Lot 147: Mercedes-Benz 220 S Cabriolet
Having concentrated on four-cylinder models since recommencing civilian production after WW2, Mercedes-Benz reintroduced six-cylinder models to its range in 1951 with the types 220 and 300, both of which were shown at the Frankfurt Show in the spring of that year. Both featured single overhead camshaft engines with the valves set across the head, rather than in line, and actuated by rockers. The 220 was powered by a 2,195cc engine, which in standard form produced 80bhp at 4,600rpm. A separate chassis was retained for these models, which were replaced in 1956 by a new range featuring unitary construction 'ponton' bodyshells. In this new form the 220S saloon debuted at the 1956 Frankfurt Auto Show together with the 190 and 219. Like the contemporary 180, the new trio featured unitary construction of the chassis/body, independent suspension all round and drum brakes. Powered by an up-rated (100bhp) version of the existing 2,195cc overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine, the 220S was good for a top speed of around 100mph. A shorter wheelbase was adopted for the Cabriolet model that appeared in May 1956 and also for the Coupé introduced the following year when the Hydrak semi-automatic transmission become available as an option. The Sindelfingen factory coachwork was attractive, particularly in drophead form, as with this example. Apart from a power increase to 106bhp in 1957 the 220S changed little in the course of its comparatively short life, production ceasing in October 1959. Fewer than 3,500 Coupés and Cabriolets were made in that time and today these elegant and exclusive limited edition models are highly prized. Mercedes-Benz motor cars of this era were well built and of legendary quality. This particularly elegant 220S cabriolet is finished in black with beige leather interior and has the desirable manual transmission. The engine was rebuilt in 2010 and the bodywork restored at the same time; both are said to be in 'as new' condition, with the car described as 'good' in all other respects. Accompanying documentation consists of sundry restoration invoices, French Carte Grise and Contrôle Technique.
Exceptional Motor Cars|
Bonhams, Monaco, France
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