The Mercedes-Benz 300 was launched at the 1951 Frankfurt Motor Show, with chassis code W186. In the immediate postwar years, economic conditions forced the company to mostly limit production to the entry-level four-cylinder 170 V model, but by the 1950s Mercedes was ready to build extravagant, exclusive luxury cars again.
The 300 series was designed to compete with Rolls-Royce quality. It was complex, expensive and luxurious, and offered as a huge sedan with optional division windows or as a four-door cabriolet. The 300 was powered by a 115-bhp 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine coupled to a four-speed synchromesh gearbox, and was capable of cruising at 100 mph. The X-frame was built of oval tubes, the front suspension was independent by coil springs and wishbones, and the rear featured Mercedes-Benz’s swing axle. The rear suspension was adjustable at the dashboard and a central lubrication system was foot-operated.