Monterey 2024

1952 Mercedes-Benz 300 Cabriolet D 'Adenauer'


$200,000 - $250,000 USD  | Offered Without Reserve

United States | Monterey, California



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Chassis No.
Body No.
US Title
  • Rare US-delivery example of the desirable and scarce Cabriolet D body style
  • Retained by the family of its original owner until 2004
  • Presented in its appealing, factory-correct, special-order color combination of Dark Green over grey-green leather
  • Wears an exquisite, concours award-winning restoration completed in 2012
  • Desirably equipped with incredibly rare Becker Nürburg III six-band radio, color-matched wheel covers, and automatic antenna

The 300 series, designed by Hermann Ahrens, marked a very important line of vehicles for Mercedes-Benz, as they were the first all-new models produced by the company after the end of World War II. The four-door version of this imposing, powerful car was quickly nicknamed “Adenauer” because six custom examples were used by German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

Most rare of the early 300s are the four-door convertible Cabriolet D models, which featured construction on par with the legendary pre-war 500 K and 540 Ks, including a beautifully engineered, landau bar-assisted cabriolet top; a sumptuous, leather-swathed interior that could easily carry six persons; and trim of chrome-plated solid brass and beautiful hardwoods.

The car offered here is documented by a copy of its original build sheet as having been produced on 31 December 1952 for the US market and finished in the special-order color combination of Dark Green (DB 221) with a matching grey-green (1061) leather interior. Original options included an incredibly rare Becker Nürburg III six-band radio, with shortwave preset to major cities worldwide—a feature so exceptional that this Cabriolet’s previous owner recalls that the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center was unaware they had installed one in a car until he showed them his.

This Cabriolet D was sold new in 1953 to Franklin Ely, of Buffalo, New York. Mr. Ely used the car on special occasions until 1969, when it was put into storage in Ithaca, New York, having driven only 66,000 miles. In 1999, this sleeping beauty was willed to the original owner’s nephew, who quickly enlisted Warren Riter & Sons in Penfield, New York to execute a comprehensive, concours-grade restoration back to original specifications. Such was his commitment to accuracy, that the owner travelled all over Europe scouring for NOS parts—even visiting the convertible top maker in Germany to ensure a perfect color match.

Towards the end of the extensive restoration, the owner passed away and it was then sold to Tom Hamilton in 2004. Mr. Hamilton was a past president of the 190 SL Club, noted Mercedes-Benz marque guru, and author. His vast knowledge and keen eye allowed him to complete, fine tune, and then exhibit this beautiful, 100-point restored 300 D around the country to great success.

Notable outings include the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s in 2012, where it was awarded Best in Class, and at the Amelia Island Concours in 2013, where it was also an award winner. Mr. Hamilton sold this car to a Mercedes-Benz dealer in 2015, and since then it has remained a scarcely used—though always admired and maintained—member of their preeminent collection of post-war Mercedes-Benz examples.

This is most certainly among the finest of the 300 Cabriolet Ds in existence, and it demands a place of prominence in any Mercedes-Benz collector’s stable.