World’s Largest Sunroof! 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300C Adenauer

Todd FitchBy Todd Fitch

Sometimes, when you’re a prominent player in entertainment, finance, or government, the top of the line Mercedes-Benz is not quite enough. If that happened in 1955 you ordered this car, the 1955 Mercedes-Benz W186 model 300. The W186 is also known as the “Adenauer,” after German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who used six of these special models during his tenure. You know you’ve made the big time when you’re driving the same car as a Chancellor. This particular Adenauer resides in Charleroi, Pennsylvania in the Monongahela river valley south of Pittsburgh. No word on whether the Chancellor of Charleroi once owned this car, but perhaps you could be elected Chancellor of your town after placing the high be here on eBay.

Said to have underwent a $40,000 restoration five years ago, the car’s condition today triggers the question “Really?” That rough patch on the hood seemed to suggest “engine fire,” but perhaps not. Several similar patches appear to have been touched up with black Rustoleum. The original rectangular rear light pods look decidedly more modern than 1955. Some other Adenauers also sport the large “D” script right of the license plate lights, but without explanation. It may simply represent the International Vehicle Code for Germany (Deutschland). These cars were sold in America and other countries besides Germany.

The elegant dashboard looks original and well-preserved. Other parts of the original interior beg for proper restoration. Though not extremely powerful, the 300’s 115 HP 3.0 liter inline six has the heart of a lion. Mercedes engineered the engine to operate reliably in extreme conditions, including indefinite sustained travel at maximum speed. How many cars makers today would make that claim? (Some details courtesy of Wikipedia.)

 

You’re looking at the inside view of what might be the world’s largest sunroof. While designed with parades and waving to throngs of adoring fans in mind, one could also picture a bevy of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen standing in the opening with the happy couple should this Adenauer become an interesting alternative to a Lincoln Town Car stretch. The “restoration” five years ago included replacement of this roof. Normally we show an engine compartment picture here but there are none. The seller asserts that it should fire with minimal tinkering.

Looking for a little more respect from your neighbors? Kids embarrassed when you drop them off in the Caravan? Tired of wondering which Maybach in the parking lot is yours? With this car in tip-top shape you will get the attention you deserve. Simply click “Buy It Now” and, for $41,000, it can become a cornerstone of your Dictator Starter Kit.

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Comments

  1. Red Riley

    Restored 5 years ago? The ad must have written in 1985.

    12+
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      Maybe 1965….

      2+
  2. Peter S.R.

    The great thing about the car world… size doesn’t matter.
    (Unless it’s cubic inches or you want to anchor your boat with it)

    0
  3. alan

    “Said to have underwent” should be “Said to have undergone”.

    9+
    • jcs

      No matter which word was used, statement appears to be grossly inaccurate.

      10+
    • Mountainwoodie

      LOL……Grammar is no longer taught in public schools. Maybe the seller’s mother tongue is German. These Adenauers are amazing machines. Must weigh about eight thousand pounds. Had a friend, a former NFL player in the old days,who one day revealed he owned a ’59 or so. So weird. Last guy in the world who you would think would have one. They got around that’s for sure.

      0
  4. BiggYinn

    Restoration how long ago …..did they forget to add a 25 to the 5
    Looks like its not veen touched in decades

    2+
  5. Ensign Pulver

    My dream Mecum …(Barrett prices seem crazy for a buyer) ..financed…auction car would be a black, blue, or gray 59-61 series 300d. Even then I would expect to pay (oops I mean borrow) $55-60k for a really good example. Not sure if an early 50’s is worth that much more which makes $40k for this one seem expensive.

    2+
    • San Jose Scott

      Agree that a 50-61 series 300D is a car worth going into debt for.

      It strikes me that the seller has done what many do, confused what they have put into a car over the years with the value of the car. Seen a few of these over the years in this state with asking prices between $8-15k. Though I will admit the dash looks better on this one than most so possibly the car is better than it looks in the pictures.

      0
    • Fred W.

      Wow, I imagine the zero rust ’59 180A I bought as a 14 year old kid in the 70’s for $95 would now be worth something too. Cleaned off the pine tar, buffed it out, put saddle soap on the read leather and had a nice car. Somewhere I have Super 8 footage of me driving it the length of the front yard, going through all 4 gears with the “4 on the tree!”!

      5+
  6. Fred W.

    If it was restored five years ago, it spent the last 4 years stored 3 feet from the Gulf of Mexico.

    4+
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      The way I read the ad, the restoration was on the “Webasto” sunroof and was 40K. Which doesn’t make this any better deal.

