It is not always appreciated what a stir Mercedes-Benz road cars made in the 1950s. Leaving aside such obvious stars as the 300SL ‘Gullwing’, there were headlines like ‘Magnificent Mercedes’ when a new saloon came out. It is not hard to see why: the company introduced new levels of build quality to even its most mundane models.
Take the 220S, here was a discreetly styled saloon with a top speed of 100mph – when it was introduced in 1956, 100mph was beyond some sports cars. It was superbly assembled at a time when most saloons were of dubious quality and it had such features as servo-assisted brakes and an overhead camshaft engine.
It also basked in the reflected glory of Mercedes-Benz’s legendary return to Grand Prix racing in 1954 (Fangio won back-to-back World Championships) and it’s winning of the 1955 World Sports Car Championship. The kudos which surrounded the model range cannot be understated especially since Mercedes-Benz insisted on direct correlations between its road cars and competition cars.
With the cars it introduced in the 1950s, Mercedes-Benz began to move to its present market niche. It was a decision which paid off as Mercedes-Benz has become an extraordinarily successful company on the back of matchless engineering and build quality. The 220S is part of that tradition and remains one of the most desirable motorcars of its day.
At the top of the range was the S Cabriolet, a stylish and graceful tourer, of which this is a fine example. 167 EVJ is particularly unusual in being one of just a handful of original right-hand drive examples built and it is believed out of the original 20 produced only 8 remain. 167 EVJ was first registered on the 15th July 1957 and has had 3 owners since with the current owner purchasing the car on the 22nd May 1973 for £500; the bill of sale is included in the file.
During the vendors ownership 167 EVJ has been loved and cherished throughout and is supplied with original instruction manual and sales brochure along with various bills and receipts from specialists such as Werner Karasch and Company, a UK V5 and a copy of the build sheets.
With long term ownership of over 40 years; accompanied with a comprehensive history file and being one of a handful of cars remaining, this drophead aptly reflects the chic of the 1950s.