2009 Melbourne International Motorshow Auction

1956 Mercedes-Benz 220S Sedan





Engine In-line six-cylinder, 2195cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Body Work Sedan
Colour Blue
Interior Blue
Trim Cloth
Wheels Steel disc
Brakes Drums


This lot is no longer available

Mercedes-Benz introduced the Ponton (German for pontoon, a reference to the new slab-sided styling) series of saloons in July 1953, replacing the 170 series and becoming the mainstay of production for the Three-Pointed Star for the remainder of the decade. The four-cylinder 180 model was joined in June 1954 by the first six-cylinder variant, the 220a, featuring a longer wheelbase, larger rear glass and additional brightwork. The advanced SOHC 2195cc six-cylinder unit featured a new light-alloy cylinder head, new pistons and a higher compression ratio. In March 1956, the 220a gave way to the 220S, now with twin Solex carburettors and 100 bhp peak power, enough for genuine 100 mph performance. An interesting - and popular - option was the Hydrak automatic clutch that gave two pedal control whilst retaining the four-speed manual gearbox; this was operated by pressure on the gearstick with a vacuum servo and torque converter controlling a normal clutch. The 220S was also offered as a fiendishly expensive coupe or cabriolet and ultimately gained fuel injection towards the end of the production run in 1959. Interestingly, the Ponton was the first Mercedes-Benz car assembled in Australia and Victorian Premier Henry Bolte was pictured at the opening of the assembly line at Port Melbourne in March 1959 alongside the first 220S to roll off the line. In total, some 55,279 220S saloons were built between 1956 and 1959 and these beautifully made cars really are a classic that can be enjoyed on a daily basis.