1955 Mercedes-Benz 300b Adenauer

About a month ago I looked at a unique 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer in beige over green leather interior. It wasn’t perfect, nor advertised to be, but looked great and came in at a fair price. I went on about how these Adenauers are overlooked in the grand scheme of classic Mercedes and undervalued for what they actually are. Even compared to the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, you aren’t giving up anything in terms of styling and certainly not reliability. Today, I came across a 1955 300b up for sale in Vancouver, British Columbia that looks just as good with an even better price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300b Adenauer on eBay

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1961 Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer

About a month ago I checked out a 1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 that is the crème de la crème when it comes to flagship Mercedes. It gets all the press, all the attention and rightfully so. But often overlooked is the predecessor of the 600, the 300d Adenauer. I’ve checked these cars out in the past and they don’t come up for sale to the public all that often thanks to their age and rarity. Personally, I think they are one of the coolest Mercedes ever made thanks to their distinctive style with the great waterfall grille and pillar-less profile. This is a car with presence. You don’t blend in with the pack with this car. When an Adenauer drives down the road, you see it coming. The best part about this car? It’s not as expensive as you would think.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer on eBay

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1958 Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer

As we wade through this crazy time where every somewhat desirable vehicle is suddenly worth three times as what they were worth 5-7 years ago, I do suspect there are some cars that haven’t got caught up in that wave. I think today’s car, the Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer, is still a nice collectible piece that isn’t insanely priced — at least for what it is. I’ve looked at the Adenauer before, so if you want some more information these go check that the 1960 from a little under a year ago.

The W189 is still, at least in my opinion, undervalued for the total package it presents. This car was the best sedan that Mercedes could make during this era and at the same time it’s not unreasonable to own and live with unlike the car that replaced it, the 600. The Adenauer looks as stately as anything on the outside, the interior is spacious with a ridiculously opulent dash made from all wood and you weren’t cheated under the hood with the same (although slightly detuned) M189 straight-6 from the 300SL. So how much does all this cost?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer on eBay

Year: 1958
Model: 300d Adenauer
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 117,000 km (72,700 mi)
Price: Buy It Now $58,000

The Mercedes-Benz W186 model 300 was a high-end luxury car produced by Mercedes-Benz between 1951 and 1957. The company’s largest and most prestigious automobile, it was the Maybach of its day, elegant, powerful, exclusive, and expensive. It recommended the pre-WW2 tradition of the flagship super-luxury class automobile, which was unbroken from the simplex 60 hp model of 1903 up until the 770 Grand Mercedes from the 30’s. Three versions were produced in succession, known informally as the 300a (or simply 300), 300b, and 300c.

An enlarged “300D” variant built on the W189 chassis succeeded it in late 1957. This is W189 300D version that is being offered for sale. As you can see in the pics, this rarity is in excellent condition. It starts and runs without problems, just as expected from MB. The mileage shows 17K, however actual mileage is higher due to the odometer rolling over.

The car is located in Germany, Bayern region, Regensburg, however, it can be delivered for a separate fee anywhere in the world.

The car is owned by the antique motor vehicle enthusiasts who are looking to downsize our collection. We also have experience servicing and transporting cars anywhere in the world.

This 1958 is for sale in Germany is offered up at $58,000 which isn’t outrageous in my eyes. That price is right on par with the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud market and much cheaper than what a W100 600 that isn’t a basket case is selling for. These generally have excellent durability and can be driven somewhat regularly without too much issue if you buy one that is well sorted. You don’t see many of these as they only produced a little over 10,000 for it’s 11 year run production run so if exclusivity is what you are after, you have the right car.  Of course, this comes with some downsides. Any kind of part that isn’t maintenance related can be difficult, if not impossible, to find. Even the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center will leave you disappointed when they tell you a lot of stuff just doesn’t exist anymore.

This specific example actually looks fairly nice and usually the people who own these have the means to take care of them properly. For service, finding someone who understands these cars is starting to become an issue now that the youngest cars are 55 years-old and not many technicians had experience with these in the first place. But if you have all your ducks in a row, an Adenauer is a great post-war, hand-built vehicle that hasn’t climbed to six-figures — at least yet.

