The Adenauer Mercedes

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300C

This completely restored Adenauer sedan is believed to be one of only six running in North America of the 1956 300C model. 1956 was the last year of production for the original model 300 and the "C" designates the third version of the Adenauer line. It has found an new home in Seattle, Washington.

After the war, the first Chancellor of the new Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer, was presented with the first one off the line in 1951. Rumour has it he sent it back because it had an ash tray. He kept the second vehicle which presumably did not have ash trays. The 300 series became the official motor vehicle of the Adenauer administration, and spearheaded Mercedes’ revival as a manufacturer of luxury automobiles.

The exterior of this sedan is black. Its accoutrements include red leather upholstery, carpeted interior and trunk (or boot), burled wood trim, original radio, a three-speed semi-automatic transmission and a self-lubricating chassis. The instruments are calibrated in Imperial measure. It has a 6-cylinder, 3-litre engine.

This Mercedes 300C was purchased by the current owner in the late 1960’s from a widow in London, Ontario, Canada, whose husband had started to restore the non-running car. It has been our family’s project since our father made the auto mobile. In 1973, it was used to drive my sister to her Grade 8 graduation in London, Ontario where the original owner saw the vehicle and commented, "I’m glad to see she’s still going strong." Restoration was begun in the mid- 1980’s when it became apparent that the vehicle’s condition - and that of the North American economy - would benefit from a thorough going-over.

It was a complete body-off, frame-up restoration project. Only OEM parts sourced from all over the world were used. All wiring is new. Body panels not in good condition were remade from original spec steel. The new paint was formulated based on a chemical analysis of the original. Engine and transmission were disassembled and rebuilt to manufacturing specifications. Any trim parts that could not be re-chromed were replaced. The wood trim in the dash and at the base of the windows was recreated by a German maker of fine cabinetry and toted back to Canada in our suitcases. It has been driven only hundreds of miles since restoration was completed in 1991.

Please help us congratulate the vehicle's new owner, Mr. David Weatherford of Seattle, Washington. We know he will treasure it as we did.

Page maintained by Original Logic. 9 July 1999
Photos by Ed Burrows, Artistcolour, London