1958 Mercedes-Benz 220 S Cabriolet A
RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 2018 - Offered on: Saturday, March 10, 2018
- Excellent example of the elegant, enjoyable ponton-style 220 S Cabriolet
- Finished in an attractive and accurate dark blue exterior with red leather interior
- Full, chassis-up restoration by Kienle Automobiletechnik in Germany
- Excellent road-going condition with only 6,622 miles since restoration
Mercedes-Benz pioneered the use of the unibody chassis when they introduced the 180 sedan in 1953, called the "ponton" by the press because its integrated front and rear fenders and doors suggested the floating support of a tactical pontoon bridge. Using structural reinforcements stamped into the inner body shell, the engineers produced a body that was at once safer and more efficient to produce than the body-on-frame structure used since the dawn of the automobile. With the front and rear fenders stylistically integrated into the doors to provide a single sweeping line from front to rear, designers could execute designs that were graceful and elegant.
The consignors were walking their dog in Palm Beach in June 1993 when they saw an old car on blocks in an open garage with the unmistakable Mercedes-Benz grille and star, and their local dealer was able to arrange the acquisition of the car. As they recounted later, "Poor 'Gracie' (as they would immediately name her) was dirty and neglected, but a gem underneath." When they opened the trunk, they were sure they had been fated to rescue her, finding a shopping bag in the trunk containing receipts from the tour through Belgium, Switzerland, and France that the first owner had taken after picking up the car for European delivery at the factory in Sindelfingen, Germany. They themselves had taken that trip several times with new cars when they were living in Germany.
They immediately had "Gracie" shipped to Kienle's workshops in Heimerdingen, instructing the restorers to repaint the off-white exterior in an elegant dark blue while reupholstering the interior in red leather in the same shade as the tattered original interior. Of course, the extensive rich burled interior wood trim, white steering wheel, and original Becker radio were rejuvenated, and the engine and all mechanical components were completely rebuilt.
Two years later, the car was shipped back to them in Palm Beach, Florida, and since has lived a life of luxury in an air-conditioned space, never again to feel a raindrop or scorching heat. Since then, "Gracie" has accumulated just under 7,000 miles and is offered with a full original tool kit, spare tire and changing equipment, owners' manuals, radio instruction, and a notebook containing the original documentation and even the maps from Mercedes-Benz from her first trip in Europe in 1958. With her proud grille, luxurious interior, and flawless road manners, she is ready to provide another enthusiast family with the refinement, comfort, and reliability for which Mercedes-Benz is renowned.