To be OFFERED AT AUCTION at Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale event, April 1-3, 2016.
Chassis No. 12803010002703
Estimate: $ 90,000 - $110,000 US
Mercedes-Benz launched its 220a, the predecessor to this car in 1954. It represented Mercedes-Benz’s new generation of unit-body constructed cars. Built on a 170.8-mm longer wheelbase than its predecessor at 180, it gave more legroom to rear seat passengers and more room under the hood for a 2.2-litre six-cylinder engine. Servo-assisted brakes became standard in September 1955. When the 220s was introduced in August 1957, the horsepower of the engine was increased to 106-hp with two Solex downdraft carburetors. A Hydrak hydraulically-operated clutch became available as an extra-cost option. The 220SE was added to the lineup for the 1958 model year. It was aimed at buyers who were prepared to pay extra for luxury features while expecting a six-cylinder engine as part of the package.
Unlike the Sedan versions of these models, the coupe and cabriolet versions featured distinct wraparound windshields, different front and rear fenders along with an emphasis on chrome and bright trim befitting their top-tier status. Flashy two-tone paint was also available – quite unusual on a conservative marque like Mercedes-Benz, yet no doubt a concession to American buyers of the era. Interiors were beautifully finished in wood and leather.
Produced in limited numbers, the lovely cabriolets were hand-finished at Sindelfingen to the highest standards of Mercedes-Benz prestige models. Bodies were mass-produced but finished by craftsman skilled in the art of coachbuilding. Panels were individually fitted to the car in true coachbuilder’s style. This in part, explained why the cabriolets cost nearly 75-percent more than their saloon equivalents. Limited numbers when new add to their desirability and exclusivity today.
When production ceased in November 1960; just 1,200 220SE coupes and cabriolets were produced during the model year. In total, just 1,942 were built over three model years demonstrating the exclusivity of these models.
This lovely example is beautifully presented in Ivory with a cognac leather interior. It is optioned with power steering and brakes as well as period-correct leather luggage. It was cosmetically restored in 2013. The interior wood on the dash is described to be in excellent condition, along with a top-quality leather interior, beautiful exterior paint, and a very neat and tidy underhood presentation. In addition, the interior includes a clock and Blaupunkt AM/FM radio. 1960 Mercedes-Benz 220SE Cabriolet