Lot 263: Mercedes-Benz 220SE Ponton Cabriolet
Introduced in 1956, the 220S saloon was one of a trio of new models featuring unitary construction bodyshells employing large, box-section side-members - hence the term 'Ponton' - the others being the 190 and 219. All-round coil-sprung independent suspension had long been a fixture of the Mercedes-Benz range and that of the newcomers benefitted from the newly developed single-pivot rear swing axle. Short-wheelbase Coup� and Cabriolet versions of the 220S soon followed. Luxuriously equipped in the best Daimler-Benz tradition, these superbly constructed touring cars 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 100mph, there was a useful improvement in acceleration; the 0-60mph time reducing by two seconds. By the time production ceased in November 1960, fewer than 2,000 220SE Coup� and Cabriolet models had been manufactured and today these stylish and luxuriously equipped grand tourers are highly prized.
Only 17 righthand drive 220SE convertibles were delivered in 1960. This fine example is finished in Dunkblau (Blue/Black) with the original maroon leather interior in excellent condition throughout. It was imported to London from South Africa by a Nigerian Diplomat who used it sparingly and took great care in its upkeep. He stored it in London and had it maintained by Mercedes-Benz specialists, Portland Motors of Portland Road, London, W11 until 2004, when it was purchased by the vendor. He took the car to Mercedes-Benz specialists in Cardiff who stripped off the old paint, carried out repairs to the offside rear wing, repainted it, and also restored the interior wood to the highest standard. Once completed, the vendor kept the car with his collection of classic cars in the North of England and it has had little use since the restoration other than a 1,000 mile holiday through France, Mercedes-Benz rallies and events, all of which passed off without hitch. The car is supplied with a V5C registration document, a current MoT test certificate and invoices going back to 2001. Very rare Mercedes-Benz of this kind, in recent years, have attracted keen attention as very desirable classic car investments and their prices have risen and continue to rise dramatically.
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