– Andrew

1960 Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer

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Named after the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer, the Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer wasn’t for everyone. These were for the rich politicians, celebrities and even the Pope was driven around in one — although his was the Landaulet. The $12,000 price tag in 1960 which equates to close to $100,000 today had a big part to do with that. These were a status symbol of exclusivity and wealth that gave off presence. Only to be replaced by the legendary 600, these cars still are a head turner in any situation. So let’s check out this 1960 for sale in Columbus, Ohio.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer on eBay

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1960 Mercedes-Benz 300d “Adenauer”

As World War II came to a close, there was a period of industrial reorganization for the countries involved in combat. The Axis powers found themselves on the losing side of the battle and turned to rebuilding what was left of their homes and factories. Now that munitions manufacturing was halted, the focus turned to motorcycle and automotive production in some cases. Mercedes-Benz emerged from the war battle scarred but certainly not dead on arrival. Relying partly on old chassis, they introduced the 300 class in 1951 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Offered as both a saloon and cabriolet from the outset, the 300d was the final evolution of the series. Released in 1957, this car had a lengthened wheelbase and fuel injection added to the 3.0 liter inline-6. Configured as a pillarless hardtop, the 300d had removable rear quarter windows, offering an unobstructed view from front to back. A three speed automatic transmission was now standard and options such as power steering and air conditioning were on offer.

Just over 3,000 of the 300d models were produced. These grand sedans were a favorite of German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and subsequently, these models were nicknamed after him. Later they would be replaced by the 600, or Grösser Mercedes, which would become one of the most revered Mercedes-Benzes of all time. I’ve only ever seen a handful of these cars, mostly at shows or Mercedes-Benz Club functions. This 300d for sale in Illinois is rather remarkable in that it is in preserved, original condition.

Year: 1960
Model: 300d
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 52,928 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300d on eBay

Reluctantly, up for auction is one of my pride and joys. Being a huge vintage German automobile enthusiast (mostly VWs) I always hate letting one of them go, but in order to finish up a few of my others, I have chose to say goodbye to My 1960 Mercedes 300d. I will not get into how rare these 300D’s are or the whole history around the name etc. However, finding one that is in running and driving condition is the rarest part about this particular car. I have seen many in the past few years show up on various sites for sale but very few of them actually started and drove or were complete cars.

The quick history behind this car is… I purchased it from a good friend several years back. I have wanted to own it for as long as I knew he had it. It was sitting in the back of his shop under a car cover for years. 20+ years at that. We finally beat out a price and I brought it back to our shop to begin the light restoration process so I could get it back on the road again.

The entire brake system was shot from sitting and I didn’t even try to make them work as it sat. Instead I removed the master cylinder and all 6 wheel cylinders and sent them off to Whitepost Restoration to have them bored and resleaved with brass inserts. As usual they did a spot on job! The brake shoes had just been replaced when the previous owner parked the car so they were in near perfect shape. The reason the car was parked in the first place was because of the brakes. The power booster had developed a leak from what he could remember and so he had it fixed. Instead of rebuilding the brake booster, the shop that did the work just rerouted the main line from the master cylinder to the 3 way block to get the brakes up and working. Robert, did not like the feel of the peddle as it is like many older cars where you have to press hard to get it stopped (stand on hard brakes) as we call them. I did not go back and fix the brake booster as I am ok with how it stops. Not on a dime but it stops none the less. I did however look at how they did the bypass and it was done very well with no original parts removed or damaged. They just tapped the extra port on the brake block and ran a line directly to it. The booster is still in tact and in great shape. One could simply run through it with a quick rebuild, as I am sure the internal seals are shot, and reconnect the brake line to that part of the system. The previous shop to work on it also installed braided stainless steel brake hoses front and rear which are in perfect shape and passed fluid well. I see new rubber brake hoses listed on ebay if the new owner wishes to go back to original.

Fuel system… I removed the fuel tank, lines and filters. The tank was sent to a local shop that deals with cutting them apart, blasting brazing any holes shut and re-welding them back together. I am not a firm believer in tank lining as I have personally dealt with too many vehicles that have major issues steming back to poor lining. Before reinstalling the tank, I had to replace both rubber-steel end fuel lines in the rear. I also suspected the fuel pump to be faulty so I had it rebuilt top to bottom as well. The cleanable filter in the engine compartment was washed up and reinstalled.

