Mercedes-Benz 300 S (1951)
Mercedes-Benz 300 S
The Mercedes-Benz Type 300 (chassis codes W186, W188, and W189) were the company's largest and most-prestigious models throughout the 1950s. Analogous to today's S-Class, the Type 300 cars were elegant, powerful, exclusive, and expensive. This series was also often called the Adenauer after Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of Germany at the time. Adenauer used six of these cars during his time as Chancellor.
The majority of the company's sales at this time were in the less-expensive Ponton series. Both the Type 300 and Ponton series were replaced by the "Heckflosse" cars of the early 1960s.
The "W186" Type 300 was essentially a pre-war chassis with a more-modern body. A modern 3 L (2996 cc/182 in³) straight-6 engine was used, however. Introduced in 1951, the Type 300 was available as a sedan or cabriolet, both with four doors and seating for six. One innovative feature was a rear load-levelling suspension, operated by a switch on the dashboard.
The Type 300 featured many luxury features. A Becker radio, VHF mobile telephone, and dictation machine were geared to the business man or politician. Adenauer's cars had a writing desk, sirens, curtains, a dividing partition, and other such features.
A special Innenlenker model (also called the Type 300 Lang) limousine model rode on a 20 cm (7.9 in) longer wheelbase.
1954 saw power brakes introduced with the Type 300 b. A larger rear window was added in September, 1955 on the Type 300 c. This car was priced at $10,864 in the United States, with the convertible commanding a pricy $14,231. The c also featured a swing axle rear independent suspension.
The B-pillar was removed for a hardtop look in the Type 300 d (chassis code W189) of August 1957. The car was produced through March 1962 with 3,077 built. With a compression ratio of 8.55:1 and Bosch fuel injection, the 300 d produced 160 hp (119 kW). The limousine version was replaced by the W112 300SE, while the W111 220/230 took over at the lower end until the W108/W109 250/280/300 was ready in 1965.
The "W188" Type 300 S was Mercedes-Benz's top-end vehicle on its introduction in 1952. The Type 300 S came as a 2+2 coupe, cabriolet (with landau bars), or roadster. Although mechanically similar to the contemporary W186, the W188 was marketed as one of the top luxury cars in the world.
7.8:1 compression and triple Solex carburettors raised engine output to 150 hp (112 kW) at 5000 rpm.
1955 saw the substitution of Mercedes-Benz's "low-pivot" independent suspension in the rear, and the addition of fuel injection in the Type 300 Sc. Visually, a pair of chrome strips on either side of the hood denotes this "Sc" model.