awarded second place the one time it was concourse shown- certainly a testament to the Auto Europa restoration work!

 

The car’s current owner is a collector who purchased it in April 2004, and has looked after the car properly and used it sparingly during his ownership. He has fitted new tires, and performed some mechanical work including rebuilt fuel pump, carburetor work, transmission mount, drive shaft supports, valve adjustment, and regular fluid changes. Most mechanical systems were included in the restoration, which cost some $150,000, though there are no invoices for the engine having ever been rebuilt. There are many thousands of dollars of invoices with the car, though not every job performed is documented because the owner elected to pay cash for much of the restoration.

 

The car is in stunning cosmetic condition. The paint and bodywork were executed to very high standards, with high quality paintwork on straight panels. The panel fit and gaps are superb throughout, a particularly difficult feat on these cars because of their large heavy panels with complex curves. The paintwork is in excellent condition, with about 1000 miles since completion. The chrome is very nice as well, having been renewed at great expense during the restoration. There are only very light scratches in evidence, and no pitting. The lights and glass are excellent as well, and the car sits on evocative whitewall tires, which are nearly new.

 

The interior is also excellent. The wood dashboard and trim were refinished to the highest standards and are beautiful. The leather upholstery was completely redone with the correct material and is excellent, as are the carpets. The chrome trim has been mostly left unrestored, and is excellent considering this, with only light pitting. The instruments are also unrestored and are in similarly nice original condition. The car retains its original Becker radio

 

The engine compartment is extremely clean and beautifully detailed, but not over-restored. The finishes, decals, and materials are correct throughout, such as VDO washer jar and air cleaner decals. The trunk is stunning, with lovely high quality carpeting, new rubber matting, fitted luggage, and restored hardware throughout. The spare wears a new tire, and the hardware to retain the spare is like new, having been included in the restoration. It is clear that no corners were cut, even in the often-overlooked trunk.

 

Mechanically, the car is outstanding, with a wonderful coherent feel. The brakes work superbly, the engine runs well, and the gearbox shifts marvelously. The suspension works as it should, and the overall feel is of a lovely solid and well-sorted example of this elegant and beautifully engineered car. The underside is extremely solid and shows no corrosion or evidence of repair ever. The restoration was not completed as a frame-off affair, so the underside is not spotless, but rather it honestly portrays the quality and integrity of the car prior to the restoration, demonstrating what a sound and solid example this car has always been.

 

With the car comes its correct tool roll, jack, wrench, and owner’s manuals.

 

This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire an outstanding example of this desirable car. Wonderfully refined and beautifully engineered and built, these cars are legends from the era of Mercedes’ grand hand-built luxury touring cars. This example’s excellent restoration, straightforward ownership history, and faithfulness to its original configuration set it apart as among the finest 300’s we have ever had the pleasure to offer.