This 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer Project is one of 3,077 examples built between 1957 and 1962. It was ordered and purchased in New York City in late 1959 and delivered early 1960 for the 1960 model year. The original owner kept the car through the 1990’s and used it for country touring and occasional regular driving. The car was parked in 2006 when the owner at the time planned on swapping the engine for derby racing. The engine swap never occurred and the son of this owner inherited the car and sold it in order to fund another project. The original M189 3.0-liter inline-6 is still present and connected to a three-speed automatic transmission and the car is noted as being complete for restoration purposes. The seller notes the engine does turn freely and a compression test has not been performed. The odometer shows 80,791 miles and is no longer operational. A box of service records is included with the car from when it was on the road along with various touring maps, original owners manual, original purchase documents, spare keys, and a clean Virginia title.
The car shows areas of original Black (040) paint with discoloration across the body. Rust is visible at the corners of the front fenders and doors with some surface rust visible on the roof and skyward facing surfaces. All brightwork shows without drastic corrosion and all glass remains intact. The seller notes the hood ornament was loose as the car was uncovered and can be seen missing in a couple photos in the gallery below. The seller has repaired the ornament for the sale.
Original steel wheels are shown with 235/75 tires and factory chrome covers once featuring body-colored centers. The steel wheels now show corrosion. The Adenauer was equipped with independent front suspension and coil-sprung rear swing axles. Braking is handled by vacuum-assisted four-wheel drums from the factory which are no longer operational. The current tires do hold air but show dry rot.
The cabin shows what appears to be original Beige leather across the seats, door cards, headliner, and armrests. All leather surfaces show heavy wear including rips and tears. The seat frames are reportedly intact and factory hardware is present. Original wood trim can be seen as well and displays fading, cracks, and discoloration. An original Becker Mexico radio is present in the dashboard. The trunk shows a rubber mat and original spare tire. A period-correct first aid kit is included in the sale.
A cracked and faded original two-spoke steering wheel with a leather-clad horn ring frames instrumentation including a 120mph speedometer as well as fuel level, amperage, coolant temperature, and oil pressure gauges. The five-digit odometer shows 80k miles, and it’s unclear when the odometer stopped working.
The 3.0-liter M189 inline-six featured Bosch mechanical fuel injection from Mercedes-Benz. Output was rated at 178 horsepower when new. The seller notes the engine compartment appears to be complete and the engine does turn freely. A compression test has not been performed.
This barn find 300d Adenauer project is offered with a box of service records along with various touring maps, original owners manual, original purchase documents, spare keys, and a clean Virginia title.
Equal to the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud of the era in both quality and price, the Adenauer boasted better performance and options like glass partitions, mobile telephones, and dictation machines for leaders, dignitaries, and anyone deemed important enough to warrant the purchase of one of these flagship sedans. For those without a seat at the head of a country, these cars were used by the wealthy as grand touring sedans and simply, the best ground transportation money could buy. This example, while far from road-worthy, appears to be mostly complete down to rare accessories and hardware including the shown headrest, switchgear, and ashtrays. A project like this isn't for the faint of heart but we can only imagine how rewarding it must be to get an example like this back on the road to survive another 60 years. With just over 3,000 examples produced, these cars are well on their way to being massively collectible.
Get the best of The MB Market directly in your inbox every day. Subscribe for a curated list of our top market listings and articles!