1961/1962 MERCEDES-BENZ TYPE 300D LIMOUSINE
Chassis No. 189 010 12 003 100
Black with red leather interior.
Engine: six-cylinder in-line, single overhead camshaft, 2996cc, 180bhp at 5,500 rpm, Bosch fuel injection; Clutch: single plate; Gearbox: four-speed manual with synchromesh; Suspension: independent front with coil springs, independent rear by swing axles and coil springs; Brakes: vacuum servo-assisted hydraulic drum. Left-hand drive.
When it appeared in 1951 the 300 Series heralded the triumphant return of Mercedes-Benz to the luxury car market after a break of some 13 years. By the late 1950's, the quality of the engineering in Mercedes-Benz automobiles and the care with which they were built, led industry commentators to see them as the 'best production cars in the world'. Enormous prestige also accrued to the marque from its victories in the middle 1950's in Grand Prix racing, at the Le Mans 24-hour race, the trans-Mexican Open Road Race and in the 1955 Mille Miglia.
In most respects, the 300D, announced in 1957, was very conservative, using a typically robust Mercedes narrow cruciform chassis to carry the restrained, scrupulously hand-finished limousine body. The variant was visually updated, with a more tidy window outline and finned rear wings, making it practicable to enlarge the already very spacious boot. The headlamps were given the very fashionable chromed cowls.
This 300D certainly has an interesting history. According to Daimler-Benz factory records it was originally intended for the North American market, but instead remained at the Sindelfingen body plant for at least a year. The special equipment for the US market was removed there before the car was finally delivered to Saudi Arabia in December 1962, clearly some considerable time after it was built. To meet the new customer's requirements a considerable amount of special work was carried out to protect the occupants from possibel attack. The body was armour-plated, extra thick windows were fitted, additional front and rear screens were mounted on the outside the existing ones. The work appears to have been carried out very professionally, possibly by an approved sub-contractor.
It is evident this is a unique car, prepared and supplied to the precise orders of a Saudi dignitary and may require further research into its history. The 'mileage' is indicated to be 97,578km, which might well be correct. The car is described as having been restored, and in 'very good' general condition. It has the rare optional manual gearbox, starts readily and on test drove very well. There is a slight leak in the exhaust system. The car is tax paid and registered in France.