(first posted 7/25/2014) Since hardtops are the subject de jour, how about a quick look at what has to be considered the ultimate hardtop, the Mercedes 300d (the “d” does not stand for diesel) from 1958. Not only did it not have a B Pillar, but the small rear-most side windows were removable, to give the utmost on unobstructed viewing pleasure; both from within, as well as from without.
But that came at a price: $10,418 in the US ($83k adjusted). That was about twice what a ’58 Cadillac four door hardtop cost. Now if only that front vent window could be removed too.
Stunning! Love the looks of this car, but I really love the purposeful snarl a Mercedes six makes winding out through the gears. Nothing else like it.
I think the 300 models were top-of-the line. I presume their relative expense (during a period when the $$ was strong!) was due to being hand-built by skilled craftsmen apprentice-trained in the same way since the Middle Ages.
A very beautiful car,did see them in Germany in the 50/60,love to see one now,thank you very much for the picture, Pete
My Father bought one of these for my Mother then ruined the engine by running it out of oil far away in Maine whilst visiting his girlfriend….
Beautiful cars ! .
His mistress? You’ve got to be joking!
I wish I was joking , Pops was rather a shit and eventually Mom kicked him to the curb , so he married said mistress who as it turned out was a really nice Lady who remained upset that he’d lied to her until she died .
Of course , Pops ran off and left her in the lurch for yet another mistress whom he also married .
Like I said , a real shit .
Didja know ? the definition of ” Mistress ” is : between a Mister and a Mattress .
I saw one of these fine cars languishing in a remote Arizona Junk Yard a few years ago , it was undamaged but every plastic , rubber & leather part was fried to a crisp by the Hotazona sun , too bad .
After googling this model I think it is fair to say that it could be compared with the 58 Eldorado Brougham rather than the lower end Cadillac hardtops. Probably this is a better car too, even though it cost half as much.
The Eldorado Brougham was “only” $13,000, so it was only 3 grand more than this car, but much better looking IMHO, and offered a lot more equipment.
I always wondered how the quarter glass disappeared on these, I assumed that it rolled down into the body, similar to how mid 50’s Imperial hardtop sedans did with their quarter glass, I didn’t know you had to remove it by hand.
It looks like the rear wheel well would have made that impossible (to roll down).
Cadillac charged $13000 for them but the actual cost to build was said to be more. I am not sure where I saw that, if it was in my Cadillac history book I can’t see it right now. Cadillac had expected to sell a lot more of them than they did. The original price target was $8500, which would probably have been a better price tag for sales volume.
This car could drag a Brougham backwards, well maybe not as the Broughams spent most of their time on a hook behind a tow truck.
A Brougham owner would likely have been an entirely different kind of person, with different kinds of objectives than the Mercedes 300 owner. The Brougham screamed, “Look at me as I sit here on the side of the road!” Where the 300 whispered.
This website supports my memory of what I remember reading somewhere:
“I didn’t know you had to remove it by hand.”
Man, I wish the OEMs would offer that now. Think: Camaro, Challenger, etc. I don’t care if there’s a B pillar or not, as I have owned 2 two-door sedans where the quarter glass did roll down, but never all the way.
Even 4 doors had windows that did not roll all the way down, although I am not sure which ones were limited now. My windows do go all the way down.
A classic case of apples and oranges. They’re so different in just about every way possible…it’s a matter of personal taste and preference.
Thank you for a reasonable reply Paul. Where as some other people can just make you roll your eyes and sigh…..
The point that I was trying to make is that the 300d was more comparable to the Rolls Royce of its time. The only Cadillac comparable to Rolls would have been the Eldorado Brougham, although I think they are completely different cars. The Eldorado Brougham is said to have cost $23,000 to build, so Cadillac lost about $9 million making them over the 4 year period they were in production.
That was roughly true for the first two years (’57-’58). The cost of building the ’59 and ’60 went down quite a bit, because it was much more heavily based on the production car. But, yes, it was an expensive folly, and didn’t really bring Cadillac/GM the kind of halo effect that they were looking for, at least not in terms of a value for the money spent.
