Auctions and Brokerage
J.C.C., Magalhães Mexia, Portugal (acquired in 1999)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2011)
Introduced at Frankfurt in 1951, the new W186 Mercedes-Benz 300 sedan took its place as the marque’s top model line. In many ways, the classical styling, limited production, and legendary hand-built quality of the 300 recalled the glamour and exclusivity of the top prewar Mercedes-Benz models, yet marked a significant step forward with rational proportions and modern engineering.
Mercedes-Benz engineers relentlessly updated the 300 throughout production, which continued through March 1962. During late 1951, the uprated 300 S or “Super” arrived, with three sportier bodies (coupe, cabriolet, and roadster) on a shorter chassis and power increased to 150 hp. Standard features were comprehensive, and interiors were lavishly and thoughtfully appointed. Priced from $12,680, the 300 S was the choice of the era’s wealthiest personalities. Only an approximate 560 examples of the 300 S were produced, including 216 Coupes.
Known provenance of this magnificent 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupe, equipped with a floor-mounted shift lever and rare optional sunroof, dates to 1999 when it was acquired by a Portuguese gentleman who treasured and kept it in sound condition until 2011, when it was acquired by the consignor. Following purchase, the 300 S was shipped to the US and then to RM Auto Restoration in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada, whose many achievements include six Best of Show awards at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. Performed to the highest concours-quality standards during 2012–2013 with no possible expense spared, the restoration elevated the renowned design of the 300 S to an aesthetic level above and beyond its original grandeur.
Given the owner’s active participation in the contemporary art market, the color combination selected for the Mercedes-Benz was of utmost importance, with an exceptional amount of time and consideration applied to this aspect of the restoration. In direct correspondence with the restorer’s craftsmen, the owner systematically examined numerous custom-mixed paint samples, upholstery dye lots, carpet and headliner samples, and wood-veneer finishes. Using his trained eye, the most harmonious color combination of silver over blue leather with silver/gray carpets was finally determined, and the results are breathtaking.
Since completion, the car has been driven only sparingly and never shown, providing uncommon opportunities for the new owner. Consistent with the current owner’s fastidious nature, the 300 S has just received a service at Hjeltness Restoration, the Mercedes-Benz marque specialists in Escondido, California. Accompanying the car are a photo book, restoration receipts, a roadside jack, and car cover. Photographs alone cannot do justice to the beauty of this 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupe, which simply must be experienced firsthand to fully appreciate.