      0
  7. jcs

    This has to be one of the most inaccurate listings I’ve seen in a very long time. There is no way a restored car could deteriorate that much in 5 years, even if it was sitting outside. The hood damage was caused by an engine fire, or, more accurately, a carburetor fire. The other spots on the body which were sprayed over appear to be patches of surface rust (tough to cover up surface rust with paint unless you sand it first). In addition to the patches of surface rust, there are areas of rust THROUGH starting. The interior was obviously never restored 5 years ago or 25 years ago. “Mercedes mechanic after cleaning tank and carbs said it would start right up.” If it would start right up, why didn’t the Mercedes mechanic or the seller try to start it? In addition, the sellers eBay rating is not entirely accurate. It shows a 76 rating, 100% positive over the past year. That rating was as a buyer ONLY. His entire rating as a SELLER is 2 at only 50% positive (1 negative and 1 positive) and those 2 were over 1 year ago. The negative was for vehicle condition misrepresentation. And all this for the very reasonable sum of $40,000 (scarcasm). My suggestion would be to run, don’t walk away from this one.

    12+
    • Fred W.

      Red flags everywhere- 15 days left to go, yet owner says, “too late to inspect..”. He mentions a parts car, maybe that’s what is in the photos! 🙂

      8+
      • jcs

        You’re right Fred. He simply took pictures of the wrong car.

        3+
  8. nessy

    This must be one of the worst bs ebay listings ever. Only 50 miles but the title says 70k? Restored 5 years ago? Where do we see one single part that looks restored? If this car was fully restored only 5 years ago, it would still look excellent even if it was left outside in the woods. Hey seller, if you are reading our comments, you are full of bs. If it’s so easy to get it running, what are you waiting for seller? You could at least wash the mold and dirt off the car if you expect that kind of money. This model does have a following but you can find one ready to enjoy for his buy it now price. Look around. There was a 100 point show car example of this exact model for sale a few years ago for 50k. As for your 41 thousand dollar buy it now price…. Hahahaha.

    6+
  9. Dave Wright

    I saw the listing the first day it came on………..in my normal automated searches. flipped past it quickley . I would buy one of these in a second but the seller is obviously nuts. We are also a bit suspect even talking about it……

    8+
  10. Mountainwoodie

    One other thing. Judging by the number of other Mercedes in different states of disrepair and disintegration scattered about the yard, the seller is either a hoarder of the star or incapable of taking care of what he has. He probably knows what it will take to restore this beast and decided to go fishing. That said the sunroof makes this one more interesting.

    6+
  11. Ward William

    “…a $40,000 restoration five years ago”

    And it still has wires dangling everywhere under the dash. No way Jose or hose B. I live in Brazil these days and they would say down here that the seller “Traveling on the Mayonnaise”.

    1+
    • Palandi

      viajou mesmo. nem uma restauração de 40 mil reais faria tão pouco.

      1+
      • Ward William

        KKKkkkkk As menos um aqui na barnfinds entende Ola do Porto Alegre cara.

        1+
  12. Chas

    The Big “D” signifies that the car originated from Germany. All cars in Europe at the time and the Euro Zone have to have something that designated where the car was purchased or picked up. “F” is for France, “GB” Great Briton, “ND” for the Netherlands, “CH” for Helvetic Confederation.

    1+
  13. Jorge Garcia

    More like (re)Stored 5 years ago. That car has not been anywhere near a paint booth since it left Stuttgart in the 1950s. Seller would have been better off saying something like “has loads of PATINA”.

    0
  14. John C Cargill

    A lot of work and expense there. But the parts are available through MB. I owned a 1959 220s Ponton. It had the 2.2 6 cyl. The owners manual gave the cruising speed and top speed as 100mph. For a 2.2 liter pulling such a big car it would rev forever and had absolutely no running issues even at 100+k. The ONLY reason I let it go was 11 years of Chicago winters. When the passenger front door wouldn’t close and the driver’s headlight bucket fell out due to rust. It was time. Mechanically it was still great. The interior wood and leather was still perfect.

    3+
  15. Guggie 13

    back in the early 60s a rich guy in our town owned one of these , every morning he drove it from his manson ( out of his underhouse garage ), down town to get his papers from the news stand the , then over to his business . I always wondered how rich you had to be to own a car like that . last time I saw that car it sat behind the local Pontiac dealer( late 70s)
    !no I never ask about it and then it was gone .

    0
  16. Bob

    In the 60s a neighbor had one of these. One day he said, “Of course, Mercedes last forever if you follow the factory maintenance schedule, you replace all the parts, every 5 years!”

    1+
  17. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Mercedes was an early adopter of Webasto.

    Oddly enough that cover looks like the original, the way its seams are squirrels and not straight.

    Can’t spend $40K on that Webasto.

    In ’82, had a Webasto put in a Jaguar MKII I bought while working in the U.K. The cost was £900 which was about $1650 USD at the time. The best part about that install was that I received a new headliner when they did that, before I shipped the car home.

    These things are tanks but I do wonder about how and when that $40K was spent?

    0
  18. Keith

    Interesting that in 1955 over here we also had a 300C. I’ll stick with the Chrysler.

    0

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