1957 Mercedes-Benz Ponton

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1957
  • Chassis number 
    180.030N-75-09774
  • Lot number 
    307
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

1957 Mercedes-Benz 220 S 'Ponton' Cabriolet
Registration no. to be advised
Chassis no. 180.030N-75-09774

In 1956 Mercedes-Benz introduced a new range featuring unitary construction bodyshells employing large, box-section side-members - hence the term 'Ponton'.

All-round coil-sprung independent suspension had long been a fixture of the Mercedes-Benz range, and that of the newcomers benefited from the newly developed single-pivot rear swing axle. A shorter wheelbase was adopted for the 2.2-litre 220 S Cabriolet model that appeared in May 1956, and also for the Coupé introduced the following year when Hydrak semi-automatic transmission become available as an option. The Sindelfingen factory coachwork was attractive, particularly in drophead form, as with this example. Luxuriously equipped in the best Daimler-Benz tradition, these superbly constructed Gran Turismos were priced some 70% above the 220 S saloon. Only 3,429 220 S Coupés and Cabriolets had been made when the original was superseded by the restyled 'fin tail' version in 1959, and today these elegant and exclusive limited edition Grand Tourers are highly prized.

One of only 20 right-hand-drive cars produced, this Mercedes-Benz 220 S Cabriolet was delivered new to actress Maureen Ward, Countess of Dudley and latterly Viscountess Ednam, in September 1957 and there are two further entries in the old style logbook up to 1976. The car was gifted to the current vendor in the mid-80s as a dismantled restoration project after the firm restoring the car ceased to exist and the then owner struggled to find a willing party to take it back to its former glory. The vehicle sat in the current vendor's company storage facility for some time before consigning it to Cardrew Bodyworks of Redruth, Cornwall, in the early 90s who had agreed to tackle what by that time was a mammoth task.

The vehicle was completely stripped down, the engine and all mechanical components checked, and then anything that required refurbishment was rebuilt. This process took some time as some of the missing parts proved difficult to locate. The list of parts refurbished or replaced is too long to itemise, but additional items fitted recently include electronic ignition, new HT leads, and a new fuel pump, while the carburettors have been stripped and rebuilt. The interior was re-trimmed to a high standard by Derek Smith Coachtrimming of Redruth, Cornwall and the final paintwork completed in 2014, since when the car has been dry stored and driven sparsely.

Mercedes-Benz motor cars of this era were beautifully built and of legendary quality, and this example has benefited from extensive restoration. Believed to be matching numbers and still retaining its original Blaupunkt radio, examples like this are increasingly hard to find and make for stylish, reliable open-topped entries for tours and rallies. Accompanying documentation consists of sundry restoration bills, restoration photos, an old-style logbook, current MoT, and a V5C Registration Certificate.