First Wash in 10 Years: ABANDONED in Factory Mercedes 300D! | Car Detailing Restoration! Today, we tackle the interior & exterior of a1960 Mercedes 300D, that is covered in dirt and debris that hasn’t been detailed in years that will require us to pressure wash the entire exterior, followed by a wash, clay bar and then polishing the paint to bring back its shine and a full interior detail including mold removal!
First Wash in 10 Years: ABANDONED in Factory Mercedes 300D! | Car Detailing Restoration
Mercedes-Benz 300D was a luxury tourer. It was something that movie stars, state leaders, and royal heads would be chauffeured in back in the 1960s. It paraded with grace, with a VIP on board, rivaling the Silver Cloud from Rolls-Royce. Now, one comes out of nowhere, after having been abandoned in the basement of a factory, unwashed and unmaintained for over a decade.
The Mercedes-Benz Type 300 W189 first rolled out the production line toward the end of 1957 after having been officially unveiled that year in August. It was this luxury automobile, the company’s flagship model at the time.
They called it the Adenauer, after Konrad Adenauer, the first Chancellor of (then) West Germany. He commissioned six custom convertibles, hardtop sedans, and landaulet versions of the W189 and of the previous model, the W186.
He had a writing desk on board, curtains to keep him away from the eyes of the curious, dividing partitions between the passenger and driver areas, a sunroof in the sedan, and, of course, sirens to get him faster to his destination.
The 300D came to life to rival the super exclusive Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud in price, luxury, and performance. There was no other Mercedes above it, it was the S-Class of the time.
The model itself was so technologically advanced that rivals had no chance to keep up with it. It was built around the W186’s X-frame chassis, but it was powered by a more capable version of the M189 straight-six 3.0-liter engine. That engine was shared, together with the chassis and suspension, with the fastest production car of the time, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing.
Furthermore, that engine was made for the long run. It featured thermostatically controlled oil cooling, copper-lead bearings, and a reinforced crankshaft. It was simply a car designed as unbreakable.
The 3.0-liter could run 178 horsepower (180 metric horsepower) and yet make no compromise on comfort. It was mated to either a three-speed Borg Warner automatic transmission or a four-speed manual box.
To get the extra oomph out of it, Mercedes came up with a Bosch mechanical direct injection and a ground-breaking diagonal head-to-block joint that made room for oversized intake and exhaust valves. Back in the 60s and 70s, some VIPs probably traveled in the back of this sedan, being chauffeured around.
Only 3,077 such units saw the light of day between 1957 and 1962, all starting at 27,000 Deutsche Marks. And this right here, found in the basement of a factory, is one of them. It is huge and heavy, and everything in between, and its elegant silhouette is covered in a layer of dust.
The team has to lift the front wheels to be able to move it. “This is probably the heaviest car we ever had to deal with,” they say. It does weigh around 4,300 pounds (1,950 kilograms).
The car does not look bad at all on the outside. But on the inside, the carpet covering the floor is disintegrating. From the rear seats, where the owner used to travel, the windowline is massive, because there is no B-pillar obstructing the view. Furthermore, the small rear window can be popped out, turning the Mercedes into the perfect parade car.
The cleaning starts, and everything is carefully tended to. Minutes later, the aluminum wheels shine again.
Next up, it is the turn of the thick layer of dust to vanish. And it does after a power wash. However, there are a lot of paint issues on the body because several areas have been repainted over the years. So polishing might harm it even more in the areas where the original paint from back in the late 1950s remained.
The team finds the lock on the fuel tank door. Back in the 1960s, it was common to steal gas right from the tank. A lock would prevent the theft.
They take out all the seats in liquor leather to fix everything there is to fix before they put them back inside. But the carpet is going to give them a lot of headache. The owner of the car will need more than detailing to get those looking as they used to in the 1950s.
In a couple of hours, the dials and the brown leather on the dashboard look as good as new. The odometer shows 46,018 miles (74,058 kilometers). That proves that, in almost seven decades, the luxury Benz was more of a garage queen than an actual daily driver. The steering wheel in wood and leather exudes elegance.
Before putting the Mercedes up on the flatbed tow truck, the detailing experts were told that the car might run. Considering that it was abandoned for around a decade in the basement, they are very skeptical about it.
They flip the key in the ignition, put the transmission into Neutral, and push the lever of the transmission forward to start the engine, because this is how this car starts. They can hear the 3.0-liter come to life on a third attempt and can’t believe their years.