Two owners and documented from new
1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet
Chassis no. 220S/180030N8509371
Daimler-Benz AG emerged from World War II in precarious health, with plants that were largely rubble. Until 1951, the only Mercedes passenger cars were continuations of the prewar 170V, a modest middle-class car that had been the best-seller in the 1930s. The first new postwar model was the luxury 300 series, introduced in 1951. It was not until 1953 that a new middle-class design was ready, the "Ponton" series, so nicknamed because of its pontoon-like shape. Sedans and coupes were first, with four-cylinder engines, followed by six-cylinder sedans beginning in 1954. A cabriolet style, with convertible top and seats for four, was added in 1956.
This cosseted Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet comes with a complete history from new. The original owner, J. Lee Bausher of Reading, Pennsylvania, took delivery at the factory in Germany, then drove it about 1,500 miles in Europe before having it shipped home to the United States. He kept it until 1971, having it serviced religiously by a Mercedes dealership.
The current owner acquired it from Mr. Bausher. After enjoying it during two summers, he entrusted it to specialists Starksboro Coachworks in Starksboro, Vermont, for a full restoration. Bill Coon of Starksboro oversaw the work, which took place over seven years and changed the color of the car from the original blue to the current Reed Green. The interior is done in tan leather.
The car was completely disassembled. The bare body shell was then stripped and sandblasted. The underside and engine compartment were painted in black Imron. A new short block was obtained from the manufacturer, and fitted with a new cylinder head, valve seals and gaskets before installation in the chassis. All weather seals, brake lines and wear items were also replaced. A complete new wiring harness was installed, and the leather components were cleaned and re-dyed with Fiebling's British Tan stain. A complete refinishing in lacquer, new canvas top, liner and carpets followed. This restored the vehicle to like-new condition.
In 1979, the cosmetics were refreshed, by stripping the paint, treating all metal and refinishing in acrylic lacquer. The interior woodwork was refinished at this time, and the Becker Mexico multi-band radio was fitted with new tubes.
Since completion in 1980, the car has been regularly serviced by The Automaster, the Mercedes-Benz dealer in Shelburne, Vermont. Very extensive records for both the restoration and subsequent service accompany the car, as does the original owner's handbook. The odometer currently reads about 85,000 miles, believed to be original.
The coupes and cabriolets are the most coveted of 200-series Mercedes. It would be hard to find a 220S cabriolet that has been more consistently and faithfully groomed and maintained over its entire lifetime. This car represents the opportunity to acquire an exceptional example.
- This lot was driven without incident to the sale venue from the vendor's home over 300 miles away. Additionally, the paint urethane, not lacquer as indicated in the catalog.
Please note that the actual chassis number for this vehicle is 220S180030N8509371; however, it was titled with chassis number 220S180030N8509 due to a clerical error.