With fresh gas and a good charge on the battery, we cranked for a minute to get oil pressure, hooked the wires back up to the coil and it fired off in a few seconds. It idled rough at first and started to clean itself out. I shut it down after 10 minutes of running, changed the oil and put about 30 minutes of run time on it. To date, I have 3-4 hours of run time on it and 22 miles. I can not say it runs like a swiss watch, as it should, but then again, I have done nothing more to it. I am sure it could use the standard plugs, wires, points, cap rotor and probably the timing set. I can tell it has a little stumble to it. Almost a slight miss at times and it is running quite rich. There are some good guys still around that know how to tune the early mechanical injection well. I, on the other hand, do not have that knowledge. All I can say is that the motor is very sound with no knocks or rumbles. In the months that it has sat in the shop, it has leaked a puddle of oil less than 5 inches in diameter. The front seal on the water pump does have a small leak and drips when the car is running.

Paint body and interior… The car was repainted over 25 years age. It does show signs of wear but is in amazing shape for how long ago it was done. The left front fender does have some cracking in the top coat as you can see in the pictures. I know these early Benz were very prone to rusting but this car shows few signs of rust or repair. I am able to see that the lower body frame rails have been patched in a few places and there is some light blisters in the lower sections of the doors. The floor boards are rock solid as is the rest of the body. I see some light rust in the lower corners of the door channels but again, no gaping holes and not rotted out. The chrome shines up well but on close inspection there is some pitting. Some places worse than others, but overall respectable. From the exterior of the car, it is a very good looking vehicle that you would not be ashamed to show off. The interior is all original as you can see in the pictures and could be addressed. The carpeting is a little stained and tattered. The upholstery does have some rips in it but again, for the year is semi respectable. The drivers seat and the left side or the rear seat are the worst as you can see in the pictures. The rear speaker tray also needs to be re-upholstered. I did have the carpet and the seats bid to be replaced and the bid came in at $2,600 – $3,000 depending on the grain thickness of the leather one choses to have installed.

This car is 100% complete as far as the impossible to find parts. The only thing that will need to be purchased to make the car 100% correct and complete is a windshield washer bag and a small part that goes to the e-brake assembly. The e-brake pulls and functions but does not stay engaged. I see a small threaded hole that appears to hold a thumb screw or some sort of a stopping device to keep it locked once pulled. I have not played with everything enough to try to get all of the original components working again. I know for a fact that the radio is complete and in perfect shape but not functioning. The left front head light does not come on high or low which could be a bulb issue as I had both headlights working earlier. The self leveling or ride control which stiffens the rear suspension or lowers it down I believe does not work. I also know that the blower fan for the heat does not come on when activated. As you may see in the pictures as well, there is a small chrome piece on the grill not installed and also the fuse box cover. I have both sitting here at the shop and just forgot to put them on before I took the pictures.

In a nutshell, this vehicle is a great starting block for a restoration or a good candidate for a fix up as you drive and enjoy it. I can not say with 100% certainty that the car is road worthy. As I stated earlier, I have drove it 22 miles with no issues and run it many times here in the shop. The tires are old but hold pressure fine, and the transmission shifts fine. I did replace the tranny oil when I did the first oil change as well. It shifted sluggish at first but the seals seem to be coming back to life and it shifts well when warmed up and driving now.

If you have any questions or need any more pictures (I have many more pictures) please feel free to ask. I am Adam Kottke and you can reach via email or call me at 815-222-0644. You are more than welcome to come view the car at anytime during the auction as well. I would be more than happy to assist in shipping this vehicle to the new owner, however I will NOT set up the shipping for you. International bidders are welcome to bid away as well.

When I first saw this 300d, it crossed my mind that it might be a potential for Heap of the Week, but honestly, it’s too nice to classify it as such. This is a really neat car. If I were buying it, I’d work my way through the mechanical bits and make sure it was 100% road worthy but leave it alone cosmetically. So many of these cars are either basket cases or museum queens that it’s nice to find one in good enough shape to enjoy regularly without the guilt of ruining its value. With no reserve set, I’ll be quite interested to see where this winds up. The 300d Convertibles are the ones that bring the big dollars, but the sedans are more within reach. Somewhere around $20,000 to $25,000 is where I’d suspect bidding will wind up.

-Paul