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Car Tales: Rarity Personified, The 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet

In January 1886, Carl Benz patented the Benz Motorwagen, widely regarded as the first car ever produced. 
In 1926 Daimler-Benz was formed with the merger of Benz & Cie. and Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet for sale
In October that year, at the 1926 Berlin Motor Show, the new company presented the first Daimler-Benz product range. The exhibition saw the unveiling of the first jointly developed passenger car models launched under the new Mercedes-Benz brand name: the 8/38 hp two-litre car (W 02) and the 12/55 hp three-litre model (W 03).

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Also on display was the model ‘K’. Based on the 12/100/140 hp vehicle, this special model featured a shorter wheelbase and was the fastest touring car in the world. It was added to the standard sales range in April 1927. The new models bore the new trademark, the Mercedes Star. From then on the three-pointed star graced all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, a global symbol of quality and safety. And the Mercedes-Benz name was universally associated with tradition, innovation, and the future of the motor car.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet side view
Accordingly, the 1930s proved to be a time of financial grace for Mercedes-Benz. But after the devastation of Germany during World War 2, and the end of the conflict in 1945, Mercedes-Benz required a Unique Selling Point to pull it back to full financial muscle.
What the company came up with was the ground-breaking ‘Ponton’ series. Introduced at the 1956 Frankfurt Auto Show, the Mercedes-Benz 220 S saloon debuted alongside the 190 and the 219, a set of sedans, coupes and convertibles that took their sobriquet (employed by the media but never by Mercedes-Benz itself) from a progressive design that featured pontoon-like sides dispensing with the separate fenders of previous car designs.
Like the contemporary 180, the new trio featured unitary construction of the chassis/body, independent suspension all round and drum brakes. Powered by an up-rated (100bhp) version of the existing 2,195cc overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine, the 220 S was good for a top speed that touched 100mph (161km/h). A shorter wheelbase was adopted for the Cabriolet model that appeared in May 1956 and also for the Coupé introduced the following year when the Hydrak semi-automatic transmission become available as an option.
These were the very first Mercedes models that used unit-body construction. In the inimitable Mercedes-Benz manner, these cars melded exceptional quality with cutting-edge German engineering, along with technological and safety innovations, principal reasons for why many ranked these among the best cars in the world.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet rear view
The cars basked in the reflected glory of Mercedes-Benz’s legendary return to Grand Prix racing in 1954 – the Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio won back-to-back World Championships in Mercedes-Benz vehicles – and its winning of the 1955 World Sports Car Championship. Fangio presided as the honorary president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina from 1987, a year after the inauguration of his museum, until his death in 1995.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet interior
The 220A sedan was the larger, more luxurious offering, 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 we have right now at Beverly Hills Car Club, a highly-desirable 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet that is finished in a color scheme of silver complemented with a gorgeous tan interior.
This original California car is equipped with a column-shifted manual transmission, inline-six engine, Solex dual carburetors, single exhaust outlet, VDO instruments, convertible soft top, boot cover, chrome trim/bumpers/grille, ‘220S’ badging, ivory color two-spoke steering wheel with a chrome horn ring, interior wood trim, Hella-branded front fog lights, Sears Allstate whitewall tires, Mercedes-Benz branded hub caps, tool roll, and a full-size spare tire fitted in the trunk.
Amenities include a dashboard analog clock, manual-crank windows, vent windows, front bucket seats, rear bench, door pockets, fender antenna, push-button radio, sun visors and dual wipers. This is an excellent opportunity to acquire a classic Mercedes-Benz Ponton that is mechanically sound.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet engine
Total production of the 220S coupe and cabriolet over the car’s four-year lifespan never exceeded 3,500.
So the beautiful 220S cabriolet that we have right now at Beverly Hills Car Club is close to a limited edition!
-Alex Manos, Owner
Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet buyer Alex Manos

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