Mercedes-Benz reintroduced six-cylinder models to its range in 1951 with the 220 and 300 types, 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 six-cylinder engine producing 80bhp at 4,600rpm, good enough for a top speed of 100mph with acceleration to match, while the gearbox was an all-synchromesh four-speeder with column change. A separate chassis was retained for these models, which were replaced in 1956 by a new range featuring unitary construction bodyshells employing large, box-section side-members – hence the term ‘Ponton’.
All-round coil-sprung independent suspension had long been a fixture of the Mercedes-Benz range, and that of the newcomers benefited from the newly developed single-pivot rear swing axle. 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. Luxuriously equipped in the best Daimler-Benz tradition, these superbly constructed Gran Turismos were priced some 70% above the 220S saloon.
This 220S Coupe was delivered new to Hamburg, and is thought to be one of only 150 examples fitted with the sliding sunroof. Having been beautifully restored some years ago, this elegant coupe is finished in dark blue with a sumptuous red leather interior, and has at some time been fitted with an exchange engine from Mercedes Benz. In view of the continued rise in value of other Mercedes models of the same era, such as the 190SL and 300SL, these six cylinder sports coupes offer exceptional value and elegance for relatively little outlay, and this car represents a rare opportunity to acquire a wonderful example whilst this still remains the case.