13th Mar, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

  Lot 33

1953 Mercedes-Benz 300a 'Adenauer' Saloon
Fully restored over a period of 20 years

Sold for £33,750

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: 78 BYM
Chassis No: 1860113501918
MOT: Exempt

  • Rare right-hand drive 300a
  • Fitted with manual transmission
  • Fully restored between 1993 and 2004
  • Exhibited on the Mercedes-Benz stand at the 2004 NEC Classic Car Show and the Goodwood Festival of Speed
  • Still presenting in exceptional condition

Synonymous with (and nicknamed after) Konrad Adenauer - the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany - who ran no less than six during his tenure, the Mercedes-Benz Type 300 (or W186) was launched at the 1951 Frankfurt Motor Show. Derived from pre-WW2 practice, its cruciform-braced ovoid tubular chassis frame was nonetheless equipped with all-round independent suspension, hydraulic drum brakes, worm and sector steering and an innovative rear load-levelling control. All new, the model's 2996cc SOHC straight-six engine featured such niceties as a hardened crankshaft, alloy cylinder head, deep water jackets, thermostatically controlled oil cooling, twin Solex carburettors and copper-lead bearings. Designed to withstand the rigours of high-speed autobahn cruising, it was allied to a four-speed all-synchromesh manual transmission. Able to accommodate up to six people, the Type 300 was available in Saloon or Cabriolet guises. Elegant, powerful, exclusive and expensive, the big Mercedes-Benz was targeted at plutocrats and politicians (though, more than a few found favour in Hollywood too).

The 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 ‘Adenauer’ offered here is a rare right-hand drive ‘a’-series model. Equipped with a manual transmission, this car is believed to have been delivered new from the factory finished in Ivory White. Found by the current vendor in a barn near Aylesbury in 1993 after having been stored there since 1972, this 300a ‘Adenauer’ was purchased together with a sister car, 300b ‘Adenauer’ chassis no. 5500490. As the 300a was in much better condition than the 300b, it was decided to restore the former while using the latter as a donor car for spares. Over a period of 20 years, the 300a underwent a thorough restoration at great expense. The body was removed from the chassis, stripped back to bare metal with repairs made and new panels fitted where necessary by XK Engineering, after which it was repainted in its original Ivory White. All chrome was removed and re-plated or replaced. The chassis, suspension, steering and brakes were fully reconditioned as were the engine and transmission. The interior was re-trimmed in Dark Red Connolly leather with a new headlining fitted and all wood trim stripped and re-polished to original specification. Furthermore, a new pattern wiring loom was made and fitted by a specialist and an original Becker radio was sourced and reconditioned but not yet fitted.

The outcome of the restoration was so successful that ’78 BYM’ was invited to be exhibited on the Mercedes-Benz Club stand at the 2004 NEC Classic Car Show and at the 2004 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Sparingly used since completion of the restoration, the vendor is looking to pass the car on to a new custodian due to advancing age. Offered with a photographic record of the restoration, an original Instruction Manual and a current V5, this magnificent example of the much admired ‘Adenauer’ should make a perfect addition to any collector’s garage, especially those who are looking for a rare and impressive ‘mode of arrival’ for events such as the Goodwood Revival. A large pallet of spare parts is available by separate negotiation.

For more information, please contact:
Julian Pinkster
07889 223 904


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 13th Mar, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

To enquire about entering your classic or performance car into the auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click here: Enter Your Classic Motorcar 

All our professional valuations are complimentary and without obligation.

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Tues 12th March from 12pm
Wed 13th March from 9am

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All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

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