2007 Shannons Sydney Winter Classic Auction
1956 Mercedes-Benz 300C Saloon
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 2996cc|
This lot is no longer available
The 300 series was the Daimler-Benz flagship during the Fifties, favoured by Heads of State and Captains of Industry alike. Indeed, the 300 saloons were synonymous with German politicians to the point where they were nicknamed 'Adenauer' after the Chancellor of the day. Having largely recovered from the devastation of the war, Mercedes-Benz set about building the finest luxury saloon on the market and the 300, when announced in 1951, was certainly amongst the most sophisticated cars of the era. The heart of the new model was a new 2996cc six-cylinder engine with a light alloy head, chain-driven camshaft and seven-bearing crankshaft. The twin Solex carburettors had an automatic choke and the motor developed 115 bhp, enough to pull the heavy 300 around at very respectable speeds - thanks in no small part to the all-synchro four-speed gearbox. The Transatlantic styling gave the big Mercedes real presence and the interior was certainly luxurious enough to satisfy the most discerning customers, with plenty of leather and rich timber cappings - even a division if the car was to be chauffeur driven. In March 1954, Mercedes-Benz updated the 300 (the new model was known as the 300B) with more power extracted through better carburetion and an increased compression ratio, along with larger brakes and lower gear ratios for improved acceleration. The third incarnation of the W186 series, designated the 300C, was introduced in September 1955 and to help widen the appeal of the model in the American market, automatic transmission was offered for the first time. Swivelling quarter-light windows and larger rear windscreen set the car apart from earlier 300s and new options like a sliding steel sunroof and central locking were available. To alleviate concerns over the high-speed cornering abilities, the swing-axle arrangement was revised with a single pivot point mounted lower down and wider tyres were fitted. In total just 1,432 300Cs were made, only a small portion of them with right-hand drive steering and due to the prohibitive cost, very few landed in Australia.