Probably GM/Cadillac went ahead with the Eldorado Brougham as a response the Ford Motor Co. Continental which is also said to have cost more than the $10,000 list price. The 57-58 Eldorado Brougham’s are more collectable than the 59-60 versions.
It wasn’t your reply that I was talking about…..Comparable to a Rolls in what way? Remember that a Rolls from this time didn’t even have a V8 engine and really, was a really really nice 1939 car. Nice paint, nice wood and nice leather, sure, but an outdated crock.
ANY Cadillac from this era, properly equipped, was more than a comparable match to a Rolls or any other expensive car from the era, from the aspects of performance, ease of operation, luxury accessories such as power windows and seats, not to mention things like air conditioning.
I would say that post ww2 Rolls Royce interior trims are second to none, with wood and leather. This Mercedes interior is comparable. Even the Eldorado Brougham interiors are mostly glitter by comparison.
The Eldorado Brougham had real chrome, real leather, real mouton carpeting, real silver tumblers, real silver cigarette case, real perfume atomizer, but again, a nice wood dash and nice leather are just part of the whole package, they are no fun to stare at while you are sweating and rolling down your own windows though.
Power windows are really only useful for the driver, who, if alone, can open/close any windows in the car. I have looked at pictures of the Eldorado Brougham interiors and I still say they are glitter by comparison. Very expensive glitter perhaps.
I will agree that post WW2 Rolls Royces are not noted for engineering until BMW took over. The BMW Rolls has become a decent, if expensive, car.
Carmine, When you compare a Rolls-Royce of that era to a disposable Cadillac you explain everything you know about cars. All those little bells and features you describe would have been nice had the car actually performed and they had worked most of the time. Having been exposed to both cars I can tell you the Brougham was not even in the neighborhood of the quality of a Rolls-Royce. You are comparing handcrafted furniture to Sears furniture.
Handcrafted=Parts Fall Off.
I’d like to know how carpet and tumblers “don’t work half the time”. But….whatever, you also clearly display everything you know about cars every time you post as well
I’d try to explain it you, but its like trying to explain math to a dog. Yes, 50’s Rolls……they were the finest 1939 Packards that ignorant people with money could buy. I’m sure the wood and leather is real nice, and imagine if they would have been able to wrap that in a package that actually moved and was even remotely modern, they would have really had something. Forget the “troublesome” Brougham, I’ll put any 50’s Rolls or Mercedes or Jaguar against the same year Sixty Special hell, even a DeVille….and its like comparing a jet fighter to a biplane….or comparing hi-fi to a gramaphone, I know where you stand, every Cadillac is garbage and every Rolls is fantastic and the light of the world, yada yada yada yada…….I wonder how Rolls could have stood for using all those garbage GM transmissions and air conditioning for all those years.
I wonder why they couldn’t come up with their own superior “hand crafted” units.
What did not work on the Eldorado Brougham was the air suspension, which GM did finally admit was a total failure.
But you seem to miss the whole point of the Rolls Royce – it is a status symbol that no other car has been able to match.
If I were to choosing a car from this era, this Mercedes, a Rolls, the Eldorado or some other car, I think I might go for the Chrysler 300 letter series (D) or better still the Imperial Crown limo.
Carmine, You are comparing a Bic lighter to an S.T. Dupont lighter and you do not have the ability to know the difference. There is no such thing as a $1,000 Rolls-Royce. A Cadillac will one day depreciate to nothing.
In your description of features you remind me of a friend last night who was showing me his new smart phone. It has the ability to identify songs and movies within seconds but it’s ability as a phone (reception) sucked. Bells and whistles are fine for those who need the amusement but if the car does not run what are you going to do, sit in your garage and play with those features until they break or the battery runs down? You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig.
