- Well-preserved example of the limited-production Cabriolet “Ponton”
- Highly attractive color scheme of dark gray over red leather
- 2.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine; four-speed column-shift manual transmission
- Benefits from long-term ownership; sparingly driven in recent years
Introduced in 1954, the Mercedes-Benz 220—chassis code W180—is part of what’s often referred to as the “Ponton” series, a group of sedans, coupes, and convertibles, nicknamed for their progressive design featuring pontoon-like sides that dispensed with the separate fenders of older car designs. These were the first Mercedes-Benz models built using unit-body construction and they helped reestablish the German automaker in the wake of World War II.
The 220A sedan was the larger, more luxurious offering of the bunch, featuring a longer body than four-cylinder models to accommodate a 2.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine and a more spacious interior with increased legroom for rear passengers. In 1956, the 220S sedan replaced the 220A but differed little from its predecessor: the engine was upgraded with twin carburation for more power, a one-piece front bumper supplanted the previous three-piece unit, and chrome trim was added along the sides. A 220S coupe debuted later in 1956, followed by a two-door, four-seat convertible, an example of which is offered here.
More than 9,100 of the 220S sedans were produced for 1959, while only 786 of the coupe and cabriolet were made that year, with total production for those two models over the car’s four-year lifespan never exceeding 3,500.
This 220A Cabriolet benefits from loving, long-term ownership and presents extremely well in driving condition. The dark gray exterior combines beautifully with the red leather interior and black soft-top. Drawing the eye inside is spectacular, sculpted burl-wood trim that forms the dashboard and wraps almost entirely around the cabin. A clock is nestled in the center of the dash, just above the pushbutton AM/FM radio, beneath which a modern stereo cassette player is mounted. Driving lights and wide whitewall tires are among the period details that complete the elegant look.
Nicely presented in driver condition, this 220S Cabriolet clearly has benefitted from loving, long-term ownership and sparing use in recent years. It represents an excellent opportunity to own one of Mercedes-Benz’s uncommon, ground-breaking “Ponton” convertibles in an exceedingly handsome color scheme that can be thoroughly enjoyed over miles of top-down cruising.