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1952 Mercedes 300 - the Adenaur WOW!


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https://cedarrapids.craigslist.org/cto/d/cedar-rapids-mercedes-benz/6955656622.html

 

Wow!  Some of you guys may think I am off my rocker.   This is a 1952 Mercedes Benz 300C.  (Not sure if it's a C, but it is a 300)   This was Mercedes top of the line luxury car, hand made in Germany and meant to reestablish the company's reputation as a builder of flagship level luxury cars for the European and eventually American markets.  To find one in any condition is rare. 

 

This one is clearly pretty shoddy and may not appeal to American car fans but as a Generalist in the past 42 years I have looked into every nook and cranny of the hobby and remember reading about the Adenaur a few years back.   Here is why pundits refer to this car as an Adenaur, which like the term Pagoda, evokes a car better then the numeral designation of MB:

 

All but hand-built as the company flagship, the W186 is often identified as an Adenauer after Konrad Adenauer, the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, who employed six custom cabriolet, hardtop saloon, and landaulet versions of the W186 and its successor W189 during his 1949-1963 tenure

 

This one should be headed to ebay where it will easily reach this asking price.  Or at least it would have a few years back.  I bid on a few Adenaurs about 10 years ago but I am cheap and remember similar project cars fetching $10,000 +.  Completeness is key of course. 

 

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Styling took the Germans and British awhile to get out of the pre war idiom.   In this case, one needs to google 1952 300C and see the restored ones. In my opinion, they are a beautiful sedan when the US companies made their styling bucks off 2 door hardtops, and in some cases, the 4 doors were afterthoughts. 

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This is certainly no 300c but a 300 without b-c-d .i still  have 2 of these but parts cars .I bought several in the US ( better than this one ) and took them back to Europe ( back home ) Its bad there is not one picture from the engine at all and i am afraid the engine could be a big problem as it has been sitting for   a long time .i like the velours interior .I also see all the chrome is shot and there is a lot of chrome on this car and all mounted with little screws that are all rusted solid .

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Thanks Daniel.  I agree this one is bad, but the ones I bid on 10 years ago were worse.  I bid to my budget, which at the time was probably $2000, and got blown out of the water.  My collecting direction is not toward MB as it was then.  At that time I had purchased 2 350SL's, both 1972-1973 small bumper cars, and a 72 small bumper 250C.  As too often happens, I decided to add a BMW and then sold everything.  It was during that time I tried to add an Adenaur.  Of course coupes and convertibles bring 6 figures, I may have even seen a convertible on "Chasing Classic Cars."   4 door models are all I could afford. 

 

The graceful flow of the fenders, the small back window, all very nice.  Agree it's not a C, but maybe early is better for value and interest.  I know the later ones are more highly sought.  Anyway, I like to post the unusual, and here you go. 

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I had an 82 300d that I sold super cheap,I converted it to run on veggy oil.I also recently sold a 86 300sl on e-bay for $9000 which I was surprised. The guy bought it sight unseen. I wonder if one of those drive trains would work in the 52? Is it diesel? Just wondered.Greg.

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On 8/23/2019 at 12:57 AM, daniel boeve said:

This is certainly no 300c but a 300 without b-c-d .i still  have 2 of these but parts cars .I bought several in the US ( better than this one ) and took them back to Europe ( back home ) Its bad there is not one picture from the engine at all and i am afraid the engine could be a big problem as it has been sitting for   a long time .i like the velours interior .I also see all the chrome is shot and there is a lot of chrome on this car and all mounted with little screws that are all rusted solid .

I enquired about the car , but is was a cash only payment and as i am in Belgium very difficult .Also no pictures from the bottom or the engine .It comes from a estate sale and has to go .Cedar rapids is in the middle of the US and expensive to ship .Car ran 10 years ago they said .This weekend several people will come over to see it so it will be gone and if not well than its no good neither .

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On 8/22/2019 at 8:21 PM, Matt Harwood said:

Another car that's easy to buy but almost impossible to own. See also: any post-war Rolls-Royce.

Matt, any year RR is a commitment - they are incredibly "engineered" and complicated cars compared to other cars of similar vintage from the beginning to even now (very rewarding though when they are what they should be).

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5 hours ago, daniel boeve said:

I enquired about the car , but is was a cash only payment and as i am in Belgium very difficult .Also no pictures from the bottom or the engine .It comes from a estate sale and has to go .Cedar rapids is in the middle of the US and expensive to ship .Car ran 10 years ago they said .This weekend several people will come over to see it so it will be gone and if not well than its no good neither .

Hi Daniel:

Yes I spoke to the lady who is assisting the estate.  I am 110 miles or so from Cedar Rapids.  I will likely go see the car.   Her friend as you may know is settling the estate of her dad, and reached out to Molly to assist.  At one time the dad had 10 of these. I was offered the car for $4200.  She has a 'serious buyer' looking at it today and will advise if sold.