There are plenty of Cadillac’s I have liked well enough to buy, but I have sense enough to know they are disposable cars meant to last about the life of a car loan. Fortunately some of us have kept them around for later generations to enjoy. So would I buy a modern Cadillac? No. Would I buy an older special interests Cadillac? You bet I have and I will again. One modern model I admire for it’s durability is the 1968. I would count it much more dependable than a 68 Silver Shadow and would have made a much better daily driver back in 1968. As a special interest car and quality of material there is no question of the superior car, the Shadow. All one has to do is remove the door panel of both (which I have done out of necessity) the Cadillac and the Shadow to tell the difference. The 68 Shadow would have been like an adoption or stewardship. The 68 Cadillac would be an ownership.
I had an older friend, who has passed on to the Big Concours in the sky, who is the only person I have known personally to have owned both a 56 and 59 Brougham when new. When he talked of past cars you would not cared for his report of those two cars and would have missed an interesting point of view from someone who was there.
So no Rolls Royce has ever depreciated to nothing? No Rolls Royce in history has ever been scrapped? You’re right, there are no $1000 Rolls Royces, but there are $2500 Rolls Royces.
Here was a $1000 one that was even raced in LeMons, you might have to have your butler bring you some seltzer or something after you see this.
Also, please please please don’t turn this into the $1500 750il argument again, though I know that you probably will….siiiiiiigh.
But when something is that much more overpriced when new, it takes that much more time to get down to the practically “worthless” stage.
Pray tell, please tell me what you found when you removed to door panel on a Rolls? That the gnomes that lubricate the window winders had died?
I don’t know why you keep harping on the Brougham and Brougham and Brougham, yes, they were troublesome, do you have the delusions that the comparable era Rolls or Mercedes was some sort of anvil of reliability?
I don’t need the Brougham, put ANY Cadillac of the era against the same era Rolls and the Cadillac will hand the Rolls its ass in every category, save for the vaunted “thats nice wood veneer” category, you’re continued used of “disposable” in comparison to a Cadillac of that era is laughable at best …..you’re lighter comparison is pretty useful though, the expensive lighter looks nice and impresses people, but is not a durable, costs more to use, requires more upkeep and in most cases, wont work when you need it, just like a Rolls, but boy, it’s sure nice to look at, and most people will think that you spent a lot off money, you didn’t light your cigarette, but….hey, your lighter sure is pretty.
So $2500 buys you a Rolls-Royce with most of the useful parts farmed off of it. Just think that same amount of money will buy you a nice used Cadillac. Lesson: A junk Rolls is worth more than a running Cadillac.
I believe you are attentive of cars that are on the playground you enjoy but if you ventured across the street to the bespoke automobiles of the world I think you would find your love of automobiles taken to an entirely different level. If you ever forced yourself to live with such a car for only a month, then you would know what I am describing. You simply do not know what exist beyond your chosen playground.
I’ve been around and driven the so called high end cars you like to pontifficate about before, for the most part, its really, “ho-hum”, again, handcrafted = parts fall off. I really wouldn’t want to live with one for a month, probably not even for a day.
I know what exists outside of my realm, I like almost all cars really, I always have. Are there car brands and manufacturers that I like more than others, hell yeah, doesn’t everyone, but I like Alfas and Citroens and Miatas and ModelT’s and even Rolls Royces, but there are certain “truths” that people that like cars like the ones that you are talking about have to admit, and that is, that since about the end of WWI until about the BMW ownership era, pretty much every Rolls Royce and related blatantly BADGE ENGINEERED(more lazily badge engineered than ANY GM car ever)Bentley that was associated, was pretty much and out dated crock, lovely wood and leather, sure, nice paint, yeah, ok, historical badge with great heritage, no doubt, but really, as a car, particularly when it comes to luxury features, especially for the era that we are discussing, such things such as air conditioing and power accessories, not that great.
Don’s sit there and think that the Rolls’ shit doesn’t stick because it has “nice wood”. Handcrafted, handcrafted, handcrafted, great, why doesn’t it perform? Why doesn’t have any or any adequate air conditioning? Why does it have an engine from 1930? Quaint is one thing, but really, come on.
