Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mercedes-Benz 300 W186 Post-War Large Sedan

It isn't surprising that it took several years following the end of World War 2 for a restyled large Mercedes-Benz sedan to appear.  This was the 300 or W186 (Werknummer 186) that entered production in November 1951, as reported here.

The W186 styling is an interesting combination of old and contemporary features.  The oldest is the traditional vertical grille theme.  Also looking somewhat dated for a car appearing in showrooms early in 1952 was the fender treatment.  Front fenders that fade into the front doors date at least as far back as the pre-war 1941 Packard Clipper.  A somewhat similar bustleback trunk and separate rear fenders combination appeared on 1948 Oldsmobiles.  The most modern feature was the one-piece windshield that also was found on 1950 Cadillacs.

Whereas prewar Mercedes sedans were rather squared-off with fairly flat sides, the new W186s were noticeably more rounded.  This had the effect of making them look bulky, but perhaps that was thought desirable for top-of-the-line cars in those days.

All told, the W186 featured dated styling features awkwardly assembled.  Later on, styling would improve.


1951-57 Mercedes-Benz 300 W186 - front 3/4 view

1951-57 Mercedes-Benz 300 W186 - rear 3/4 view

1951-57 Mercedes-Benz 300 W186 Cabriolet

1951-57 Mercedes-Benz 300 W186 - Hans Liska ad illustration

1951-57 Mercedes-Benz 300 W186 - Hans Liska ad illustration
As a bonus feature, I include these advertisement illustrations for the W186 by noted artist Hans Liska, who I wrote about  here.

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