2019 Shannons Melbourne Summer Classic Auction

1956 Mercedes-Benz 220A 'Ponton' Saloon




Engine 2195cc six-cylinder
Gearbox Four-speed manual
Body Work Four-door sedan
Colour Black
Interior Red
Trim Leather
Wheels Steel with hubcaps
Brakes Drum/drum


This lot is no longer available

Replacing the 170 Series in 1953, the new generation of Ponton (German for pontoon) saloons became the mainstay of Mercedes-Benz production for the remainder of the decade. Sold in either four-cylinder (codenamed 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. One notable feature of the 220A was the dash-mounted octane selector, designed to allow the engine to run without misfiring on fuels of variable quality. The 220A was also the first petrol-powered Mercedes-Benz to use 12-volt electrics, which had previously been found on diesel models only. The interior was upgraded and received better quality fittings than found on four-cylinder models, including timber dash and door cappings, twin sun visors and rear interior lights, plus an electric clock and strip speedo. Optional equipment included a Becker Mexico radio, a fabric sunroof, fitted luggage and a screen washer. 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 25,937 220s were produced between June 1954 and April 1956 and these beautifully made cars are truly a classic that can be enjoyed daily.