So when the Beetles made the big time, they bought a Rolls Royce, a Phantom I think. Status, Prestige …
The car? Bought another car?
Actually, the Beetles wanted Rolls, but they just ended up with Bentley.
Oh, you mean the Beatles.
nice little discussion you guys have going…..anyways if I am going to be spending big bucks on a new car, one would hope it would have some modern features like A/C, Power Windows or Power Brakes…….give me a 1950s caddy anyday…..heck a well loaded Ford would suit me more then the 1950s-1970s European luxury car
Oh no not this again…
All I will say is I like both Rollses and Caddys. But at the end of the day, if given a choice, give me a ’58 Sixty Special over a Silver Cloud any day. And I like them both; heck, I have the Franklin Mint 1955 Bentley “S” in a display case in my home office.
The Mercedes looks like a late 1940’s car, a facelifted prewar model. So does the interior. I’m guessing the AC on this one isn’t really integrated. Sure, it’s pretty and no doubt the highest quality, but certainly more late 40’s than late 50’s.
I really can’t imagine anyone cross-shopping the two. The only similarity is the price.
The point I was trying to make was that this 300 is not equivalent to the Mercedes 300 of today, which is a mid-range Mercedes model. In fact this 300 is higher end than todays S-class. It was more like the now defunct Maybach line.
“At your Studebaker-Packard authorized dealer”.
“Sorry, we don’t have any in stock. Would you like five Larks instead?”
I think picking up the distribution of MB came to Studebaker during the Curtiss-Wright management years. I also remember that they kept the Packard name for a few years after they stopped making the “Packabaker”
If not the ultimate hardtop, easily a contender. Some cars should never have gone out of production, and this is one of them.
I’m proud to say I’ve actually seen one up close. At a college friend’s house, we cut through the garage to go out, and tucked to one side, was one of these.
This was about 1985, and the shocks were several. My friend didn’t really think much of the car. His dad bought it at an auction to raise funds for the Catholic prep school. This all sounds fancy, but we are talking Catholics with a big family, a decidedly middle class neighborhood, and lots of prep school bills.
I didn’t know that anybody other than Americans had ever built a true four door hardtop. I had no idea Mercedes had built one. This car also had automatic and a factory air unit in the trunk the size of a VW Beetle. It just needed power windows to make it truly amazing, but I don’t know if they were available.
I often wondered what the heck he paid for the car and if maybe he got some kind of amazing dumb luck deal. The car looked very good inside and out, but I was never sure what kind of running condition it was in.
Every bit as impressive in the metal as it is in pictures.
So was this model one of the first air-conditioned Mercedes-Benz? I went online and found a few pictures of 300d models equipped with the rear air conditioning system. Similar concept to many American cars equipped with trunk a/c systems except they lacked the plexiglass tubes and just discharged the conditioned air from two less obtrusive vents located on the rear package shelf.
I don’t know if the was the first MB car with air, but it likely is. I don’t know Be nz well at all, but I speculate for free. This car seems to have been developed with the American market in mind. The hardtop, available AC and automatic were all requisites of the American luxury market in the late ’50’s. GM was the first to market after WW II with AC in ’54, so MB clearly needed it in this car by the late ’50s.
I believe that the 1952 Chrysler Imperial was the first postwar automobile with air conditioning (trunk installed). By 53 Cadillac was offering a similar accessory. I’ m not sure but seem to remember that the Buick Roadmaster also had A/C.
Packard had it just before the war, but it was pretty primitive and didn’t return after the war. I’m surprised S-P didn’t stick a Packard grille on these instead of the Studebaker President.
Non-US 4-door hard-tops… aside from a few weird/unique coachbuilt cars in the 30s (there’s a Delahaye 148 with no A and no B pillars IIRC) the only “production” model I can remember would be the Facel-Vega Excellence (1958-1964), also pretty exclusive…
There’s a story I heard about these taking corners too quickly and doors popping open. Great looking car except for the fins.
No fins? If zat iz monsieur’s wish…
Delicious. Didn’t know; cheers Tatra87.
