Pricier than the 300SL sports car and nearly double the cost of the top-tier Cadillac of its time, the Mercedes-Benz 300S stood as one of the world’s most exclusive automobiles. Introduced at the 1951 Frankfurt Auto Show, it marked Mercedes-Benz’s post-war era return to designing high-performance luxury cars, reaffirming its position among prestigious manufacturers. Crafted by skilled artisans, the 300 boasted top-tier materials and luxurious appointments, offering speed and elegance rare for a vehicle capable of comfortably seating six passengers at sustained high speeds.
Known as the ‘Adenauer’ after German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, its prominent customer, the 300 was favored by government officials, businessmen, financiers, and politicians in West Germany, Europe, and the USA. The 300S, unveiled in 1951, recaptured the elegance of the pre-war 540K. Lighter and more powerful than the saloon, the two-seater 300S featured triple Solex carburetors, a raised compression ratio, 150bhp output, and a 110mph top speed.
Beyond its power, the 300S boasted a lavishly equipped interior with leather upholstery, burr walnut trim, chromium-plated dashboard instrumentation, and precision switchgear, setting it apart from its contemporaries.