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40 Year Sleep: 1956 Mercedes Type 300


This 1956 Mercedes Type 300 here on eBay is a long-stalled project with spare parts packed up to the rafters of the seller’s barn. The vehicle is located in Canada and will need complete reconditioning, but could be a stunning example of a classic Mercedes sedan when complete. There are five bids to $885 with lots of time left in this auction. 


It always amazes me to see cars like this that were once among the most powerful, expensive vehicles one could buy sleeping the days away in a dusty barn. The consumers of 1956 who ogled a vehicle like this W186 when it was in the showroom new could likely never imagine a world where it’d be left, partially disassembled, in an old barn for decades. But when I think about a modern S-Class, I’m inclined to believe it will simply be a throwaway car given the computerized complexities those flagship vehicles now come loaded with. Hopefully, the straight-six engine hasn’t been sitting with its valve cover off for any period of time given the fenders and hood have been stripped away.


Even though they may not have been loaded with technology, these precursors to the modern S-Class still had plenty of luxury for the era. You could spec a 300 with a glass partition and mobile car phone if you were an executive on the go, along with special reading lights and dictation machines for when the day’s work carried late into the night. There was even a gorgeous dash-mounted analog clock that the seller claims he has sitting on his desk, still keeping perfect time. It’s clear any potential buyers will have their work cut out tracking down the parts that have been removed to get a complete picture for just how much of a project this is.


This Mercedes 300 has been in the barn for 40 years, with parts like the rear seat bench stored above the car in the barn rafters. The seller acknowledges his plan for restoration never materialized and he is now too old to carry it out. While a few of these impressive sedans have fetched good money at auction, they are usually excellent examples. The cabriolets can be rough and still attract a high price, so I suspect this example will be a labor of love for the next owner (and not one that will yield any significant windfall). Still, if I were in the market for a car like this, I’d be anxious to get it out of that barn and into the daylight for the first time in four decades.


  1. Avatar photo StuB.

    Will be interested to see where this ends up. I will be selling one in driver+ condition very soon and there are few comparables to get a sense of what it is worth.

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  2. Avatar photo patrol

    Have you experienced the fustration of missing that difficult to find item a day after you left it on the garage table. Yes, then multiply that by 40 years × half of the parts missing in that car.
    I don’t know how much it is worth of your time searching for these parts over the cost.
    I love and restore mercedes for me this is a pass. For many that photo with a couple of $50 worth of books drives them in a crazy bidding. This is no more than a parts car.

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    • Avatar photo dj

      I know exactly what you mean. I bought a 72 Lemans Sport this time last year. The previous owner had taken ALL the interior out and threw it on the ground in 1995. I thought I had everything but I didn’t. We were able to go back and sift through the leaves and actually came up with all the missing parts.

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  3. Avatar photo Rex Kahrs Member

    These aren’t easy cars to restore, and definitely not cheap. It will take time. Still, maybe a worthy candidate for the right buyer.

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  4. Avatar photo Horse Radish

    Same story as always.
    Halted project :
    EVEN if the parts are all there, are all the SCREWS there to put it back together ?
    Let’s just watch the BHcar club or Gullwing motors swoop in , offer bottom dollars and resell for a huge profit with the same photos and few more parts lost…..
    It really is painful to watch

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  5. Avatar photo Mark S

    From what I can see in the pic’s it looks like most of the car is there. The body looks solid,yes it would be a big job to bing this back to road conditions but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done. Five years ago I started a restoration on a 1951 dodge, the engine had not been started for 45 years.40 of those years were spent in a small one car garage. And the last five outside. I hooked up a gas can to it, put in a fresh 6v battery, primed the carb and turned the key. The engine fired right up like it had been running all along. It went straight to fast idle and I was able to get it to kick down in about 3 minutes. The oil pressure was reading 40 psi. The point is you might be surprised by this old MB these things had well made tough engines. And I’ll bet that it won’t take much to fire it up. I think is a lot of speculation is presented here but very little follow up on what peaple find when they get home with there prize. A bunch of cleaning my well reveil a diamond in the rough. End of rant.

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  6. Avatar photo Dave Wright

    I totally agree with you. The expensive scary parts of restoring a car like this would be the interior and electrical. Could easily be more than paint and mechanical.

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    • Avatar photo Mark S

      I agree with you Dave on the point about the interior, but building a wiring harness would not scare me off. I built a bumper to bumper harness for a 1957 Studibaker in about a day these old 50’s cars don’t have that much wire in them, almost nothing by today’s standards. Now I admit that a MB probably has more harness then a Studibaker, but not that much more. On my dodge there are about 6 to 8 wires that go back beyond the dash to the rear of the car and may twice that many that go forward to Under hood.

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  7. Avatar photo Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    This car is worth saving but it’s the trip from Canada that worries me. No matter what you get from the respective governments for instructions, they are either wrong or out of date and it’s all on your dime to get right.

    More surprised that the top of the line car has the same and possibly more austere dash than my 220SE Ponton. Looks like it has the phenol is dash as opposed to the optional wood one. Figured the top of the line vehicle would have deleted some of the base options.

    The car is well engineered as they were trying to make a dent in the luxury market, but not sure the Studebaker dealers were up to the task of keeping the customers happy with these.

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    • Avatar photo Mark S

      Ross now is great time to buy a Canadian car our dollar is 75 cents against the US dollar. You guys could get this car dirt cheep right know.

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      • Avatar photo Ross W. Lovell

        Greetings All,

        Mark S, not the Canadian dollar stopping me it’s the American and Canadian bureaucracy that stops me. Their rules are less than consistent, no one knows and you’re at some government worker’s whim for discretion.

        I’ve imported cars before, easier to get one from the UK than Canada.

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  8. Avatar photo Dave Wright

    Ross……..the 25 year old rule makes this type car easy to import. There are some customs brokers that try to scare and overcharg for there services but there are some good ones too. I think my 1989 300GD cost 500.00 to have the customs broker do the paperwork. That is why there was a 1990 Land Cruiser diesel for sale already here in the states the other day…….just made the 25 year rule.

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    • Avatar photo Brakeservo

      Gee, my customs broker at the Port of Tacoma only charged $250 per car.

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  9. Avatar photo Dave Wright

    I think they charged more from Europe…….and mine came into Oakland

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  10. Avatar photo Brakeservo

    I imported cars from Europe, UK, NZ, Australia etc. Always $250, didn’t matter what port they came in, everything is computerized anyway. I use to do my own customs clearance for a while too but eventually had to hire a pro.

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    • Avatar photo Dave Wright

      I am doing my own customs clearance on the guns I bought in Europe las fall…….not too bad, but I am never at the dock when the boat brings in the cars so there is usually some storage and other handeling involved………..Did you see the 1926 Ghost on EBay…….made me think of you.

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  11. Avatar photo Peter R

    @ Mark S – he states that all bidding is in US dollars so no advantage this time – but look at other ads in Canada and you are right – A dollar here is only about 70 cents US. It also makes it quite attractive for Canadians to post their cars on US sites and pick up the difference in the exchange – guess how I know

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  12. Avatar photo Brakeservo

    No, I didn’t see that car. Do I know you??

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  13. Avatar photo Chebby

    It’s not sleeping, it’s dead.

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    • Avatar photo TVC15

      Beautiful Plumage

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