“At your Studebaker-Packard authorized dealer”.
Who may have been ill-equipped to service it…
Well it wasn’t all S-P dealers just those that were awarded the MB franchise and it is not like there was anywhere else that would have been better equipped than the only people who were authorized to sell them.
I am well aware that not every Studebaker-Packard dealer received a franchise for M-B products but it has been discussed on the SDC forum that service for these cars sometimes was lacking at S-P dealers as well as other franchises involved.
The Studebaker dealer in Fort Wayne became the Mercedes Benz dealer there. Within a few years, I’m sure they made more money selling Mercedes cars then they ever had selling Studes!
This is one of the most handsome cars I can think of. Just awesome!!
Yes. The ultimate hardtop. Saw one of these a few years ago when it was parked for display after doing a tarmac rally. As magisterial as a car can be. Thanks Paul.
Speaking of a classic rally Benz.
Waxenberger. A true MB unsung hero. You have much info of him over there?
Thank you for the link, the name Waxenberger sounded familiar but I never really read about the man. Here’s a nice video with “Die Rote Sau” and a more recent number 35:
BaT had an AMG Red Sow tribute for sale this week. It had blackout trim in place of the chrome and looked better than you would think.
Indeed Waxenburger was a truly brilliant engineer and a very talented driver as well from by all accounts.
There are a few replicas of the “Red Pig” floating around now. The original is often touted as the very first AMG.
What I wonder about Red Pig is did it have the 300 air suspension, or was it converted to steel springs – I just wonder how durable the air system would have been for flying around Le Mans?!?
Another great Mercedes figure of this era is Paul Bracq, the very talented (French!!) designer of so many of the Mercedes 1960’s “Golden era” cars. His sons now have a business in France that restores Mercedes, especially the Pagoda SL (which Paul is credited with designing) and Paul has a stake in the business as well as creating his artworks.
About 18 months ago I had a question I always wanted to ask about a design aspect of the W111 coupe so on a hunch I sent an email to the Bracq’s business email address. I was stunned when Paul Bracq himself replied and answered my question! How is that – my question answered by the very guy who designed the car.
I would assume that it had the steel suspension; hard to imagine otherwise, but I could be wrong.
Not to be nosy, but was your question (and answer) to Paul Bracq one that you’d like to share?
+1 on that question.
The question about the W111 coupe concerned the absence of tail fins, given that the sedans had them. Apparently the original drafts of the coupe did have fins and – rather unusually – a grille derived from the SL series (ie the sports grille with the star in the grille, something they ended up doing in the 1980’s with the S class coupes). It appears that the reason behind deleting the fins was the feeling that buyers of the more luxurious (and more expensive) coupe models were a rather conservative lot – a case of “if in doubt go without”. As Mr Bracq pointed out, the fins are actually there on the coupe, but subdued and, thicker and rounded off. I have a W108 as well and side by side you can see that on the 111 coupe there are stubby fins, which are totally gone by the time of the 108. The cabriolet was developed off the coupe so the questions of fins on it never arose.
Paul Bracq sells original artworks – mainly with automative themes. He also designed – wait for this – a 600 utility which was actually built recently in the USA. A sort of Mercedes-meets-El Camino. Built by Karl Middelhauve in the USA – go to mbgrand600.com to see that car and many others. Karl is a great authority on 600’s and very highly regarded. He and Paul Bracq are in regular contact.
Interesting about those fins. I have an early 60s Dinky Toys catalogue that anticipated a new model in their range being the w111 coupe. It’s an illustration and looks just like the four door with only two doors. And it also features those fins. Dunno if they got an early peek at sketches or if they were just guessing. Will dig it out at some point.
Am mighty relieved the coupe did not get the fins, btw.
Yes, Karl Middelhauve is the M100 God.
This was probably a “halo” car for Mercedes until the 600’s went into production.
