Mercedes-Benz had firmly reestablished itself at the forefront of automobile engineering by the 1950’s, finally recovering from the vast devastation it suffered during WWII. An extensive array of efficient small displacement four cylinder gasolines engines, diesel engines, and high performance six cylinder gasoline engines were offered in a broad range of sedans, coupes, convertibles and sports cars. At the 1959 Frankfurt Auto show, a newly designed four-door luxury sedan was shown, one with heavy influence from the American market. But it would be several more years until a new coupe arrived, so the elegant “Ponton” style continued on coupes and cabriolets through 1961. On these outgoing models, the prominent grille still stood proudly at the forefront, flanked by wide-set headlamps in the front fenders that flowed smoothly down the body sides. Elegant haunches over the rear wheel arches flowed into a well resolved tail with vertical tail-lights and nicely proportioned bumpers. The design of the 220 was efficient and clean, while still maintaining an air of luxury and extravagance. Unitary construction and improved independent suspension were thoroughly modern advancements and in keeping with Mercedes’ reputation for engineering excellence. For the last-line Ponton 220s, the rear suspension had been revised with a transverse coil spring in the swing axle which reduced “jacking” under hard loads, and vastly improved the on-limit handling. Coupe and Cabriolet versions were both offered, with just 830 coupes finding homes during that time, making this a very rare and desirable post-war Mercedes.
This 1960 220 SE coupe was a solid, rust free example that was nicely restored some time ago and has since seen only very light use as part of the prominent Kemp Museum Collection of Chesterfield, Missouri. The high quality paint is very nicely presented in correct Mittelrot (Medium Red) over a tan leather interior. The paint is tidy and straight, very presentable and with only a few very minor flaws to be found. It is quite showable on a club or local level and it will certainly make an excellent driver. Bright work and chrome all appear in very good order, with little in the way of flaws or dings. The Mercedes 220SE is well known for its sumptuous cabin and this example certainly does not disappoint. The tan leather interior has been properly restored using proper German material in the correct perforated pattern on the seats. The gorgeous leather trim carries over to the door panels, kick panels and lower dash. Extensive wood work has also been artfully restored with beautiful door caps, door panel accents, window surrounds and of course, that stunning dash panel. This example is optioned with reclining front seats, a sunroof, Becker Hi Fi stereo, and an ivory-colored steering wheel. Lavish deep pile carpet rounds out the elegant cabin.
Under the hood rests the 2.2 liter, fuel-injected inline six backed by a 3-speed manual transmission. This robust and smooth running engine is one of the all-time greats when it comes to durability and character. The engine bay is very well detailed and looks very correct with excellent finishes, correct gold-cad plating on the hardware, proper clamps and decals. The trunk has been similarly restored, with properly upholstered panels and a restored original jack.
Luxurious, rare and desirable, this 220SE combines the fuel-injected drivability of the later W111 series with the timelessly elegant and classically luxurious Ponton bodystyle. This wonderful car is ready for enjoyment and show, and will surely satisfy aesthetes and driving enthusiasts alike.
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