(first posted 9/9/2015) As a postscript to yesterday’s CC of the Mercedes 300, here’s the rarest version of them all; well that and the 300 Popemobile. This is a custom-built station wagon built by the German coach builder Binz, at the request of a very wealthy American woman, Carolyn Ryan, who wanted a station wagon built to her very high standards to haul her luggage from her Palm beach mansion to her yacht. And she got one.
Not only was it used in Palm Beach in the winters, but then every spring she had it shipped to Europe, to use on the French Riviera and Baden-Baden, Germany. It would have probably been cheaper to order a second one to keep in Europe, but money obviously was not an issue. Ms. Ryan, granddaughter of the founder of American Tobacco, was married and divorced thrice. And was very particular about everything in her life; probably a bit too much so for her husbands.
The rear load area is a two level affair, with the top level at the same height as the folded seatbacks.
Binz had experience building ambulances and hearses on the 300 chassis in Germany. When she asked her NYC neighbor, Mercedes importer Max Hoffman about her desire to have a 300 wagon, Binz was the obvious choice. Although this is the only 300 station wagon, Binz went on to build many station wagons on lesser Mercedes chassis. Just needs some Di-Noc fake wood on the sides…