Mercedes-Benz flagship 300. One of only 98 300 SC Coupes built. Matching numbers example accompanied by luggage. Features a very rare and unusual Venti sunroof.
1957 Mercedes 300SC with Sunroof
s/n 188.014.7500014 eng. no. 199.980.6500160
Black with Tobacco Brown Leather Interior
Hand-crafted by specially selected artisans inspired to build one of the most expensive and exclusive luxury cars ever crafted, the Mercedes-Benz W188, 300SC continues to represent the ultimate in elegance, stunning design, and uncompromised engineering. Despite having been manufactured more than half a century ago, these rare automobiles continue to capture the hearts of enthusiasts worldwide.
An elegant flagship offering, the 300S (1955-1958) was the successor to the 300 (1951-1954), representing the ultimate Mercedes-Benz available at the time. The classic design, stately grille, and traditional fender lines cleverly concealed a mechanical powerhouse of performance including the engine, suspension, and chassis derived from the formidable 300SL Gullwing. In addition to setting the highest standards in the automotive world, the 300SC was vital to Daimler-Benz’ brand strategy emerging from the throws of war, as they returned to mainstream automobile production. Key to their new marketing approach, Mercedes-Benz would offer affordable fleet and commercial vehicles, reinstate their racing program, and craft specialized premier luxury cars for their wealthy and influential clientele. Released at just the right time for Mercedes-Benz, the 300SC offered the perfect blend of prestige, performance-derived engineering, and the durability/reliability developed in their commercial vehicles.
First unveiled at the Paris Salon in 1951, production was intentionally exclusive due to the detailed hand labor required to build each of these impressive luxury cars. In 1955 the SC appeared with upgrades that included a new version of the Bosch mechanical direct fuel-injection feeding the robust inline six-cylinder engine which delivered 173hp at 5400 rpm. Independent front suspension, four-speed manual transmission, tube shocks and coil springs, and larger servo-assisted four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes, were among the many state-of-the-art technical features built into each car. The SC featured new “low pivot” independent rear suspension and revised hood trim, and modest updating to the impressive exterior design. Assembled by a cadre of top technicians at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen Karosserie under the direction of Design Chief Hermann Ahrens, the coachwork and finish were legendary, from the hand stitched leather seats to the precise fit of the complex sculpted doors, beautifully polished paint and chrome, and the custom-tailored luggage accompanying each car. Every vehicle was obsessively prepared to exhaustingly high standards enhanced by exemplary handwork. Three body styles were available, Coupe, Cabriolet, and Roadster.
In addition to the prestige, the 300SC was priced at double that of a 300SL Gullwing and far more than a Rolls Royce, making each of these specially built cars exclusive to royalty, Hollywood elite, and industry tycoons such as Aga Khan, Bing Crosby, and Clark Gable to name a few. Contemporary press raved about the comfortable and luxurious interior, exceptional build quality, and remarkable performance, And, while each of these ambassadors of elegance performed a critical role reestablishing Mercedes-Benz as a world automotive brand, production was greatly limited. As technology advanced, features and performance needs shifted, and wealthy customers sought different cars to meet their varying needs, production concluded in 1957. A mere 98 300SC coupes were built, fewer than a dozen of which were cars assembled with the rare factory optional sunroof.
This example has the distinction of being among the most original 300SCs in existence. Astute collectors of this series will recall the car having been part of a collection in the US for many years before gaining the interest of other collectors eager to own such an original example. The car eventually found its way to California when the current owner acquired it in 2005. An avid enthusiast and collector of vintage Mercedes-Benz automobiles for decades, that car had been preserved for many years but only occasionally driven. In 2007, the current owner commissioned extensive mechanical refurbishment, then showing 03,878 miles. The car was serviced by experts at Silver Star Mercedes, Escondido, CA, documented by invoices totaling over $70,000 preparing the mechanical features of the car to the same exceptional level seen throughout the exterior and interior features.
During the service, the numbers matching engine was removed from the car, fully disassembled, the crank was reconditioned, the original block was carefully welded where stress cracks had developed, and the engine fully rebuilt including new drive gears and camshaft components. The fuel injection system was also rebuilt, including all gaskets and seals. New valve seals, exhaust and intake valves, and chain tensioner were installed, main bearing replaced, new ring gear installed, a new rope seal, new water pump, new transmission mount, and various fuel and water hoses replaced. Engine timing and valve adjustment was also performed, and the engine tested for proper operation. While the engine was out, the transmission was also dismantled and repaired, all gaskets replaced including a new clutch plate, all gears were replaced along with new bearings and hardware, the steering linkage was serviced, and a wheel alignment performed. Invoices accompanying the car carefully detail all work, parts, and notations including removal and renewal of the fuel tank, a complete brake system overhaul including a new master brake cylinder, new brake wheel cylinders, new brake shoes, a new exhaust system, and new front and rear shock absorbers. The car was road tested when the work was completed, and minimal miles have accumulated since with regular attention given to fluids and general systems as needed.
