Monterey

15-16 August 2014

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Lot 123

1957 Mercedes-Benz 220 S Cabriolet

  • Chassis no. 180.030Z.7512620
  • Engine no. 180.924Z.7500870

Sold for $187,000


106 hp, 2,195 cc OHC six-cylinder engine with twin Solex carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, swing-axle rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 106.3 in.

  • Limited-production example and hand built in the classic Mercedes-Benz tradition
  • One of just 1,066 220 S Coupes and Cabriolets produced for 1957
  • Finished in striking Light Ivory and Tartan Red over dark red leather
  • Equipped with an ivory steering wheel, front bucket seats, and whitewall tires


Mercedes-Benz launched its 220a, the predecessor to this car, in 1954. It represented their new generation of unit-body constructed cars, which was later nicknamed the “Ponton” series, in reference to its pontoon-style front fenders. The 220a, considered by many to be the first modern Mercedes-Benz, was built on a 6.75-inch longer wheelbase than its predecessor, allowing more legroom for the rear-seat passengers and more room under the hood for a 2.2-liter six-cylinder engine. Servo-assisted brakes became standard in September 1955.

When the 220 S was introduced in August 1957, the engine had two Solex downdraft carburetors and its horsepower was increased to 106 horsepower. A Hydrak hydraulically operated clutch also became available as an extra-cost option. The 220 S was a quick car by the standards of the day, offering genuine 100-mph capability.

These lovely cabriolets were produced in limited numbers and hand-finished at Sindelfingen to the highest standards of Mercedes-Benz’s prestige models. Bodies were mass-produced yet finished by craftsman skilled in the art of coachbuilding. This in part explained why the cabriolets cost nearly 75 percent more than their saloon equivalents when new. Unlike the larger 300 S models, the 220 S Cabriolets featured a fully retractable convertible roof, giving them a much sleeker and more modern appearance.

On November 4, 1957, this 220 S was shipped to Studebaker-Packard in South Bend, Indiana, the official distributor of Mercedes-Benz automobiles in the United States at the time. This lovely Cabriolet was built to U.S. specifications and lavishly equipped with such features as an ivory steering wheel, front bucket seats, and whitewall tires. It was discovered by a Mercedes-Benz enthusiast in September 1995, who, just two months later, began a comprehensive restoration. The car was entrusted to several experts, including Mercedes-Benz specialist Uwe Lehmann, who was commissioned to oversee the project and perform the final assembly of the components. It was painted in a striking factory two-tone combination of Light Ivory and Tartan Red over dark red leather, and the interior was completed by Hudson Valley Auto Interior. The restoration was completed in September 1996.

Just 1,066 220S Coupes and Cabriolets were produced for 1957, of a total of 3,429 built over four model years from 1956 to 1959. Limited numbers when new add to their desirability and exclusivity today. This example will not only be the “belle of the ball” at any Mercedes-Benz Club event, but it will also provide its new owner with luxurious top-down motoring for four.

Addendum

This title is in transit.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

Cameron Smyth

csmyth@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more