 

Look, I get it it would be a lot to restore.  What if mileage is correct at 33,000.  It's straight, complete and has a lot less chrome than American cars from the 50's.  You either like the styling or you do not, and I do.  Mercedes Benz has restoration services and parts in house.  Being an early Adenaur, they would love to assist someone in it's restoration.  I guess I do not see where it would cost $200,000 to restore this one.  It has been inside stored for decades.   Wiring and mechanical restoration would be a challenge. 

 

This is the kind of car I like seeing on Iowa Craigs List.  So bored with the normal, and this comes along.

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On 8/23/2019 at 2:21 AM, Matt Harwood said:

Another car that's easy to buy but almost impossible to own. See also: any post-war Rolls-Royce.

Matt , i do not agree , i had a 300d 1959 for many years and went many times to Germany up and down without problems .Even when my wife was 6 months pregnant ( crazy if i think about it now ) but we was young then and had  less worries then today .

Nowadays i also have a 1958 bentley and i am very happy with it and it takes me everywhere without loosing oil and it brakes when its needs to break .

I have problems now with a 1950 cad cvt that even today left me stranded with vapor lock in the middle of nowhere .Had to pour a bottle of water  over the carburator to get it going again .Will have to put in an electrical gas pump .

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49 minutes ago, Hans1965 said:

I'd be happy to give you some relief from your problem with your 50 Caddy. 😁😁😁  Love that model year.

Installing a Hardi electric pump (model 1776) helped my 50 Club Coupe a lot. Excellent pumps. But rather expensive. 

Hans , thanks for the advice , i have to see if this model is 12 volt powered or 6 volt .my car still runs on 6 volt but starts on 12 volt so there is a way to power a 12 volt pump also .Where did you pit the pump ? i also know they are rather loud but better loud than nothing at all stranded in the middle of nowhere .

I have to correct as i poured water over the pump to get the car going again not over the carb.

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They adjust the flow rate quite nicely so do not 'tick' all the time. Mine is in the engine compartment where the fuel line ends. Usually should be placed as close to the tank as possible. I only hear it in idle, but very gentle and a tick every few seconds. The 1776 is 6 volt for cars with more than 100 horses. Of course they carry 12 Volt pumps as well. I hesitated to buy one due to their price, but my cheap one lost gasoline (!!!!) and I decided to buy something good. 

I see I lost the chance to buy a nice 50 convertible. 😅😅😅

 

 

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Like most cars, especially ones I find!, these are so beautiful in this nice condition as the Silver and Blue One.  Great lines, correct sized.

 

I spoke personally with the seller and she offered me $4200 because I spoke with her and was fairly close.  The estate wants to settle, sell the house and move on.  I think it is a good $2500 in today's market but on ebay, with the low inventory of restorable cars, it might fetch $4000 to $6000. 

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This is the kind of thing where if you were standing there with the $2500 in cash you would probably get it.

Two price reductions over the phone shows desperation.

And they always have a serious shopper on the way over.

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On 8/24/2019 at 1:06 PM, B Jake Moran said:

 

 

 

 

Look, I get it it would be a lot to restore.  What if mileage is correct at 33,000.  It's straight, complete and has a lot less chrome than American cars from the 50's.  You either like the styling or you do not, and I do.  Mercedes Benz has restoration services and parts in house.  Being an early Adenaur, they would love to assist someone in it's restoration.  I guess I do not see where it would cost $200,000 to restore this one.  It has been inside stored for decades.   Wiring and mechanical restoration would be a challenge. 

 

 

 

 

I've been to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine a couple of times. You should call them up for an estimate of restoring it in house, which they'd be happy to do. Call (949) 598-4850. Have you had any experience with repairs and parts prices at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer? I found an article in The Robb Report re: old Mercedes restorations:

 

        "The center does offer a retail department, where a handful of contemporary classic and vintage Mercedes models are available, ranging in price from a modest $25,000 to seven figures.    But Kunz says that the majority of the center’s work involves the restoration of a customer’s current car. In those instances, a full restoration can take two to three years and, depending on the car and its existing condition, can cost between $250,000 and $500,000. With such a restoration project, Kunz and his team guarantee a finished product that is historically accurate—something that he acknowledges is sometimes compromised by other restorers."

 

 

 

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Has a Chevy V-8 in it.

 

I am offering my 1954 Mercedes Benz 300 Adenauer sunroof  VIN 4500507 project for sale. On the data plate 300-1 186015 which designates sliding sunroof.  It has been sitting for the past 25 or so years. The odometer reading is 55,587. The true mileage is unknown. The car was purchased by the previous owner who then proceeded to have the engine swapped from the original inline 6 to a chevy small block V8. I was told the engine is a 327 but it is likely a later 350. This was done professionally and while being used , it was a reliable driver. At the time of the engine swap a GM automatic transmission was installed as well as power steering.  

The interior was replaced with brown leather in the 1980’s prior to the previous owner. It is in nice condition. There are no rips or tears.  The headliner was also replaced and is in excellent condition. The wood has few areas of water damage at the lower corners of the back window but generally it is very good with a nice satin finish. I have not opened the sunroof . 

