Mercedes Benz 300 – History

English:

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 today’s S-Class, the Type 300 cars were elegant, powerful, exclusive, and expensive. The 300, 300b, 300c, and 300d touring cars 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 of this model during his tenure.

W186
300 (W186 II)

The “W186″ Type 300, introduced in November 1951, was essentially a pre-war chassis with a more-modern body. A modern 3 L (2996 cc/182 in?) straight-6 engine developing 115 PS (113 hp/85 kW) was used, however, coupled exclusively to a manual 4-speed gearbox. The Type 300 was available as a sedan or cabriolet (officially called Cabriolet D), both with four doors and seating for six. One innovative feature was a rear load-levelling suspension, operated by a switch on the dashboard.

The 300 had a separate X-frame, made of ovoid steel tubes, a double wishbone, coil spring axle up front and Mercedes` typical rear swing axle with double coil springs; also drum brakes all around and a worm-and-sector steering, that was replaced in 1952 by a recirculating ball unit.

The Type 300 featured many luxury features. Options like 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.
6,214 saloon models and 591 Cabriolet Ds were produced until September, 1955 (including the 300b).

300b (W186 III)
March 1954 saw power brakes introduced via a remote vacuum tank with the Type 300b. Vent windows were also introduced for the front windows. Power of the engine was upped to 125 PS (123 hp/92 kW) via different Solex carburetters and a higher compression ratio (7.5:1 instead of 6.4:1).

300c (W186 IV)

A larger rear window was added in September, 1955 on the Type 300c. An automatic transmission was also introduced for the first time. This car was priced at $10,864 in the United States (DM 22,000 on the home market), with the convertible commanding a pricy $14,231 (DM 24,700). The c also featured a swing axle rear independent suspension.

A special Innenlenker model (also called the Type 300 Lang) limousine model rode on a 20 cm (7.9 in) longer wheelbase and became available from July, 1956 (price: DM 25,000).
While the Cabriolet D was cancelled after June, 1956 (51 built), the saloon remained in production until July, 1957 and was built in 1,432 units.

W189
300d

The roof-supporting pillar was removed in the Type 300d (chassis code W189) of August 1957, creating a unique pillarless phaeton. An additional 4″ of wheelbase provided greater rear legroom and established the car as a true limousine in direct competition with the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. A total of 3,077 300d models (priced at DM 27,000) was produced through March 1962, while the Cabriolet D (DM 35,500) was available on special order only and registered 65 units produced. With a compression ratio of 8.55:1 and Bosch fuel injection, the 300d produced 160 PS (158 hp/118 kW) at 5300 rpm.
The pillarless phaeton was replaced by the W112 300SE, later by the 600 pullman “Grand Mercedes”. A modernized version of the W112, the W109 series 300 Mercedes, was introduced in 1965.

W188
W188 I

The “W188″ Type 300 S was Mercedes-Benz’s top-end vehicle on its introduction at the Paris Salon in October 1951. The Type 300 S came as a 2+2 coupe, cabriolet (with landau bars) (officially Cabriolet A), or roadster. Although mechanically similar to the contemporary W186, the largely hand-built W188 was marketed as one of the top luxury cars in the world.
7.8:1 compression and triple Solex carburettors raised engine output to 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW) at 5000 rpm.

At DM 34,500 for all versions ($ 3,925 in the USA[2]), these cars were significantly more expensive then the regular W186 cars.
From July, 1952 to August, 1955, a total of 216 Coupés, 203 Cabriolet As and 141 Roadsters were produced.

W188 II
1955 saw the substitution of Mercedes-Benz’s “low-pivot” independent suspension in the rear, and the addition of fuel injection in the Type 300 Sc whose inline-six now delivered 175 PS (173 hp/129 kW) at 5400 rpm. Visually, a pair of chrome strips on either side of the hood denotes this “Sc” model.
Prices rose to DM 36,500 and 98 Coupés, 49 Cabriolet As and 53 Roadsters were built until April 1958.

Deutsch:

Die Baureihen W186 und W189 von Mercedes-Benz waren neben dem Modell W187 (220) die ersten deutschen Repräsentationslimousinen nach dem 2. Weltkrieg. Der 300er wird, da er u.a. das Dienstfahrzeug des ersten deutschen Bundeskanzlers war, auch als ?Adenauer-Mercedes? bezeichnet und war bis zur Einführung des W100 (Mercedes-Benz 600) die deutsche Staatslimousine schlechthin. Auch viele ausländische Potentaten kauften den 300er. Die englische Königin Elizabeth II. jedoch soll sich geweigert haben, Mercedes zu fahren.

Es gab nacheinander die Typen 300 (W186 II), 300b (W186 III), 300c (W186 IV) und 300d (W189). Der 300c war auf Wunsch erstmals für 1500 DM Aufpreis mit Automatic lieferbar. Er wurde als Limousine und Cabriolet D gebaut. Cabriolet D bedeutet, dass das Fahrzeug vier Türen mit dazugehörigen vier Seitenscheiben besitzt. Hierin finden fünf bis sechs Personen Platz. Durch die Lenkrad-Schaltung (später auch Lenkrad-Automatic) können vorn bis zu drei Personen sitzen.

Der Typ 300d (W189), der ab November 1957 produziert wurde, brach mit der markanten hinteren, gerundeten Seitenscheibe der ?Adenauer?-300er und führte die letzte Seitenscheibe im Winkel auf die Gürtellinie. Bei diesem Wagen konnten die Seitenscheiben komplett versenkt und das hintere Eckfenster herausgenommen werden. Durch die fehlenden seitlichen Säulen entstand für Deutschland der neuartige Begriff der Hardtop-Limousine, die auch im größten Absatzmarkt USA angeboten wurde. Er bekam als erster Pkw-Motor von Mercedes-Benz eine Saugrohr Benzin-Einspritzung (Im Gegensatz zu der aufwendigen Direkteinspritzung des 300 SL (?Flügeltürer?)). Weitere technische Neuerungen gegen Aufpreis waren die Servo-Lenkung, elektrische Fensterheber, orthopädische Sitze, Klimaanlage (für 3.500 DM) und das erste Stahlschiebedach der Firma Webasto.

Drei von 5,19m auf 5,64m verlängerte Exemplare des W189 wurden als Pullman-Limousine bzw. Pullman-Landaulet hergestellt. Die Limousine und ein Landaulet blieben als Mietfahrzeuge in Werksbesitz; ein Landaulet wurde an den Vatikan als ?Papamobil” für Papst Johannes XXIII. geliefert.

Während die frühen Modelle durch das hohe Gewicht von 1.770 bis 1.940 kg und 115 PS (85 kW) bzw. 125 PS (92 kW) etwas behäbig auftraten, war der 300d mit dem 160 PS (118 kW) Einspritzmotor wesentlich agiler.

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