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Lot 508: 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S ‘Ponton’ Saloon

Goodwood Festival of Speed, Bonhams (11 July 2008)

Daimler-Benz first totally new Mercedes-Benz series of passenger vehicles produced post-war, which replaced the pre-war Type 170 in July 1953, were dubbed ‘Ponton’, their nickname coming from the German word for pontoon used to describe the shape of their bumpers. The Ponton was eventually replaced by the ‘Heckflosse’ or ‘Fintail’.

Also produced in Cabriolet or Coupe form, the Type W180 220 6-cylinder Ponton Saloon was manufactured 1954-1959, the ‘S’ version with twin carburettors and servo-assisted brakes being capable of 161kph/100mph. This Stuttgart-built, left-hand drive 220S was first registered 1st of January 1958, the chassis number indicating that it would originally have had Hydrak transmission, although, as with many other similarly equipped cars, it was most likely converted to the current 4-speed manual gearbox in period as the 2-pedal automatic clutch option proved to be unpopular with buyers in the late 1950s.

Believed to have been last restored in Los Angeles circa 1999 prior to shipment to Hawaii, from where it was acquired directly from the Hawaiian owner earlier this year for a motor racing project (although now surplus to requirements and therefore no longer no longer required), the well engineered 4-door still presents well with no signs of rust and very good maroon paintwork and chrome and grey interior renovated to original specification.

When photographed, car and owner had only just successfully completed a run to Brands Hatch to watch the Masters Festival. Starting promptly from cold, the engine, a correct factory-replacement 2.2-litre six, ran smoothly when warm, and the 4 forward gears and reverse engaged correctly via the column change. The electrics had only recently been checked out reportedly and a new battery fitted. Current MOT certificate and historic vehicle eligible tax disc are valid until next February.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Festival of Speed
Bonhams, Goodwood, Chichester, Sussex
Lot Number508
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£11000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£12650
Condition rating
Registration number831 XUF
Chassis number180010Z8519771
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors