1959 Mercedes-Benz 220S Coupe


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.

Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S (Type W180) Coupe. This six cylinder ‘ponton’ is an Australian delivered, factory right-hand drive example that has the unique Mercedes-Benz Hydrak transmission. The Hydrak includes a vacuum operated clutch which is electrically activated whenever the shift lever on the steering column is touched. Essentially you are driving a manual car (four speed column shift) without a clutch pedal.

Only 1,251 Mercedes-Benz 220S Coupes were built of which a very small number were factory right hand drive.

According to the factory build sheet on file this particular car has a delivery date of the 5th November 1958. Its original colour scheme was ‘Mercedes-Benz gray’ (DB135) with a grey leather interior (955). The car retains its original ‘matching numbers’ engine.

The car was delivered new into Melbourne and its first owners were understood to be the Nicholas family, who were the founders of Aspro. The car has its original service book, however, the front page has been removed (for privacy reasons at the time of sale to the second owner) which contained the original owners details. The original owners did not like the colour of the car and it was changed to maroon, the colour of the car today. The Nicholas family owned the car for many years and at some stage it found its way across the ditch to New Zealand. The current and fourth owner of the fabulous Mercedes-Benz acquired the car at an auction in New Zealand back in 2007.

The car’s service book has at least 25 entries from delivery through until 1975. The service book has again been used by the current owner who has had the car regularly maintained by a respected classic Mercedes-Benz specialist in south-east Queensland who speaks very highly of this car. In addition to routine servicing, the car has had a stainless steel exhaust fitted and the Hydrak transmission sorted.

Today this lovely Mercedes-Benz 220S Coupe presents really well. This car carries an older repaint, however, the paint still presents vibrantly.  The depth of colour is strong and it has a high gloss. There is some light crazing in patches on the roof and minor blemishes & stone chips are evident here and there. The panel gaps are excellent and the car is as clean underneath as it is on top. The doors shut with that ‘thud’ exactly as they did back in 1958! All of the exterior trim, chrome, lenses, glass and the wheels are in good condition, though some of the chrome has some very minor light pitting. Inside the car is lovely. The interior has been re-trimmed at some stage in cream leather with maroon carpet, which presents beautifully today. The steering wheel, instruments and controls also present really well. Importantly, the instruments and gauges all look to be in working order and all of the timber is in very good condition and a real feature on these early cars. The engine bay is very clean and it has the look of a well maintained car. The boot, which has maroon carpet throughout, is also clean. There is a spare wheel, tool kit and jack.

From cold you should prime the fuel system on this car. Do that, then pull the choke knob out, turn the key (anti-clockwise of course on these cars!) and then press the starter button . . . the engine turns over and fires after a few turns. This car starts very easily and the engine is incredibly smooth, even when cold. This lovely old Mercedes-Benz has a four speed column shift, so up and to you for first, which engages easily and you’re away. You have to think twice about driving a manual car without a clutch pedal but you get the hang of it quite quickly! This car just goes about its business in a very workman like manner. The ride is quite unbelievable for a sixty year old car . . . it just glides along the road without any fuss. You turn the steering wheel and the car just follows in the direction you want it to go, apply the brakes and the car pulls up in a very considered manner.

This car has just been serviced and passed a Queensland roadworthy inspection so it is ready for its new owner to use and enjoy.

Today the odometer reads 84,231 miles, which is understood to be genuine. 

Accompanying the car is the original service book, owner’s manual, factory build sheet, service & maintenance booklet, Hydrak transmission booklet and a rare factory sales brochure.

This late model 220S Coupe with the six cylinder engine and twin carburettors is one of the most desirable of the Mercedes-Benz ‘pontons’. This car is in fabulous condition and is a real find. It presents a unique opportunity for the astute classic car enthusiast or the most ardent Mercedes-Benz collector.  



  • -
  • Mercedes-Benz 220S
  • 1959
  • Coupe
  • Manual
  • 84,251 miles
  • 2195cc


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