Classic Van Auction Talk

Friday 29 March 2019

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SC Coupé - BONHAMS AUCTIONS GOODWOOD MEMBERS MEETING Goodwood, Goodwood Estate, Chichester PO18 0PX Sunday 7th April 2019


Goodwood, Goodwood Estate, Chichester PO18 0PX
Sunday 7th April 2019

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SC Coupé

Coachwork by Sindelfingen

Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. 188 014 6500134

*One of only 200 built

*Coachbuilt in the traditional manner

*The most desirable of all Mercedes-Benz's post-war luxury models
*Acquired by the Key Museum circa 2009

  • Right from the marque's creation in 1926 by the merger of Daimler-Benz and Mercedes, Mercedes-Benz's top-of-the-range models have ranked in the forefront of the world's greatest automobiles. Throughout the 1950s the company's flagship model was the 300S, a luxurious Grand Tourer in the tradition of the pre-war 540 K that was both lighter and faster than its illustrious predecessor. Mercedes-Benz's first prestige car of the post-WW2 period, the 300 debuted at the Paris Salon in 1951. The range comprised the six-light, four-door saloon and similar-sized cabriolet, plus a trio of two-door variants built on a shorter wheelbase.

    Like the majority of 1950s luxury cars, the 300 retained a separate chassis, though unlike most of its rivals could boast all-independent suspension. Later to form the basis of the immortal 300SL sports car's, the 3.0-litre, overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine produced 115bhp, an output good enough to endow the saloon with a genuine 100mph maximum speed despite an all-up weight of 1,780kg (almost 4,000lbs). And while not unique in that respect, the 300 could cruise at close to its maximum speed while transporting six passengers in comfort in a manner that few of its contemporaries could match.

    Even more performance was available to those in a position to afford a 300S. At US$12,500 the latter was more than double the price of the most expensive Cadillac and costlier than a 300 SL, so remained the province of a highly select clientele. Built in coupé, cabriolet and roadster versions, the 300S enjoyed an extra 35bhp courtesy of an increased compression ratio and three - as opposed to two - Solex downdraft carburettors. Its top speed was 176km/h (109mph), a figure improved upon by the subsequent 300Sc introduced towards the end of 1955 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The 300Sc featured a 175bhp dry-sump engine equipped with Bosch fuel injection, and boasted revised rear suspension with single-pivot swing axles similar to that of the 300SL Roadster, a development that enhanced both roadholding and handling. The car's top speed was now 180km/h (112mph) with 100km/h (62mph) reachable in around 13 seconds. To cope with the improved performance, servo-assisted brakes, optional from 1954, were standardised.

    Coachbuilt in the traditional manner by Sindelfingen, the 300S family represents a standard of excellence that has rarely been equalled; only materials of the finest quality were used for the hand finished interiors, which were comparable with those of the contemporary Rolls-Royce. The 300Sc is widely regarded by discerning collectors as the most desirable of all Mercedes-Benz's post-war luxury models. Only 200 examples of the 300Sc were built and survivors are both rare and highly sought after.

    Restored in Europe in the 1990s, this ultra-rare 300Sc coupé is finished in red with tan leather interior, the latter featuring a sunroof, fog lights, and Becker Mexico radio. A rare find indeed, this beautiful car was purchased by the Key Collection at a US auction and imported in November 2009. 

    Should the vehicle remain in the UK, local import taxes of 5% will be added to the hammer price.



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