Jazz Queen Ella Fitzgerald’s Custom ’59 Mercedes-Benz 300D Cabriolet is Jaw-Dropping in its Price and Beauty

A rare 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300 D Cabriolet custom-ordered and owned by American jazz great Ella Fitzgerald is now for sale by California dealership Scott Grundfor Co. Fitzgerald once posed with the car for a famous photograph by Annie Leibovitz. A copy of the photo comes with the car. (Stephen Heraldo/Scott Grundfor Co.)
A rare 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300 D Cabriolet custom-ordered and owned by American jazz great Ella Fitzgerald is now for sale by California dealership Scott Grundfor Co. Fitzgerald once posed with the car for a famous photograph by Annie Leibovitz. A copy of the photo comes with the car. (Stephen Heraldo/Scott Grundfor Co.)

This story, originally published in The Dallas Morning News, is reprinted as part of a collaborative partnership between The Dallas Morning News and TMN. The partnership seeks to boost coverage of Dallas’s communities of color, particularly in southern Dallas.

By Christopher Wynn
Dallas Morning News Writer

Annie Leibovitz famously photographed the singer with the car—a framed copy comes with the Benz.

At the height of her acclaim, American jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald did something extravagant after decades of singing success: She bought herself a car. A very special car.

In 1959, Fitzgerald custom-ordered a rare Mercedes-Benz 300D Cabriolet—one of only about 65 made. The long-wheelbase, four-door luxury touring convertible was more typically destined for statesmen parades, which explains the notches where flags could be mounted.

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