Topless and Classy at the Same Time

mercedes 220 convertible for sale
Classic Mercedeses devoid of greater than six liter motors do little for me personally, but the cache of a vehicle such as this cannot be denied. This 1957 Mercedes 220S Cabriolet appears to have halfway through a restoration, judging by the condition of the undercarriage and the primer job. It sports a dual-carbed six cylinder engine and four speed manual transmission, but the engine does not run. There’s no rust, but you can assume pretty much everything’s going to need a complete restoration.

mercedes 220 convertible for sale
Typically I’d be all about swapping a sub-100hp mill for something that’d make the drive a bit more fun, and just leaving it rough. But in this case, this puppy deserves a top-of-the-line restoration, all the way back to it’s stodgy original condition. Cruise around on sunny days and silently pass judgement on those around you.

mercedes 220 convertible for salemercedes 220 convertible for sale

Lastly: get a load of that rear axle/suspension getup. Holy camber, Batman!

Bidding’s just getting started over $1,000 on eBay Motors.

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  1. Paul_y Avatar

    MB stuck with swing axles until the late 60s. However, engines up front kept them from having a serious reputation for killing owners (well, except the 300SL; that was born to be literally hooned to death).
    Nothing says, "I fart in the general direction of the proletariat" like a high-end Ponton convertible.

  2. tonyola Avatar

    Hello, deep pockets. Anyone care to guess how far one has to go into five figures to properly restore this thing? Someone's going to be tempted to buy this for a thousand or two in the hope of turning it into a "fun project" car. Bad move. If you really love this car and have your heart set on buying it, sell the kids, mortgage the condo, bite the bullet, and send this off to a professional restorer (unless you have the good fortune of being a true expert mechanic). Otherwise, it will mock you endlessly as a stationary and slowly-mouldering testimony to futility and impotence.

    1. dmilligan Avatar

      You are correct. I worked as a parts man at a MB dealership for 20 years, and we'd see people exactly as you describe all of the time. The 220S cab was actually not a bad looking when new/restored, albeit in a stodgy way. But, and this a very big but, except for the engine and chassis, parts haven't been available for this car since the mid '70s with spotty exceptions from Germany. And when you can find the exceptions, the parts are hideously expensive. Anyone who wants to restore one of these needs deep pockets and access to very good fabricators. And when you're done you have a car that's worth about 1/10th (maybe) of the money you put into it. Not a good "investment" for a weekend warrior.

  3. tonyola Avatar

    OK, so I posted a coupe instead of a convertible. But they looked almost alike – you get the general idea. By the way, have you ever seen such deep, glowing silver paint?

    1. Paul_y Avatar

      That's true; the Adenauers are easy to neglect.
      …and that is one of the best silver finishes I have ever seen. Seriously.

  4. jjd241 Avatar

    Just a bit of rubbing compound and some rattle cans could get it looking like this!

  5. CptSevere Avatar

    This car sends cold chills up my spine. I've never owned or worked on a Mercedes, much less priced parts for one, but looking at the various pictures on Ebay scares the hell out of me. That swing axle arrangement, for instance, is the weirdest thing I've ever seen. I wonder what the CV joint on the passenger's side is worth, and what kind of German water torture it is to replace?

  6. Joe Dunlap Avatar
    Joe Dunlap

    First, its not just a swing axle, its a "low-pivot swing axle", designed to counter the jacking under cornering tendencies associated with your run of the mill swing axles, the kind you find under the odd Beetle, Corvair, Spitfire etc. Notice that there is only one point flex point in the axle on the right side. (The differential moves about with the left). Flex comes not through a CV joint, but rather a normal U-joint that is slip joined to the axle and the stub of the differential to allow for plunge as the two move toward and away from each other . The U-joint and the differential oil are all contained by an "accordion boot that seals the two halves of the axle. All the pivoting is done around a large hinge pin near the bottom of the differential. All in all, probably a less than elegant solution to allow independently suspended rear wheels, although they were quite reliable in service.

  7. Joe Dunlap Avatar
    Joe Dunlap

    (Continued from above.) Handling was decent for its time and vehicle size. About the only thing that ever failed was the damn boot. Replacements were a pain to install, as they had to be secured with a bunch of staples along a seam on the upper side and then clamped to the housings. (yes, it was split and could be wrapped around the axle. You dont even want to consider what it took to drive that hinge pin out and seperate the axle halves!)

  8. Alff Avatar

    Outstanding. Challenging and expensive to complete, yes. Also a much better way to spend one's time and money than many alternate passtimes.

  9. Joe Dunlap Avatar
    Joe Dunlap

    Like drugs or alcohol? Given the PCH potential in this one, you may want to give serious consideration to the alternative.

  10. ChuckyShamrok Avatar

    So, to be contrarian, I would do exactly the opposite what mad_science said and drop a 3 litre BMW M30 six in it (to keep with the Germanic roots) and drive it as is, find the classic Mercedes shows and piss all the old geezers off.

  11. nofrillls Avatar

    Sweet! I'm not sure I've ever seen a convertible Ponton for sale!
    The good news is that most 4 and 6-cyl, non-SL Mercedes from the 50s up are still pretty cheap to come by. They just haven't really hit the collectible stride yet. You can still pretty easily find TLC-needing, but running examples of Pontons, Fintails, W114s and 6-cyl W108s for $1000-2000. Got mine for $700.

  12. Jo Ann Emerson Avatar

    It is weird how many different websites the internet has on this subject. I don’t know if I will ever need to come back, but it is nice to know I found the one that has some practical stuff if this should come up for me again

  13. Travis Avatar

    I found a partially dismantled 58 220 convertible. Running engine needs everything though. What would you pay?

  14. watson Avatar

    Not sure there is anyone still around here but i am looking for a 220 s any condition.Perhaps someone here can offer me some pointers and maybe the location of a car or two ?????