The first time I heard of this car was when avidly reading my 1961 Motor Trend Imported car issue as a lad (I still have it – please forgive the poor quality scan, but you get the idea). I loved the caption under the picture: “…combines maximum dignity and impressiveness with minimum ostentation.” The picture was just stunning. The text describes it as selling “in the $9000 range.” It was difficult for me to imagine such wealth at the time. Beautiful car.
Laurence Harvey’s character drove one in Butterfield 8 but that was a movie I didn’t get to see until a few years later:-)
So did James Cagney’s character in “One, Two Three”. A bit fancy for a regional (local, almost) Coca-Cola exec, who more likely would’ve rated a smaller Mercedes if not an Opel Rekord or Ford Taunus.
Jason’s dumb question of the day: Is this a W189? When I saw it back in May, it was claimed as being a ’62 or ’63 model, but it looks identical to these untrained eyes.
It was running quite rapidly on US 50 through town the other day.
Yep. W189 was produced from 1957 to 1962. Nice example.
Don beat me to it. The big 300 was built until the Grosse 600 replaced it in 1963 or so. Nice indeed.
As a kid in Austria, it was a big deal to see a 300; very rarely.
Don and Paul: Thank you. Every time I have seen this car, it has been presented only as “1962 Mercedes”. Sadly, I sold my Mercedes reference book a few years ago.
You only had one? I have about twelve… 🙂
Yes, only one. If I didn’t move every five years or so I could allow myself to start accumulating more resource material. It sold during a purge cycle.
Did those big 300s have a diesel option?
No, on the diesel option. In fact, European S-Class cars didn’t get a diesel until…the mid/late 80s or so, almost a decade after they were available in the US version (WW 116 300SD). The diesel was put in US-bound S Class cars because of the CAFE regs, but the noise, vibration and the low performance of diesels back then made them taboo for S Class cars until a new generation of quieter, more powerful diesels came along.
Back when this 300d was built, the only diesel Mercedes had was the 50-55 hp 190 four, and that would have been utterly unacceptable.
The first S-class with a diesel in Europe was the W140, production started in 1991.
I’ve loved these ever since I saw an immaculate one in Mercedes For The Road by Henry Rasmussen. Great book with amazing photography by the way…it was published in the early ’80s.
The earlier postwar 300s are great too, but I’d take a 300d hardtop every time!
Fabulous car and the ultimate expression of the “Adenauer” series of 300 models. There is a guy here in Brisbane (Australia) that has two white versions of this model which can be hired for weddings.
There was also a four door cabriolet version of this 300, built in tiny numbers, which is equally stunning.
I think this was the last body on separate chasis Mercedes passenger car. It has an interesting system that would allow the driver to tighten suspension settings by means of a switch on the dash.
The 300 models of this era were actually rather popular in Hollywood – Uhl Brenner has on of these (and several other 300’s over the years from what I can gather) and Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Bing Crosby all had 300S variants (a different and even more expensive car).
Even British Field Marshall Mongomery bought a 300 (an earlier 4 door sedan version I think) which caused a bit of a stir in post-war UK!!
Now we need a CC on the Mercedes W111 hardtop and companion cabriolet……please!
I did do a CC on the W111 Cabrilet:
But I chose to not include the coupe in that; saving that for a rainy day.
And a proper write-up on the Adenauer 300 is also long overdue. Are you interested? 🙂 We always welcome contributions.
Paul I am not really an expert on Adenauer models and I am afraid any profile I wrote on the model would not be terribly accurate. Happy to help with W 111 coupe story though but I think you already have that in hand!
I felt the same way about my w109 profile, but editorial helped it through. You’ve got great knowledge, Ashley. Would love to read you flesh it out somehow.
I see that one quite often- usually running down Brunswick St for photographs in New Farm Park. There is also a pair of early 1950s Jaguars run as wedding cars around here!
Yes! I have seen two – both white, one with a red interior the other blue.
The 300 (a? thru d) was definitely top-of-the-line for Mercedes. I believe the frame had a central tube with outriggers supporting the body. Given that, I wonder if the body was close to being a unibody, strength-wise.
