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  • Offered from the Iannelli Family Collection
  • Wonderfully restored example of the elegant Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet "Ponton"
  • Finished in factory-correct Silver Gray Metallic over black leather
  • Well documented with invoices, restoration photographs, and a copy of the original delivery order

There are four words every classic Mercedes-Benz enthusiast should know: unibody, ponton, einspritzmotor, and cabriolet. They describe the four major advances by the company during the mid-1950s, culminating in the production of this flagship automobile in 1960.

A one-piece chassis and body—or unibody—designed with collapsible components for safety in collisions, replaced the previous body-on-chassis structure in 1953. Replacing the multiple-form body design, the ponton—German for “pontoon”—body had fenders integrated into the main body for a streamlined, clean, and modern aesthetic. By 1958, Mercedes engineers developed the improved 220 SE, replacing the earlier carbureted engine with the M127 gasoline injection engine—einspritzmotor in German, and the “E” in “SE”—using a very early form of the mechanical pump-driven system by Bosch to feed fuel into the cylinders.

According to a copy of the original sale invoice, this 220 SE was first sold to H.G. Lewis & Company of Hollywood California. The document shows the car was optioned with a Becker Mexico radio, two reclining seats, one headrest, and the fuel-injected engine. Further, Silver Grey Metallic over a black leather interior completed the order. Today, the vehicle is finished as first delivered.

Well-loved and enjoyed throughout its life, a certificate dated July 1977 from Daimler-Benz congratulates a former owner for the 200,000 kilometers accrued on the odometer. In addition, copies of invoices from this period document the level of care put forth to achieve this mileage. In 2010, the car was placed under the care of Classic Showcase Inc. in Oceanside California for a complete restoration. Photographs show the vehicle disassembled, repainted, refurbished, and reassembled to a high standard. Today, the Mercedes-Benz shows in truly spectacular condition, and is accompanied by owner’s manuals, other books, and a tool roll.

Under current ownership, this Mercedes-Benz has been part of a private collection stored in a climate-controlled facility. An onsite technician provided maintenance at regular intervals and within the last 50 miles the car received fresh fluids and necessary service for the upcoming sale.

One of the company’s most elegant creations, the 220 SE Cabriolet is a fantastic display of refinement, build quality, and effortless performance. The substantial mileage clocked within the first two decades of this car’s life are a testament to its usability. Even today, the 220 SE remains a joy to drive, making this timeless and well-maintained example a must have. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo22.

RM Sotheby's
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