A vintage Mercedes regarded as one of the company’s most important cars of the post-WWII era will be offered for sale at Silverstone Auctions this weekend.
The 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 Adenauer Cabriolet was one of the world’s most expensive cars, and was considered a powerful status symbol.
The car was unofficially titled the ‘Adenauer’ after the German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and they were the vehicles of choice for high-ranking German government officials of the period.
The car made its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1951, and was one of the first new models built by Mercedes following WWII.
During the war the company had built aircraft, tank, and submarine engines for the Nazis, along with barrels for Mauser rifles.
The Adenauer Cabriolet marked the company’s return to the international automobile market, following an embargo on German cars.
Just 591 four-door examples were ever produced, and the car offered at Silverstone is amongst only seven built in right-hand drive and exported to the U.K during 1953 and 1954.
This small figure is likely due to the fact that few owners were willing to drive a highly expensive German-built car through the war-ravaged streets of post-war Britain.
"This is an important car," said the auction house. "The moment it rolled off the ship in 1954 marked the beginning of the end of many years of hostility and the start of sixty years of a growing relationship between two great industrial nations.
"It is difficult to look out of your window now and not see a sleek example of German style and advanced Teutonic automotive engineering and this dramatic Mercedes Cabriolet, with its film star looks and advanced technology, was one of the handful of cars that took that first step."
Having recently undergone a painstaking four-year restoration, the car is now set to fetch £325,000 – £375,000 at Silverstone Auctions’ Salon Privé Sale at Blenheim Palace on September 2.
"It’s a beautiful, show-stopping car and we expect a great deal of interest on auction day,” said Silverstone Auctions’ sales manager Will Smith.