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Lot 119

2019   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2019

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 Sc Roadster

SOLD $885,000

Estimate

$900,000 - $1,300,000

Chassis

188.015.5500026

Engine

199.980.5500029

Car Highlights

Iconic and Extremely Rare, as One of Just 53 Examples Built
Comprehensive Five-Year Restoration by a 300 Sc Specialist
Completed in 2002; Accompanied by Six-Piece Fitted Luggage Set Freshened by a Marque Expert in 2018
Four Documented Owners Since 1979, Including a 33-Year Period of Single Family Ownership
A Sensational Example of Stuttgart’s Sporting, Hand-Built
Fuel-Injected Roadster, Retaining Its Matching-Numbers Engine

Technical Specs

2,996 CC SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch Mechanical Fuel Injection
175 BHP at 5,400 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Servo-Assisted Drum Brakes
Front Independent Double-Wishbone Suspension
Rear Swing-Axle Suspension with Coil Springs

Saleroom Addendum

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Herbert Clark, New York, New York (acquired circa late 1960s)Harvey Berg, Tiburon, California (acquired in 1979)Carlo Peratoner, Tiburon, California (acquired from the above in 1993)Harvey Berg, Tiburon, California (reacquired from the above by 1995)Michael Drobot, Long Beach, California (acquired in 2013)Current Owner (acquired in 2014)

In late 1955, Mercedes-Benz refreshed the flagship 300 S sport-luxury model with an upgraded engine based on developments undertaken in the 300 SL Gullwing, resulting in the limited-production 300 Sc. The introduction of fuel injection increased power and smoothness, while a dry sump oil system provided superior lubrication. Offered in three body styles, the complex and hand-assembled 300 Sc was produced in a sparing quantity of 200 examples, just 53 of which were built with sleek Roadster coachwork.

The Roadster iteration is generally preferred by enthusiasts today, as the design’s purity is best appreciated with the canvas top fully stowed under the small, leather boot without the added bulk of a thick headliner and landau irons. Nothing short of automotive jewelry, the 300 Sc marked a return to the quality and grandeur of the marque’s legendary prewar models.

This beautiful 300 Sc retains its matching-numbers engine, as confirmed by its build record, and benefits from a five-year restoration by one of the nation’s most respected postwar Mercedes-Benz specialists, after which it experienced very mild use before passing to a respected Southern California collection. Chassis 00026 completed assembly in early February 1956, finished in light blue metallic and upholstered in red leather. Later that month, the Roadster was dispatched to the official Mercedes-Benz distributor of Los Angeles.

In the late 1970s, the Mercedes-Benz was reportedly owned by Herbert Clark of New York; noted 300 Sc dealer Alex Dearborn recalls that Clark had owned the car for many years. In early 1979, Harvey “Skip” Berg of Tiburon, California acquired the Roadster from Mr. Dearborn. A dedicated marque collector, Mr. Berg eventually registered the Roadster with plates reading “300SC56,” and he garaged the car at his home, only occasionally driving it. In 1993, Mr. Berg sold the car to his father-in-law, only to reacquire it two years later.

In 1997, Mr. Berg chose to fully restore the car, and he entrusted Don Mertz of Los Angeles, one of the foremost experts in postwar Mercedes-Benz restorations, to conduct a comprehensive refurbishment, ensuring every mechanical and cosmetic element was addressed. The project spanned five years to properly rebuild the chassis components and refinish the body, interior, and brightwork. The Roadster was elegantly painted in factory-correct Dark Red (DB 516), while the upholstery was expertly re-trimmed in tan leather.

Following completion of the restoration in 2002, Mr. Berg enjoyed the Mercedes- Benz as part of his collection before parting with it in early 2012, concluding over 30 years with the Berg family. The Roadster was then fitted with a new tan soft top by the esteemed Paul Russell and Company in Massachusetts. Briefly passing to Michael Drobot of Long Beach, California, the 300 Sc was submitted in 2013 to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in nearby Irvine for diagnostic work and service.

In March 2014, the Roadster was purchased by the consignor, a respected collector based in Southern California who has continued to dutifully maintain and exercise it. Later in 2014, the owner retained the marque experts at Hjeltness Restoration in Escondido, California, to conduct some minor freshening. The fuel system was sorted, the brakes were rebuilt with a new master cylinder, new rear shock absorbers were installed, and the wheels were shod with new Michelin tires.

Accompanied at sale by an owner’s manual, tools, and a matching sixpiece fitted luggage set, this outstanding Mercedes-Benz is exquisitely presented, and continues to benefit from Mertz’s expert restoration. The Roadster abounds in luxurious period details such as the preponderance of chromed pieces exclusive to the Sc Series, the opulent burl-wood dashboard and door caps, and the ivory-tone steering wheel. With only 53 examples made, and far fewer presenting in concours-quality condition, finely restored 300 Sc Roadsters are only rarely offered for public sale. This outstanding example would offer great distinction to any collection of the rarest European luxury models.