A luxurious piece of history
Considered one of the finest German-engineered masterpieces in the automotive world, I am very blessed to have in my garage a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 “Adenauer” (W189).
This car is the only one of its kind in the Philippines. My late father, Wong Chu King, bought this from a Dutch car collector based in Belgium more than 5 decades ago.
Named after First Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (hence the nickname) who led the de-Nazification and establishment of a stable democracy in Germany as well as a lasting resolution with the European powers. As such, the car had become the choice of politicians, captains of industry and other affluent individuals.
The Mercedes-Benz 300 had become synonymous with power and success.
Like the 1951 Mercedes-Benz 220A, this was handed to me by my father and I have taken good care of it the best way possible. This Adenauer is in immaculate condition and kept 100 percent stock using only original Mercedes-Benz parts from Germany and elsewhere I could find.
I’m also proud to say that the car is still in excellent running condition. In fact, it is being driven around twice a week to make sure that its internal and under chassis parts are “well-exercised”.
Only two restorations in five decades
Since my father also took great care of this car, it has fortunately incurred only two not-so-major restorations specifically the engine and exterior body. It was last “touched” in 2006 to rework the engine keeping it in tiptop shape while the entire exterior was stripped and re-painted while the trimmings were re-chromed.
The wooden interior had been professionally re-varnished as well. As for its electricals, everything is still stock including the tube-type radio. In gist, every nook and cranny in the interior is still in its original state.
One fascinating aspect of this car is how it shares many elements with the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing particularly the engine, chassis and suspension.
In its time, it was also considered technologically advanced having pioneered the fuel injected engine, modern bodywork and a unique hardtop configuration allowing for a pillarless build on the windows.
Despite its sophisticated status, the car is powered by a Bosch mechanical fuel-injected 3.0 liter inline-6 single overhead camshaft engine capable of bringing 160 horsepower with a maximum speed of 171 kilometers per hour – powerful considering its 4-ton frame. Its specially-built engine made it one of the most durable and quiet models in the line.
Its engine would become the granddaddy of many Mercedes-Benz engines we know today.
The car also has a longer wheelbase as it is meant to be a driver-driven vehicle while providing ample room and comfort to its passengers who sat at the back. Its main rival was the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud that, quite interestingly, came out in the same year as this Benz making it a competition of sorts.
Beyond the numbers
Taking care of this car is certainly no easy feat. It’s a model that’s long been out of production and parts are much harder to come by. But seeing it in all its prestigious glory today couldn’t make me any more proud.
Beyond that, the car far transcends any sort of numerical value anybody can attach to it. One thing, this car helps relive the fondest memories of my father whom I and my family loved and continue to love so dearly even after his passing.
Stay tuned as I will share more about the car.
On a side note, I would like to congratulate the entire Mighty Sports-Philippines squad for sweeping (4-0) the elimination round of the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship. The competition will be tougher as we go but I and my brother Caesar believe a lot in our boys.
Kudos to head coach Charles Tiu, assistant coaches Jong Uichico, TY Tang, Dean Castaño; our players led by Justin Brownlee, Randolph Morris, Lamar Odom, Jason Brickman, Juan Gomez de Liaño, Roosevelt Adams, Jeremiah Gray, Santi Santillan, Justin Gutang, Troy Rike, Gab Banal, Jett Manuel, Joseph Yeo and of course, my nephew Angelo Wongchuking.
I’d like to congratulate the management as well: Team managers Wowie Evangelista, Edrick Ferrer as well as Dominic Uy. Also not to be forgotten are our team sponsors Healthcube, Go For Gold, SMDC and Oriental Game.