The car's nickname is "Adenauer" in honor of Konrad Adenauer, the West German Chancellor from 1949 to 1963. Mike Marsh, the current owner of the stretched hardtop limousine, purchased the Mercedes-Benz in the spring of 2009 and had this prize trucked to his home in Mississippi. He explains the "D" model is 4 inches longer than a regular sedan, with all of the extra length built into the rear passenger area.
The rear seat passengers not only have extra legroom, but also have a pull-down armrest. With grand windows, the occupants of the car are quite visible. When all windows are lowered the occupants in the Mercedes are visible to spectators. The only obstructions to viewing the occupants are the two quarter windows at the rear of the passenger compartment. Those windows can be removed in order to give the public an unobstructed view of who is riding inside of the vehicle.
When new the 1960 Mercedes was priced at $10,864, says Marsh, and he believes the 30,000 miles recorded on the odometer are accurate.
The Mercedes-Benz is equipped with power-assisted steering and power-assisted brakes. Surprisingly, there is no air conditioning. Mounted in the dashboard is the original Becker radio.
"The woodwork is magnificent," Marsh observes. Among the other instruments in the handsome dashboard, the 300D's speedometer is prepared to register speeds up to 120 miles per hour. The upholstery is luxurious saddle tan leather with a complementary tan/beige carpet. The two-spoke steering wheel supports a 360-degree chrome-plated horn ring.
Mercedes-Benz factory literature describes the soft yellow color of the paint covering the car as "crme." The 4,300-pound weight of the stretched car is spread evenly over its 17-foot length. The 15-inch wheels support the Mercedes-Benz on a wheelbase that is just a hair longer than 124 inches. White sidewall tires add a touch of period class.
Power from the 182.6-cubic-inch, six-cylinder overhead cam engine is delivered to the rear-drive wheels via a Borg-Warner automatic transmission. The owner explains the transmission was a first for Mercedes-Benz "D" models from 1957 to 1963. To keep the internal parts of the engine clean the engine is capped with an oil bath air cleaner.
Stylish touches of chrome trim are unmistakably Mercedes-Benz from the three-pointed star on the hood to the twin reflectors at the rear of the car. The lengthy chrome spears atop the front fenders accent the curves of the fenders.
"I really like the chrome," Marsh admits. Another feature of which he is fond is the self-lubricating front end that can be activated by the driver.
Starting the engine, Marsh says, can be very tricky. The gear shift lever must be in the neutral position before inserting the key into the ignition. Then the driver must push the key forward toward the front of the car, rather than turning the key.
"It can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in about an hour," March jokes. "It takes it's time."
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