The body panels are straight . The paint is poor and flaking. It was likely done in the 1980’s. The car was originally black.  Paint code 40G. The gaps or shut lines are consistent as seen. The driver side rear door is out a little. There is some rust staining at the lower door edges but no perforations. The chrome is unrestored and looks good. I find no evidence of major collision damage. 

The belly pan is solid as seen in the photos.  I don't see any evidence of significant rust. There are no rust holes. A cross member was welded to the frame to support the power steering rack. A center section of the frame was removed so the transmission would clear. That piece of metal was saved. 

The engine as stated has been converted to a GM V8. The firewall and inner fenders have not been cut or altered.The car sat idle for 25 or so years. The engine was not seized. It was properly drained and cleaned before it was started.  It now starts easily and runs well with no unusual noises. The carb is a Quadrajet 4 BBL.  The 3 speed GM automatic transmission shifts without trouble. There is no neutral safety switch so it will start in gear so it is unsafe. The tires will hold air but they are rotten and can’t be trusted. I have only driven in my driveway. The brakes are almost non existent. They will require a complete rebuild. They will stop the car so it can be driven to a transport trailer. The emergency brake does work. The car was an automatic originally. 

I have the Mercedes engine which is included. The engine casting number is 860 110 901. Also 30E52. There is a tag on the block that is difficult to read. I believe it reads 1186/186920 1535/52.  It was not stored in ideal conditions. It was disassembled and crated but exposed to temperature and humidity changes so there is rust. I’m am not an expert so I cannot determine if it is the original. It does have a casting date on the block that appears to be 1952. The engine appears to be almost complete but I cannot guarantee this. Undoubtedly, there are parts and brackets missing. There is no fuel pump. According to the previous owner, the water pump failed and the decision was made to do the conversion. The original automatic transmission is included also.

I have a  clear Kansas antique title.

 The complete history of this car is not known. To be a good driver at a minimum,  it will need tires, a complete brake refurbish, as well as a neutral safety switch for the transmission. I am reluctant to sell but I have too many projects. Ask any question and I will do my best to answer it honestly. My Ebay feedback supports this. I want this car to go to a good home and I want the buyer to be happy with the purchase and know what they are buying. I have many photos and I am willing to take more. I will have photos posted on Photo Bucket. Contact me for the link. It will be available for inspection by appointment during the auction. Ideally, it should be inspected prior to purchase like any other car. There may have been concerns not mentioned. The car is sold “as is, where is” without guarantee written or implied. The car will be picked up at my house. I will not deliver. I can help load. I don't think the engine and parts will fit in the car.  I require a $500.00 payment within 24 hours and the balance in 5 days. The car must be picked up within 30 days. It will not leave here until satisfactory payment has been made. If you cannot meet these requests, please do not bid. Thanks for your interest.

 

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I have to admit I find that silver car strangely appealing. It's quite handsome with the chrome wheels and hubcaps. That's probably the car to own if you're on a budget. Get it safe and running and go have fun. Treat it as a beater and people will be horrified but you'll know the secret. Resist the temptation to put loud mufflers on it--instead, put two mufflers on it so it's very quiet. I can see having fun with THAT.

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If you have fallen in love with it, why not? If you don't do it, it will be one of the lost opportunities that we all regret sooner or later. But for a foreign make (from your point of view) don't expect to find parts anywhere close . Overseas shipping costs add up easily. Luckily the MB community stores a lot of parts and even MB has still lots of parts for their babies. But Mercedes parts are nowhere cheap. On the big swap meets here in Germany you find a lot. Only MB and VW are real collectibles with huge communities here. But parts for an Adenauer? No idea.

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Hey Jake : I hereby pledge $10 (ten dollars) towards the purchase of this sad, deteriorated, hungry, decrepit money pit in the highly unlikely event you actually pull the trigger on it. Didn't you say you have a couple of kids to put through college ? Start putting a little away now for some really decent car when you are my age. If gasoline is still available then, you will be driving that vehicle sooner than you would be able to drive this one in the intervening two decades. (You and I know you will not fall for this one - no sunroof anyway - so let Molly and the sellers know now that you have come to your senses and will refrain). There you have it ! Don't you feel better now ?  

         As always, thank you for bringing interesting cars up for us to chew on !    -   Carl 

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2 hours ago, Hans1965 said:

If you have fallen in love with it, why not? If you don't do it, it will be one of the lost opportunities that we all regret sooner or later. But for a foreign make (from your point of view) don't expect to find parts anywhere close . Overseas shipping costs add up easily. Luckily the MB community stores a lot of parts and even MB has still lots of parts for their babies. But Mercedes parts are nowhere cheap. On the big swap meets here in Germany you find a lot. Only MB and VW are real collectibles with huge communities here. But parts for an Adenauer? No idea.

Indeed mercedes parts are nowhere cheap and when you have to go to the classic center you need a very thick wallet .I  still happen to have 2 adenauer parts cars a 300b and a 300d but to much rusted to restore .This adenauer without any idea how the bottom is and engine is an open question that didn't run in 10 years .Than export over land to port and then shipping and import duties well i am not Mr rockefeller neither .On top only cash does the deal ....

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