Hans Gustav Rohr headed up the Mercedes-Benz Passenger Car Development Department for two years prior to his death in August 1937, and he was responsible for the evolution of the W153 series of automobiles. Presented to the public in early 1939, the W153, more often referred to as the Type 230, was a direct successor to the W143 of 1937, but it utilised a much more modernised body and a redesigned chassis. The former had a pressed steel sub-frame, whilst the W153 had an X-shaped oval tube design. Bodies were offered in three different cabriolet versions and one saloon.
#409306 is one of very few genuine RHD examples ever made by the factory and was first registered in London on October 25 1938. Believed to have been the 1938 London motor show car, the body has been finished in its original factory specification of maroon with tanned leather.
While these cars were often every-day-runabouts and generally driven into the ground, fortunately enough for this example, it was taken off road in 1972 and kept in a dry garage thereafter. The car has had only 3 previous owners, a well-known English racing driver among them, and comes with full ownership history from new.
Fitted with all of the extras that you would expect to see on the London motor show car, #409306 has recently undergone an extensive nut-and-bolt 5-year restoration to the exact factory specifications and to a very high standard. Every single part on the car has been either restored, or is new. The body was soda blasted and meticulously restored. Lead was used to straighten the body before the paint job. The electrics of the car still operate on the original 6V system. 6 brand new wide white wall Firestone tires correctly sized tyres have been fitted to the car. Full photographic evidence of the restoration process is available comprising of over a 1,000 photos.
The cars in-line 6-cylinder engine runs smoothly and gives it a virtually perfect and vibration-free ride. The cabin of the car has been treated with thick sound insulation materials according to factory standards. The car’s long wheel base, sophisticated all-round independent suspension system and top level sound insulation give it a luxuriously quiet and enjoyable ride. The plush carpets, fine leather upholstery and burl walnut veneer panels add to the feel of exquisite luxury in the cabin.
As only 5% of all Mercedes-Benz W143 were produced as the RHD version, it makes this car a rare survivor. Being an original English car, it has been fitted with a special illuminated rear number plate. The car has many unique extras such as an ivory coloured steering wheel, ivory switches in the cabin, leather interior, one-piece bumpers, additional chromed parts in the engine compartment, chromed horns, etc.
The result of a having benefitted from a professional no-expense-spared restoration to a very high standard, #409306 may well be the best specimen of this model in existence. Ready to attend any concourse event or to be enjoyed by its new owner.