Today this beautifully composed 300SC is a stunning example of this iconic touring car with the added provenance of being one of the most original examples in private hands. From any angle, the hand-built coachwork conveys luxury and refinement worthy of the most discerning clientele. Outfitted with a rare factory sunroof, this feature offers passengers a refreshing open air feel while seated inside the car. With the side glass lowered, refreshing breezes enliven the cockpit. The glossy black paint has wonderful depth and superb reflections cascading over the expansive hand trimmed surfaces. Though small portions of the paint have been blended in at the trunk and a few areas touched up, a great deal of the car still retains the original paint. The panel fit is quite exemplary on the hood, trunk, and beautifully contoured doors, all of which open and close smoothly and latch with confidence. The body to fender bead lines, body trim, and door chrome trim are beautifully precise, just as intended when first assembled at the factory. The chrome, nearly all of which is believed to be original to the car, is in excellent condition, with deep luster and clean, bright reflections and correct contours. The upright grill shell is in excellent condition, including the very impressive square grid grille mesh and prominent hood ornament. An impressive touch on the rear bumper is the German pronouncement of the most advanced engine in this final series lurking under the hood “Einspritzmotor”, reminding those appropriately lingering behind of the powerful fuel-injected engines that roared victoriously at Nurburgring and commanded the Autobahn. All lenses, lighting, and glass are in excellent condition including the correct original Bosch headlights, original Sekurit etched glass, and clear windshield. The chrome plated steel wheels are covered with beautifully polished domed hubcaps painted to match the impressive black exterior.
The interior is a gorgeous example of Mercedes-Benz quality, displaying very well-preserved features and many original factory finishes. The original leather surfaces, dyed some years ago to preserve the color, have gently relaxed over time and long-term enthusiast care, inviting comfort and ease when driving. The leather seating surfaces combine with the warm wood tones on the dashboard and door caps, which are greatly enhanced by the gleaming black exterior. The stunning dashboard includes a central speedometer, stately clock, the original Becker Mexico radio, beautifully detailed chrome switches and knobs, and expansive wood finishes. The dashboard is remarkably nice with very clean gauges, high gloss lacquered wood, and a commanding black rimmed steering wheel, once again all believed to be original to the car. The trunk is outfitted with a set of matching custom fitted leather luggage still retaining the original factory finishes. Inside the trunk, a “56” stamped full-sized Michelin X spare tire is mounted on a chrome wheel and held in place with a leather strap. The factory jack and emergency bulb kit are also present.
The engine compartment and matching-numbers original engine is in excellent condition overall and properly presented with correct parts, correct intake system, fuel-injection, and proper factory components. As evidenced by the invoices for mechanical work, a great deal of attention has been given not only to the major components but to the accuracy of the hard lines, correct hoses, and electrical features all while maintaining the quality and originality of this fine 300SC. The fuel injection plenum is clean and nicely detailed along with assorted components, most of which have a warm mellow tone consistent with preserved original components found throughout this and other original engine compartments. The matching numbers engine and correctly detailed engine compartment are impressive, cohesive, and properly finished; a difficult if not nearly impossible challenge given the rarity and precision quality of these mechanical parts, many of which are often sacrificed to serve the iconic 300SL Gullwing.
Inspection of the underside reveals a car that has been properly serviced and cared for. All components appear to be in excellent condition, dry, and clean, once again boasting originality and preservation. The floor pan, trunk floor, and undercarriage are solid and straight, showing no evidence of structural compromise and no visible signs of corrosion.
The car starts easily and idles smoothly, though regular use by the current owner has been limited in recent years, the car has always benefited from proper care and regular mechanical attention. Once warmed up and underway, the driving experience is refined and commanding, delivering an impressive ride even under casual motoring. The ride engineering, braking, and comfortable suspension are remarkably advanced, especially considering much of concurrent automotive production engineering was dominated by solid axles and leaf springs. With the sunroof open and side glass down, open air motoring delights passengers even at spirited highway speeds. Offering ample luggage space and open sunroof design, this beautifully prepared 300SC is an excellent car for club tours and motoring events. The car is accompanied by previous service documentation, a full-sized spare tire, a factory jack, and emergency bulb kit.
This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a beautifully preserved matching-numbers Mercedes-Benz 300SC. Powered by the same engine that motivated the iconic 300SL Gullwing, the superb mechanical engineering of the 300SC is seamlessly fused with the timeless hand-crafted opulence of a truly grand era. With fewer than a dozen known sunroof equipped coupes, this captivating, charming, and powerful 300SC is ready for pleasant drives, touring, or showing at any premier Mercedes-Benz classic event.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
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