1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Saloon
|Engine||In-line six-cylinder, 2195cc|
|Gearbox||4-speed Hydrak Transmission|
A replacement for the 170 Series, the ‘Ponton’ (German for pontoon, a reference to the styling, which did away with separate wings) saloons were introduced in 1953 and remained the mainstay of Mercedes-Benz production for the remainder of the decade. Sold in either four-cylinder (W120/W121) or six-cylinder (W105/W128/W180) configurations, the latter benefited from having a longer wheelbase, larger rear glass and additional brightwork. The SOHC 2195cc six-cylinder unit featured a new light-alloy cylinder head, new pistons and a higher compression ratio. For 1956, the 220 became the 220S with twin Solex carburettors and an output of 100 horsepower, giving genuine 100 mph performance. An innovative and surprisingly popular option was the Hydrak automatic clutch, giving two pedal control whilst retaining the four-speed manual gearbox, being operated by pressure on the gearstick and a vacuum servo and torque converter controlling a normal clutch. Of note to local enthusiasts, the ‘Ponton’ was the first Mercedes-Benz car assembled in Australia and Victorian Premier Henry Bolte was pictured at the opening of the assembly line at Port Melbourne in March 1959 alongside the first example to roll off the line. In total Mercedes-Benz produced 25,937 220s between June 1954 and April 1956 and these beautifully made cars are truly a classic that can be enjoyed by the whole family on a daily basis.