1955 Mercedes-Benz 220A (Type W180) Sedan
Following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Europe’s car industry was decimated. In Germany both Daimler and Benz went back to producing cars post-war, however, times were tough. A merger between Daimler and Benz would ensure that both companies survived and following a technical co-operation agreement in 1924, the companies formally merged on the 1st July 1926. Mercedes-Benz was born!
Subsequently, Mercedes-Benz went on to build some of the greatest cars of all time. The cars from Stuttgart bearing the three-pointed star all had one thing in common . . . they were renowned for their technical innovation, build quality, luxury and performance.
In 1951 Mercedes-Benz introduced the Type W187 220 Series cars, which was the first model to be powered by a six-cylinder engine post World War II. This model was a great success and built in relatively big numbers. It was succeeded by the Type W180 series car in 1954, which like its predecessor was available as a sedan, coupe and convertible.
In the 1950’s Mercedes-Benz produced one of the greatest cars of all time – the iconic 300SL Gullwing and 300SL Roadster. Whilst fabulous sporting cars, they were very expensive and generally sold to the rich and famous. The Type W186 and Type W189 300 series four door luxury tourers were built alongside the Type W198 300SL Gullwing and Roadster and they were indeed fabulous cars in their own right, though still very expensive.
Mercedes-Benz wanted to build full sized luxury cars that were ‘more affordable’ than the Type W186 and Type W189 300 series cars, so the Ponton range of cars (Type W120/W121/W105/W180/W128) filled that void nicely. The W180 (220A) was introduced in March 1954 and was the first 6-cylinder Mercedes-Benz to feature a unitised body design. The 220A was built from March 1954 till April 1956. It was then succeeded by the 220S. The 220A was only built as a sedan and in total 25,937 were produced.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale an Australian delivered 1955 Mercedes Benz 220A (W180) sedan.
The data card on file confirms this car left the factory on 22nd October 1955 by rail to the harbour in Bremen to be shipped to Mercedes-Benz in Melbourne. The data card confirms this car is a factory right hand drive example that is presented today in its original colour of ‘schwarz’ (black). The data card also confirms that the chassis, engine and body numbers are correct and therefore this is a ‘matching numbers’ car. The car was delivered new with an instrument panel in English.
Unfortunately, the very early history of this car is not known. It is understood to have been a long term Melbourne car and at some time in the 1980’s it overheated and blew a head gasket. The car was given to a classic Mercedes-Benz specialist to repair. The owner also wanted to cosmetically improve the car. The work was started but halfway through the owner of the car disappeared. Not surprisingly the work was stopped and the car was parked up. It took almost 10 years for the owner to get back in touch with his mechanic! At that stage he wanted to continue with the restoration of the car, however, money issues prevented that from happening. The end result was that a deal was struck and the car was signed over to the classic Mercedes-Benz specialist as payment for costs incurred and storage.
So, 10 years on work recommenced on the car! It’s new owner decided to treat the car to a bare metal respray. The faded black paint was removed and it revealed a very straight and solid body. No panel work or repairs were needed to be done before the car was repainted. The owner wisely chose to repaint the car in its original colour. A significant amount of mechanical work was completed at this time, including a top end engine rebuild, the ancillaries overhauled, a new radiator was installed, hoses were replaced and the brakes were overhauled. The upholstery was original and in very good condition, hence, not touched.
The current owner closely monitored the refurbishment of the car. Following an inspection of the completed car he decided he had to have it and bought it on the spot!
Throughout his subsequent 25 odd years of ownership the car has been regularly maintained and cared for by the same Mercedes-Benz specialist.
Today this car still presents really well. The 25 year old paint work has stood the test of time and it still presents well with a strong depth of colour. From say a metre it looks excellent, however, on closer inspection there are a few scratches and stone chips. The car would benefit from an aggressive ‘cut and polish’. The external trim is similarly presented. The chrome presents generally well from say a metre, however, up close there is evidence of some pitting. There is some delaminating of the chrome evident on the left hand side of the rear bumper which you will see from the photos. The grill and badges are a feature on all classic Benz’ and they present well on this car. The glass, lights and lenses are all in good condition. The car has matching black hub caps, which are in reasonable condition. The wheels are shod with Sumitomo tyres on all corners.
The engine bay and boot are very original, clean and well presented. There is a spare wheel and a jack.
Inside the car, the interior presents really well. Everything is lightly worn, showing some patina . . . but you would not touch anything. The upholstery, carpets, timber and the dashboard are all in good condition. The seats and door cards are understood to be original. Something you don’t see very often on a 66 year old car is that all the instruments, including the heather, are in good working condition and all the switches controlling them present well. The car has a bench seat in the front and is fitted with seat belts for 6 people, 3 in the front and 3 in the back.
Out on the road the car performs well. It just goes about its business in that Germanic, efficient way. The car is solid and there are no rattles of squeaks. The engine feels strong and the gear changes are smooth. Out on the motorway it’s hard to believe you’re cruising along in such an old car! You can tell this car has been well maintained. We are obliged to make a comment that there is a slightly unusual noise present from the engine under load when cold. We have discussed this at length with the long-term maintainer of this car who informed us that this is not an issue. This can be discussed with any prospective purchaser.
The current owner of this car is a long term Mercedes-Benz enthusiast and multi car owner who has enjoyed this 220A throughout his 25 years of ownership. The car has travelled some 10.000 km in this time, thought it’s fair to say it has been sparingly used in recent years. As a result, it is reluctantly offered for sale.
Today the odometer reads 02823 miles.
- An Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example.
- Matching numbers.
- Finished in its original colour.
- A well presented and maintained example.
This 1955 Mercedes Benz 220A (W180) sedan offers a fantastic entry point to 6-cylinder classic Mercedes-Benz motoring.
- Mercedes-Benz 220A (Type W180) Sedan
- 2812 miles