1958 MERCEDES-BENZ 220S CabrioletView vehicle description
Mercedes-Benz has built a disproportionate percentage of history’s most desirable cars, from its Porsche-engineered supercharged straight-eights of the late 1920s through 1954’s spectacular gullwing 300SL, 1975’s monstrous 450SEL 6.9, and the dominant DTM 190E Evos of the 1990s, to name only very few.
These cars shared their exceptional DNA with the brand’s less glamorous models, and even normal, day-to-day Mercedes were once engineered and manufactured with a deeply-rooted ethos of quality above all else. It's a philosophy that gave the world million-mile Berlin taxis, indestructible transportation for the developing world, and multi-generational family heirlooms on wheels–all roles that the lovable Ponton excelled at.
Some Pontons were a bit more special than others, however, such as handbuilt coupe and cabrio variants that sold for nearly twice the price of standard four-doors.
The auction 220S is one of just 2,178 W180 II cabrios built between 1956 and 1959. The car’s striking two-tone paint and desirable 4-speed manual gearbox add greatly to its appeal.
On the Outside
Six-cylinder Pontons had a longer wheelbase than the typical four-cylinder, most of which was to accommodate a longer engine. Straight-six sedans still appeared highly derivative of fours however, despite their added length and unique rear door quarter windows–fortunately, coupes and cabrios were quite a different story, fitted as they were with flowing, graceful lines that were nonetheless clearly related to those of more common examples.
The auction example seems to be complete and tidy, with a newer looking convertible top that’s home to a clear, undamaged rear window. At the nose, bright trim dividing gray from white bodywork takes on a distinct forward rake.
On the Inside
The interior looks similarly cared-for and correct. Its VDO gauge cluster features a neat horizontal ribbon speedometer, and nearby on the steering column is a small wand for shifting the 4-speed manual in and out of gear. Note also the factory Becker Mexico radio.
A 2.2 liter sohc straight-six rated at about 104 hp drives the rear wheels, offering greatly enhanced smoothness as well as more than twice the power of a contemporary gasoline four-cylinder Ponton Benz. These are quiet, smooth engines, and being oversquare, they aren’t opposed to revving a bit either.
This car is sold without known history.
What We Think
Four-cylinder Pontons are desirable cars, but six-cylinders are on an entirely different plane. Two-doors elevate things further, and this one’s good colors and preferable manual 4-speed transmission make it especially noteworthy.
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- Location: HOUSTON TEXAS, United States
- Seller Type: Private
- Odometer Reading: 37760
- Chassis Number: RA1800106500839
- Engine: 6-CYL 2195CC
- Gearbox: Manual
- Steering position: Left-hand drive
- Colour: Gray
- Interior: Beige Leather
- Estimated Price: $145,000 - $155,000