1960 Mercedes-Benz 220SE 'Ponton' Coupé
Chassis no. 12803710003385
Mercedes-Benz reintroduced six-cylinder models to its range in 1951 with the 220 and 300 types, both of which were shown at the Frankfurt Show in the spring of that year. Both featured single overhead camshaft engines, with the valves set across the head rather than in line, and actuated by rockers. The 220 was powered by a 2,195cc engine which in standard form produced 80bhp at 4,600rpm. A separate chassis was retained for these models, which were replaced in 1956 by a new range featuring unitary construction bodyshells employing large, box-section side-members - hence the term 'Ponton'.
All-round coil-sprung independent suspension had long been a fixture of the Mercedes-Benz range, and that of the newcomers benefited from the newly developed single-pivot rear swing axle.
A shorter wheelbase was adopted for the Cabriolet model that appeared in May 1956 and also for the Coupé introduced the following year when the Hydrak semi-automatic transmission become available as an option. Luxuriously equipped in the best Daimler-Benz tradition, these superbly constructed Gran Turismos were priced some 70% above the 220S saloon.
In 1958 the 220 range was updated with a fuel-injected version of the 2.2-litre overhead-camshaft six, becoming the 220SE. Maximum power increased from 106 to 115bhp, and while top speed remained unchanged at around 160km/h there was a useful improvement in acceleration, the 0-100km/h time reducing by two seconds. By the time production ceased in November 1960, fewer than 2,000 220SE Coupé and Cabriolet models had been manufactured and today these elegant and exclusive limited edition Grand Tourers are highly prized.
This manual transmission 220SE was restored in the USA prior to its importation into Italy in 2006. Finished in blue metallic with beige leather interior, it has the desirable factory sliding steel sunroof and is described by the private vendor as in generally good condition. The car is offered with US Certificate of Title and Italian customs documents.