West Texas Dust: 1958 Mercedes 300D


After all these years of writing for Barn Finds, there’s still nothing better than seeing a dusty, forgotten classic in an old garage. It gets my heart racing and causes a minor senory overload. This 1958 Mercedes 300D here on eBay checks all the boxes of a long-idled classic that may not yet be past the point of no return. There’s one bid for $10K and the reserve unmet. 


This Mercedes was apparently parked for four years – not the longest we’ve seen, and somewhat intriguing as to why it was suddenly stationary. The seller claims West Texas dust is essential to protecting a car from the elements. While I remain skeptical about the scientific proof he’s collected as evidence, it does seem to have protected a virtually rust-free car underneath.


The 300D features fuel injection and an automatic transmission. It also retains many hard-to-find bits, like the original tool kit and hub cabs, along with the original radio and all interior trim. Some light restoration work has begun, including wood refurbishment and a rebuilt fuel pump. As you can see, the leather doesn’t look half-bad either – but where’s the dashboard?


Here’s the one item the seller claims this car is missing: its three-pointed star on the hood. The seller notes the Mercedes came out of a collection four years ago, which seems to indicate it was purchased as a keepsake and/or restoration project but work never materialized. How interesting to buy a car specifically for the joy of owning or rebuilding it, only to let it sit. But we’ve seen stranger things here, haven’t we?


  1. RicK

    That is the one very cool old Merc. Likely ouldnt have to worry about passing yourself going the other way

  2. audifan

    Sorry, I don’t see an old Merc (Mercury). I see a beautifully aged classic MercEDES in a gorgeous color.

  3. audifan

    Oh, by the way, it’s called 300d since it’s not a Diesel but the last of the big Adenauer MBZs.

    • David Frank David Frank Member

      The last of the Adenauers W186 cars were produced in 1957, so this would be a W189, a beautiful car but worth much less. These 300Ds were the among the finest luxury cars produced, equal to any Rolls. It was hand built and shared a lot of technology with the 300SLs. As to speed, it was no slouch in its day and few cars passed it on the Autobahn. What really confuses me about this auction is “West Texas”. The auction lists this Mercedes as being in Fort Worth, a long way east of west! Sadly, it would cost a lot more to restore this grand old car than it is worth, perhaps $35,000 in condition 3, 50K for a concours car.

      • bigdoc13

        According to the brochures for Ft. Worth,it is the gateway to west Texas..

  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Whenever I see the the 300D designation I automatically think of a diesel powered car that was introduced in the mid-70s. Obviously a gas version came out earlier. However this one has the Bosch gas injection system which is very reliable but will have you in the ER when you find out how much a system overhaul will cost you. Something for a purist for sure…

  5. Jeffro

    For the love of all things with horsepower! Could the seller at least wash it before posting pictures.

  6. Mark S

    My thought is if you can’t restore it because it would be way more expensive then it’s worth. Than you restomod in such away that it could be put back to original at a later time. I’m thinking you pull the engine and trans out and put them in storage. You then fit a 292cid inline 6 engine with a turbo 350 trans behind it. You pull out the complex hydrolic ride control system and put that into storage also and you resupport the car with air bags. The paint looks like it will polish out and that is all I’d do with it. As for the interior all you can do is repair and reinstall all the things that have been pulled apart, it shouldn’t take to long as it looks like it all there in the pics. I’d throw on some fresh rubber and I’d flush the tank and lines. It wouldn’t be concourse but it wouldn’t end up a parts car either, it would be a nice cruiser that looks original but it would be cheep to maintain. Parts would be Cheeper to buy and easier to get. JMHO

  7. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    I would get big stars from the wife she just loves these cars but I’ve got a 55 Chevy times 2 and too many other projects but I do what the guy above says.

  8. GlenK

    What blows me away is these guys find the car leave it in dust. Sorry a couple of dusty pictures is enough then some washed up so a potential buyer can get a look at what they are getting for their money.

  9. scottymac

    Now I know where Exner got styling ideas for the 1960 Plymouth Valiant. All this lacks is the fake spare tire cover on the deck lid.

  10. AutoArcheologist

    This is what we are here for, isn’t it..? It is what I live for.. searching out and finding these gems. True barn finds are not for the faint of heart and really not for the “pay your way” unless you have really deep pockets and don’t care about ROI. In my opinion, barn finds (et al) are for the DYIer, with a certain set of skills, ready to take on these projects. As Mark S above states, instead of tossing it aside because of the lack of ROI, get her back up and running and enjoy, even if that means swapping out somethings in the mean time in order to do so. Definitely a funky old European auto that will get looks and questions wherever it goes.

    Like 1
  11. gearjam1

    Sounds like reserve is somewhere close to $20,000…. He says if he cleans it up, he’ll ask $40k, but you can buy it here for half that…

  12. Skip

    You can really see the West Texas dirt on that poor beast. Since I live in West Texas, I’d know that stuff anywhere. The plus side, though, is at least we don’t get the rust!

  13. Tom Gibson

    Audifan got it right, this is a W189 300d, little “d,” not big “D.” The lower case b, c, and d refer to the changes made to the series during the course of production from 1951-1962. We are restoring a W186 1954 300b, Cabriolet D; the upper case D in these years of the “Adenauer” 300 refers to the 4-door Cabrio.
    This is what what M-B called the cars, and how they are shown in brochure and archival text.

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