Ein Luxuswagen des beginnenden Wirtschaftswunders

We recently received a new member in our collection. When the beautiful Mercedes-Benz 220 Coupe (year of construction: 1955) arrived in the Motorworld, it earned great admiration.

It is one out of the 85 pre-war Mercedes-Benz Coupes that has a 6-cylinder engine and was only built within the period of two years. The vehicle has an almost magical appearance that cannot be ignored. With the elegantly swung fenders, the proportions of the double door coupe feature the typical design of the thirties. They are ravishing from every perspective! The long bonnet impressively rises above the airstream. In the front, the star crowns the bonnet on a massive chrome base. Of course, the luxurious interior is equipped with wood and leather. It is a technically, perfectly arranged blend of form and material that appeals to all senses especially in connection with the most elegant paint of the chassis: nougat. 

The vehicle’s first owner was a famous author, who was living on Lake Starnberg in the mid fifties. And it is said that only 10 years later after the end of Second World War, another wealthy man owned it. Only a few could purchase such a car back then. However, the German Economic Miracle eventually started to develop and bruised post-war Germany experienced an upward trend again. In 1952, the new representational limousine 300, which was later called “Adenauer”, and the Mercedes-Benz 220 as limousine, cabriolet A and B and coupe were presented. They were equipped with a newly constructed 6-cylinder engine. In 1954, the sensational 300 SL “Gullwing” and one year later the small brother 190 SL followed. 

However, the greatest part of those luxury vehicles were sent abroad since the majority of Germans were still using motorcycles or adventurous small cars. Dream cars as the Mercedes-Benz 220 Coupe or Cabriolet were especially part of many typical post-war films. There was a great appetite for stories that usually took place in southern regions and showed a peaceful world. Cinemas were mostly crowded since it was a time when the television had not received a great role yet. 

The MB 220 Coupe is a very rare model of automotive history and the crowning glory of the pre-war design’s precious era because the number of pieces was minimal. At the same time, the coupe is equipped with the then newly developed 6-cylinder engine that forged ahead a completely new generation of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. This engine has had a very long lifespan of almost four decades, while being modified several times! 

The vehicle in our showroom was restored with a maximum of accuracy and expense. It is in perfect condition which corresponds – at least – to the delivery back then. We extensively documented the process of restauration. 

Some further information on the Mercedes-Benz 220 W 187 Series 

The 220 corresponded to the 170 S with regards to chassis and bodywork, except for the integrated headlights that are nowadays situated in the wings. However, the 220 was equipped with the newly developed 6-cylinder engine under the bonnet. This was a truly modern construction especially by means of the short-stroke with overhead camshaft and a power of 80 HP. 

The launch of the 6-cylinder type 220 took place only two years after the 170. One reason is that Opel offered their Opel Kapitän with a 6-cylinder engine already in 1948. The team of Daimler’s position in “Untertürkheim” did not want to surrender this market segment to their competitor from “Rüsselheim”at all. This could actually be achieved thanks to good feedback by the trade press and Daimler customers. High driving performance and an equally good handling ability were the most impressive characteristics. The vehicle took up on the brand’s traditional high quality features. 

After a construction period of five years and a total quantity of 18,467 vehicles series, only 85 coupes were left. These cars were mainly built “by hand” for the period of two years. This definitely suggested the end of a perennial design epoch. In 1954, the new types 180 and 220 A opened a new era of self-supporting “ponton” bodyworks causing the end of the “undercarriage”.