• Year of manufacture 
    1959
  • Mileage 
    8 940 mi / 14 388 km
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Chassis number 
    180011119507004
  • Reference number 
    FJ2826
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
    United States

Description

BringATrailer NO RESERVE auction preview: 4spd, sunroof, quality restoration of a black plate California car.1959 Mercedes Benz 220SChassis No. – 18001119507004Engine No. – 180.924-11-9501879Exterior Color – BeigeInterior Color – Red LeatherEngine – 2.2L Liter Inline Six-cylinder SOHCTransmission – 4-speed manualCurrent Miles – 8,480 (TMU)Current Owner – Purchased in General HistoryHaving built a reputation for manufacturing some of the most luxurious hand-built cars of the prewar era, Mercedes-Benz set their sights on more volume-oriented production using unibody construction and production processes. The pontoon shaped exterior design earned these models the “Ponton” nickname which has become a favored reference due to the stylish design. Originally released in 1954, the 220-model range enjoyed refinements through 1959, the final year of production. With an impressive 85,000 units built, Mercedes-Benz began establishing a considerable market for their cars – one that would grow to new heights as North American buyers began to discover the durability and robust driving traits of these capable cars. The 200S arrived in 1956 with the upgraded 2.2L in-line six-cylinder engine, later improved by the addition of twin carburetors. A 4-speed manual column shifter and automatic were both offered; however, the 4-speed was the preferred choice and remains as such today. Stylish, handsomely appointed, and critical to the success of the brand, the 220S, while having been built in large numbers, remains today a charming and seldom seen sentinel of vintage family motoring. General OverviewAccording to the current owner and expired registration slips accompanying this car, this 220S is documented to have been in California as early as 1962 under the ownership of San Francisco, CA resident, John Weinberger who retained the car until 1965 when it was sold to Hildegard Heller also a resident of San Francisco. Heller would retain the car until 1991, selling it to another San Francisco, CA resident who retained it until 1997 when it was sold to Ralph Hellberg, Eureka, CA. Hellberg would retain it until his passing when his estate sold the car in 2019. The car was purchased by the patriarch of the current family owners in 2019 from Hellberg’s estate. While under current ownership, the car was restored to a high level with the owner spending a great deal of his personal time and restoration skills tending to the car both cosmetically and mechanically. Under current family ownership, the restoration was completed in 2021. Although some records for various parts and detailed items are included with the car, much of the work represented in the restoration is not accompanied by service records. As the owner was quite skilled at restoration work, the work was performed by him along with qualified vendors. Restoration work includes a comprehensive engine rebuild and high-level cosmetic refinishing for both the engine components and the engine compartment. As a long-term owner of a 300SL Gullwing, the owner was careful to tend to all details including radiator rebuild, new hoses, new fuel pump, correct hose clamps, new brakes with booster and master cylinder rebuilds, and extensive replating for the chrome bumpers, grille work, and exterior chrome bezels, handles, and other exterior details. The interior wood finish was expertly refinished, the windshield replaced, the interior reupholstered, new rubber mats installed, and the rare Webasto rollback sunroof material replaced with the correct-type material. The exhaust was replaced as well as several suspension components and much of the rubber and undercarriage details were also tended to. Having been lovingly cared for and in California essentially since new, the chassis remained in excellent condition avoiding excessive corrosion or damage while under a handful of dedicated owners. General ConditionToday this 220S presents as a beautiful example benefiting from a substantial amount of expensive cosmetic restoration and carefully performed mechanical work. Enjoyed under California ownership spanning more than 60 years, the overall cosmetics must be counted as among the best one might find in a 200S. The beige paint is smooth and glossy with consistent color, coverage, and deep luster. Panel fit is excellent including the doors which shut properly without force, while the hood and trunk lid offer smooth latching and fit. The exterior chrome is in excellent condition, with beautiful luster and bright reflections. All lenses, lighting, and glass are in excellent condition bearing correct Sekurit branding etches on the side glass panels indicative of factory original pieces. The windshield is a later series replacement unit, also in excellent condition. The matching beige retractable Webasto sunroof appears essentially as new. Matching color slotted steel wheels are finished with correct wheel covers and trim rings, all of which are in excellent condition and fitted with a set of contemporary Hankook Kinergy ST radial tires. Of note, the rear of the car wears a black and yellow license plate which is the same plate issued in 1964 and noted on the registration slip accompanying the car. The interior is a truly fine display of correct finishes, accurate materials, and vintage charm delivering a rewarding and cohesive presence one seldom finds in four door sedans of this era. The seats have been correctly reupholstered with proper pleating and retain a comfortable supple feel which matches nicely to the door panels and correct German square weave carpet. The grey rubber details for the door thresholds are new and in excellent condition. The wood finished dashboard is particularly nice with matching window interior door garnish molding featuring the same quality, color, and finish. The gauges show vivid dial face color, crisp numeric indication, and beautiful chrome bezels. The Becker Mexico radio, fabric speaker, and dash mounted clock are in excellent condition as well and function properly. The excellent condition of the chrome dash trim and refined detailing throughout the dashboard, steering wheel and other interior elements are a delightful composition that speaks highly to both the quality offered in these cars and the restoration work recently performed. The trunk is clean and properly finished in satin black including the satin black trunk lid underside, finished with matching grey fluted rubber for the trunk floor. Underneath the rubber mat, the original black finishes remain in very good condition. A full-sized slotted rim spare tire is properly mounted in the wheel tub with the factory retaining clamp in place. Although stored separately for the sake of preservation, a set of tools in a correct and original wood box as well as a comprehensive set of books and manuals are also included with the car. The engine compartment is in excellent condition with proper presentation using correct parts and finishes. The twin carburetors feed through a factory correct intake system and air cleaner. In addition to the engine rebuild, detailed attention has been given to correct lines, hoses, and electrical as needed. The heater boxes and duct work, often collapsed or damaged, are in excellent condition. The various and correct Mercedes-Benz numbers, build plates, and stampings are consistent with the body and chassis sequences for original cars. The engine block retains a correct engine tag and stamping consistent with 220S series engine blocks. The chassis is in original condition showing factory details and gentle aging supporting the originality of this car. Though not restored, the preserved structure, suspension components, factory welds, and metal castings are in keeping with the history presented on this California car. There is no visual evidence of structural compromise to the floor pans or suspension mounting points.The car starts on command using traditional allowances for cold engine starts and proper warm up procedure before operation. The engine is very well tuned benefiting from the later series twin-carbureted six-cylinder higher horsepower output engine. The 4-speed column mounted gearbox engages easily in all gears offering smooth shifts and a properly sprung clutch. The car operates smoothly and confidently under general road use with steering, braking, and suspension consistent with cars of this period. Delightfully finished and mechanically refined, this 220S is an ideal ticket to any vintage Mercedes-Benz event where the next fortunate enthusiast can delight in being one of the very few if any participants featuring this model with the distinction of a surprisingly fine restoration. Items Included with the CarThis 220S is accompanied by numerous consecutive California registration cards dating back to 1962, a “Genuine Daimler-Benz Spare Parts Kit” wooden box with spare parts including bulbs, spark plugs, ignition parts, belts, and hoses. Also included is a tool roll with tools, the correct owner’s manual set and case, a 300S tire pressure gauge, Becker Mexico radio manual, Webasto sunroof manual and other original literature pieces. A 1970s era San Francisco bridge commutation booklet for Bay Bridge transit is also included.