Introduced at the 1959 Frankfurt Auto Show, the 220 Sb saloon was one of three six-cylinder (W111) models sharing a new up-to-the-minute body style. This trio featured unitary construction bodies, independent suspension all round (at the rear by means of a single-pivot swing axle), and powerful servo-assisted drum brakes. Much attention had been paid to improving passenger comfort and safety, the cabin being enlarged and the glass area increased for better visibility, while the incorporation of front and rear crumple zones represented a milestone in automotive safety technology. Designed to appeal equally to European and North American markets, the sleek new body featured tail fins, a styling device then much in vogue, which gave the models their nickname: Heckflosse (Fintail).
Powered by an up-rated (110bhp DIN, 124bhp SAE in the USA) version of its predecessor’s 2,195cc overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine, the 220 S was good for a top speed of around 102.5mph. Fuel-injected ‘SE’ versions followed, the coupé and cabriolet models lacking the saloon’s swiftly outdated tail fins, while front disc brakes were standardised on the 220 Sb in April 1962. Production ceased in 1965.
This 220 Sb saloon has had three owners from new. The previous owner bought the car in 2013 and carried out a bare-metal restoration of the entire body. Works carried out include replacing the front floor panels, the inner and outer front sill panels, and the off-side front inner wheel arch, while the underside has been sealed and the body re-sprayed in its original Antique Ivory- it is now in excellent condition. The rubber seals for the doors, windscreen, rear screen and boot have all been replaced. The seats have been reupholstered in red leather, and all the carpets replaced. The door cards are all in excellent original condition.
Mechanically, the original engine has been stripped and reassembled with all new seals and gaskets and we are advised that the car cruises easily at 70mph. Described by the vendor as in excellent condition throughout, this desirable classic Mercedes is offered with its original owner’s manual and service booklet, a V5C Registration Certificate and MoT certificate valid until to September 2016.