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 Motor 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 benefitted 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 particular Ponton is a rare right hand drive, fitted with the 2.2 litre inline-six cylinder and the sought after four speed column shift with optional Hydrak automatic clutch. With receipts of over £5000 in the last few years including a service in December 2018, this car has been maintained to a high standard. An uncommon model such as this is ready for its next custodian, effortlessly blending 1950s luxury driving with German over-engineering, typified by Mercedes- Benz of the era.