Open Roads, June | Lot 158
1939 Steyr 220 Cabriolet
$70,000 - $80,000 USD
| Jackson, Mississippi
23 - 30 June 2021
- Extremely rare cabriolet version
- One of approximately 5,900 220s built in total from 1937 through 1941
- 2.3-liter overhead-valve engine
- Four-wheel independent suspension
- Nicely preserved older restoration
Originally known for producing some of the world’s finest firearms, Austrian manufacturer Steyr diversified into automobile production in 1915. The company introduced the streamlined 120 with a 1.4-liter, side-valve, six-cylinder engine in 1935, predecessor to the model offered here. The 220 was born in 1937 when a more powerful inline six-cylinder overhead-valve engine arrived with capacity increased significantly to 2.3 liters. The sleek, aerodynamic design was available in four body styles: five-passenger limousine, five-passenger cabriolet, and two different specially bodied cabriolets—both by Gläser Coachworks of Dresden, Germany—including this sporting example. The streamlined front fascia and steeply sloped grille are highly reminiscent of Alfa Romeo and Lancia models during that period, giving this car a unique and memorable presence.
The left-hand-drive Steyr 220 offered here wears an older, nicely preserved restoration. The attractive red paint is complimented by the tan leather interior with matching top. The car is fitted with Jaeger instrumentation, including speedometer, ammeter, and clock. The engine sends approximately 55 horsepower to the rear wheels through a four-speed, floor-shift, manual transmission. The 220 was known in the period as a high-performance vehicle, with superior handling due to four-wheel independent suspension coupled with a lightweight and rigid chassis. These characteristics make it highly drivable even today, and with only approximately 5,900 220s built in all body styles, cabriolets variants such as the example offered are exceptionally rare.
The beautifully aerodynamic 220 was the last model built by Steyr before World War II disrupted automobile production around the world. It is also one of the last models produced by Steyr before the marque ceased manufacturing automobiles under its own name in 1959. Given their limited production, technological advancement, and elegant coachwork, this nicely presented 220 Cabriolet is sure to stand out on the road or show field.