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 the top of today's S-Class, the Type 300 cars were elegant, powerful, exclusive, and expensive. Two types were produced, a four-door tourer equal in luxury and price but superior in performance to the rival Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, and an all but hand built two-door sports tourer rarified in elegance, proportion, and cost. The four-door 300, 300b, 300c (chassis code 186), and successor 300d (chassis code 189) models were often referred to as Adenauers after Konrad Adenauer, the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. In office from 1949 to 1963, he employed six custom convertible, hardtop, and landaulet versions during his tenure.
These large saloons and cabriolets incorporated many luxury features. Options such as Becker radio, VHF mobile telephone, and dictation machine were geared to the business man and politician. Among the custom features in Chancellor Adenauer's "parade cars" were writing desks, sirens, curtains, dividing partitions, sunroofs, and half-roof landaulet configurations.
The exquisite two-door 300s (chassis code 188) and its successor 300Sc were the pinnacles of the Mercedes line of their era. Each were available in 2+2 coupe, cabriolet, and roadster versions. Introduced in August 1957, the 300d was the linear successor to the 300c, with a longer wheelbase, fuel injection, and unique hardtop configuration transforming it into a pillar less phaeton. An additional 4 inches of wheelbase provided greater rear legroom equaling that of the long wheelbase model Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. Removable rear quarter lights allowed an unobstructed view in and out from the front vent window on back, much valued in the model's popular role as "parade car".
Employing a slightly detuned version of the 300 SL sports car's Bosch fuel injected engine, the 300d produced 180 PS (130 kW; 180 hp) at 5500 rpm. Automatic transmission was standard. Power brakes, power steering, and Artic-Kar air-conditioning were added as an options. A total of 3,077 300d models (priced at DM 27,000) was produced through March 1962, along with 65 special-order 300d-based Cabriolet Ds (DM 35,500). After some initial overlap with the smaller, more contemporary styled W112 chassied 300SE, the 300d was ultimately replaced as M-B flagship by the 600 pullman "Grand Mercedes".
Length : cm (in): 519 (204)
Width : cm (in): 186 (73.2)
Height : cm (in): 162 (63.8)
Wheelbase : cm (in) : 315 (124)
Weight: kg (lb) : 1950 (4299)
Displacement : straight six 2996 cc (182.2 ci)
Valve gear : 12
Fuel system : Bosch mechanical injection
Gearbox : 3 speed automatic
Drive wheels : rear wheel drive
Maximum power : 158 bhp at 5300 rpm
Maximum torque : 237 Nm at 4200 rpm
Maximum speed : 170 km/h (106 mph)
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