I grew up with a round-body 190b (now called a Ponton). When I was given a model of it, I thought the model-makers had the proportions all wrong. Later, I learned the model was actually of a 300.
I’ve seen one of these, and I would agree with the tag. Without any of the normal flashy styling cues of the era they are one of the most elegant cars ever made.
Very possibly the ultimate hardtop. I think it could also be argued that these cars were the last hurrah for “separate fender” styling, yet they managed to wear it into the 60’s without looking like a relic. That’s remarkable in itself.
that is probably the best looking car on CC this year!
Who drove this is Needful Things? Was it Christopher Plummer or Max Von Sydow?
Though he never remembered the model, my old man used to tell me about a “big 50’s Mercedes” that he saw in a warehouse in Atlanta, he passed on buying it for really cheap back in about 1971-1972, I found a picture of one of these in a book and he said this was it.
It was Max Von Sydow, better known to Strange Brew fans as…Brewmeister Smith!
In the novel version of Needful Things, the car was a Tucker Talisman, a car that was never produced. It was explained in the book that it was a prototype built by Preston Tucker.
Cool, I didn’t know about the Tucker, I never read the book, only King book I ever read was of course….Christine.
Carmine, Now I understand.
I am interested in what sort of power options does this car have?- does it even have power windows/seats/A/C?- I ask because I have seen some fairly expensive mercedes Benz that lack some fairly basic luxury features
I would take a Caddy for the power conveniences
I have googled this car and found a few websites with pictures of the interior. I have not seen any with power windows.
Given his hardtop obsession, this should have been Zachman’s Wedding Car.
Zackman approves this comment! 😉
My father had a 1960 Mercedes 300d Automatic, bought used in Japan in ’63 or so. We brought it back to the states, and it was broadsided in San Antonio, Texas sometime about 1968. The frame was bent, so the insurance company paid off the car as totaled. The accident appeared briefly on the TV news that night, and he was contacted by another owner here in Texas who had the same model, but with a bad engine/transmission. The other owner wanted to buy it from the insurance company so he could get the running gear out of it.
I was just a kid (12 when it was hit), so I don’t remember a lot about it. It was a nice car, but expensive to maintain. I remember air conditioning, a station-seeking tuner on the radio, and an electric suspension preload jack that would firm up the rear suspension for carrying heavy loads. That last was one of the expensive items – it bent when Dad tried to jack up the car after it was loaded.
Such a beauty!
So was this the inspiration for the CLS?
A neighbor owned one of these in the ’50s, along with a Cord and a Gullwing. He drove all of them regularly. He also owned a REALLY rare car, a ’54 Imperial limo. His wife drove the rare car.
Some of the ‘California tops’ around 1917 were six-window hardtops, but not quite the same thing. They had plug-in pillars.
“the small rear-most side windows were removable”
Any idea where were they put? Maybe a special sleeve in the trunk, a la some T-top panels in certain cars?
Also I’d figure if anyone back then knew how to build a hardtop without giving away too much structural safety, it’d be M-B.
From what I read in ‘Motor Trend’ many years ago,Mercedes provided a leather bag with two padded pouches to store the windows in a holder in the trunk. However, most owners probably just left them on the car to avoid the hassle.
The four door hardtop was pretty much simply a 300 convertible sedan body with a stationary top attached. M-B was responding to the burgeoning popularity of the four door hardtops taking place at the time.
I read the whole comment section.
It was like binge watching a whole season of Dallas.
Except without 1980s Victoria Principal.
The epitome of elegance and restraint. Quite beautiful. Not sure I’d want to be in a rollover.
Yes, I was wondering about rollover safety. Probably the equivalent of a 59-60 GM Vista Roof 4-door hardtop!
Stunning Mercedes-Benz. About 5-6 years ago I saw one of theses beauties walking a dog through an alley, it was in an impound lot that contained one or two other classic cars. The 300d I saw was also black. I think this is one of most handsome luxury cars of the late ‘50’s early ‘60’s.
How was the car able to hold the leash?
Good night, everybody!