1959 Mercedes-Benz 220S Ponton

MODEL220S Ponton
INTERIORDove Grey Leather

1959 Mercedes-Benz 220S Ponton

  • W180 MkII model
  • Dry climate car – In a collection in South Africa for 30 years
  • Very original, RHD model
  • Please scroll down the page to see the full bid history and to read a full description for this lot

**Please note that we are aware that the video is not of the best visual quality but we have added it as the engine can be heard running! Images have also been included of the car with both the current UK and the previous South African plates.**

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  • W180 MkII model
  • Dry climate car – In a collection in South Africa for 30 years
  • Very original, RHD model

**Please note that we are aware that the video is not of the best visual quality but we have added it as the engine can be heard running! Images have also been included of the car with both the current UK and the previous South African plates.**

In the 1950s, as the German economy emerged into the post-war period, a growing number of the middle class looked for new cars. Mercedes-Benz responded with the “Ponton”, so called because of its unique unibody construction. The 180 was launched in 1953 as a replacement for the pre-war 170 V, but it was a fairly basic four-cylinder car. In March 1954, the 220a moved things on a touch.

1956 saw the arrival of the deluxe 220S sedan. This is what people wanted the 220 to be.  It was longer, wider, with a much higher trim level and the 2,195cc straight six came with twin Solex carburettors producing an impressive 105bhp.

Due to their scarcity today, classic 220’s (W180 MkII ) have become very sought after by knowledgeable classic car enthusiasts and collectors alike. In right drive markets in RHD good ones are highly prized.


This 220S came to our vendor from a large private collection based in the warm, dry climate of South Africa where it was first registered. It was said to have been in the collectors ownership for thirty years and kept in running order whilst there.

Our vendor describes it ‘stunningly unrestored condition’.

On closer inspection it appears to have had some very minor recommissioning work carried out, but we’ll come to that later. All our vendor has done, is put a new battery on it and driven it, sparingly.


The engine in the 220S is a superbly engineered straight-six, overhead camshaft, 2,195cc.

Compression ratio is high at 8.7:1 and for a large straight six it revs high too.  Nonetheless, with the precision engineering standards of Daimler-Benz at that time, you need not worry about blowing the engine up or even wearing it out.

One reason for that is a heat exchanger that keeps the engine oil at optimum temperature.

The vendor tells us the classic 220S “starts, runs and drives as you’d expect”.

During what looks like a some minor recommissioning the core plugs on the straight six appear to have been renewed.

The images of the engine, ancillaries and engine bay tell their own story. Take a look.

Our vendor readily admits he bought this classic 220S with his heart and not his head. When he got it home it joined the rest of his collection of classics including, a Standard 10/4 and several classic motorcycles.

He didn’t give a moments thought to space. He tells us he does have a separate covered storage facility on a small-holding he owns, but any of his classics stored there are often means out of sight and out of mind. Therefore in the competition as to which one to drive, the beautiful 220S can become overlooked. He doesn’t want that. He wants it to be driven.

The Exterior

The classic 220S coachwork does look handsome. It draws considerable attention too. The images demonstrate what the vendor describes as ‘amazing original condition.

By-and-large, the bodywork and paint on this 220S looks to be in good order. It presents well. All of the chrome detailing is present and correct. There is no signs of any  damage to any of the body panels, lamps or bumpers.

There is, as to be expected, usual pitting here and there on the chrome work. We hasten to add it is very minor and you do have to look for it. It is wonderful to see the hubcaps with the logo on. The vendor is keen for us to stress, in his own words, it is, “totally rust free”.


Taking a very close inspection of the paintwork, whilst overall it all appears to be in decent shape, there are a couple arears of note. The vendor has provided an image of the roof. At the front section appears to have what looks like stone chips? There is no corrosion present.

In a couple of other small areas, the paintwork has a small imperfection or touch up. Again the vendor has provided refreshingly open images. A fastidious owner might like to address these, in time. We’d be tempted to keep it original. Each to his/her own though. The bodywork is generally straight throughout and the close-up images show even and consistent panel gaps.

For a classic vehicle registered in 1959? You’ll come to you own conclusion.

The Interior

Hugely practical, stylish, and very nice, would be our overall impression of this classic Mercedes 220S interior.

Slide in behind the steering wheel, across the leather covered bench seat. Take it all in, the original polished wood all around, the wide strip speedo spreading across the dash. Below are water, oil and fuel gauges. Beneath them a further array of classical styled knobs and switches. #Superb.

Looking at the images of the soft Dove Grey leather interior, you’d be hard pushed to date it. You’d certainly never guess it was 1959.The seats, door cards, carpets are all in very good condition, most certainly not consistent with a classic of this vintage. It is consistent with very scarce usage/coming from a collection.

The headlining is good. The featured chrome door handles and door architecture is all original as is the half wood surround on the door trims and dash.

If we have two minor points of note. We’d say the wood finishing, although all in excellent order, has slightly lost its gloss. We think that is probably due to sun bleaching from a very hot environment and could be easily remedied if the new owner wished.

The wonderful, all original white steering wheel appears to have a crack on the rim at the very top. Our vendor wanted to be transparent, an image is again supplied. You can see what you’re buying here. These are easily repairable. We doubt a replacement could be found, if it exists, it will be at a considerable premium.

Wheels, tyres, suspension and underside

Being in a warm, dry climate preserves classic cars like no other as you can see for yourself from the images. The vendor tells us it’s never been undersealed, you can see just what the classic 220S is like underneath.

The suspension set-up on 220s is of the classic Mercedes formula.  Double independent wishbones with coil springs at the front, with a swing-axle, radius arms and coil springs to give an independent back end.  The brakes are servo-assisted, with finned drums to keep them cool and eliminate fade.

A recirculating-ball steering set-up gives a smooth steering wheel action and a damper in the three piece track-rod layout smooths out road shocks. A conventional layout, with the charmed touch of Daimler-Benz engineering.  It’s just that much better.

The observant among you will note a couple of replacement items. A new exhaust, along with dampers, brake hoses, servo and an electric fuel pump have been fitted.

That would bear out the view that some careful and considered recommissioning has taken place.

Our view

This Mercedes 220S retains the elegance, style and presence the original design team engineered in.

Try and find a Ponton today. Then try and find one that isn’t a “project car” that is this level of condition and originality. We did our research for our vendor as we do for each vendor.

We found one. Just the one. It came to auction last year with a guide price of £37,000-£42,000. You’ll be very pleased to know our vendor and serial classic vehicle owner has much more grounded opinion of prices. Happy Bidding!


Vehicle Location: Somerset– it’s the responsibility of the winning bidder to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor

Have a question about this vehicle? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

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Bidder Bid amount Bid time
g********************k £5,000.00 2022-03-24 14:35:58
Start auction £5,000.00 19/03/2022 12:00 AM


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