- Finished in Dark Red (542 G) over medium red leather with matching soft top
- One of just 1,178 examples produced for the model year
- Freshly restored in 2020 by renowned marque specialists Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors
- Interesting features including correct Becker Solitude radio, fog lights, and three pieces of matching luggage
- Documented by a copy of its factory data card and Bechtel restoration folder
Mercedes-Benz introduced the 220 Sedan (chassis type W187) at the April 1951 Frankfurt Auto Show. The successor to the 170 S, this new model featured an updated chassis, revised styling, and a brand-new powerplant; in fact, the W187 was the first truly “new” post-war model developed by the company. The model’s most significant change was under the bonnet, where a new 80-horsepower, 2.2-liter inline-six-cylinder engine made the car a veritable autobahn cruiser.
A stylish cabriolet was produced from July 1951 to August 1955; a total of 2,360 examples were built during this time, including 1,178 in 1952. The Cabriolet A, such as this, commanded a 70 percent premium over saloon models, which kept production numbers particularly low. When new, this glamourous car full of delightful technical and cosmetic features quickly became a favored means of conveyance for movie stars the world over.
TO MR. PONDER’S SPECIFICATIONS
This beautiful 220 Cabriolet A is believed to have lived its entire life in Germany until acquired by Gene Ponder in November 2019. It was subsequently imported to his collection during the summer of 2020 after being treated to a complete restoration by Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors in Böblingen, Baden-Württemberg—just a stone’s throw away from its birthplace at Mercedes-Benz’s Sindelfingen plant. A copy of its factory data card shows that this cabriolet was originally delivered new to a dealer in Hamburg, Germany in April 1952, and clad in blue (DB 320) over light gray leather (955). Before Mr. Ponder’s purchase, Bechtel, known in particular for their exceedingly high-quality, concours-worthy work on Mercedes-Benz models, had acquired the car as an inventory project from a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony.
Under the expert care of Arthur Bechtel’s staff, the car was treated to an exacting and stunning restoration which is completely documented in an accompanying binder. Factory-correct features and details are found throughout, such as a Becker Solitude radio, metric VDO instrumentation, Bosch headlamps, and three pieces of matching luggage replicating those originally issued by the factory in 1952.
This Cabriolet’s inline-six engine and Sindelfingen body are both numbers-matching to the units listed on its factory data card. Per Mr. Ponder’s specifications, this 220 Cabriolet A was painted in the striking exterior color of Dark Red (542) to match the 1960 300 SL Roadster in his collection. A set of color-matched wheels shod in thin whitewall tires pair nicely with the cabin’s beautiful medium red leather upholstery and matching convertible soft top.
Desirable when new and no less coveted today, Mercedes-Benz 220 cabriolets such as this are equally suitable for dedicated connoisseurs of the marque, as well as those who simply appreciate the best of classic, hand-crafted luxury.