Carport Find: 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S

1958 Mercedes 220s Front Corner

You never know when you might stumble across a great barn find. You could find one while you’re driving around town, on the job, or like reader Doug M did at a yard sale. Doug saw this 1958 Mercedes 220S hiding in a carport at a Portland, Oregon yard sale about a month ago. He approached the owner to see if they were interested in selling it. Well after looking the car over and doing some negotiating, Doug bought the car at a great price.

1958 Mercedes 220s Interior

Doug’s 220S is very original, but is going to need some work. The majority of the paint is original, as is the red leather interior and wood panels. The seller even included a lot of extra parts, including a new Webasto top and hubcaps. It looks like this car just needs a really good cleaning and some wood and leather conditioner.

1958 Mercedes 220s Engine

The 220S is powered by a 2.2 liter straight six, which produced 106 horse power. When Doug found the car it wasn’t running, but after putting some gas in the carbs, he was able to get it to fire right up. Obviously the engine is going to need a tune up and the engine bay looks like it could use some detailing. But with only 84,000 miles on it, we doubt this car will need a lot more work to get it in running condition.

1958 Mercedes 220s Rear Corner

This car made quite the journey from Holland, where it was sold new, to a carport in Portland. We are glad Doug saved this 220S from the elements and we think he made a great find. We are glad to hear that he plans on cleaning it up, fixing what needs to be fixed, and enjoying it just as it is. Thanks for sharing your find Doug and we wish you good luck with your Mercedes.

Comments

  1. hall442

    Awesome! Looks like it needs new floorpans too, tho. I see holes. But the rest it appear great! :) This would be a cool driver. I love the wood dash!

  2. Jon

    yea those floors are shot….

  3. James Colangelo

    Those floors aren’t shot, it’s the rubber coating / floormat which has pieces of it chunked off and laying in the foot well. Great car, great find, this will be a fantastic driver.

  4. Jon

    Ok ill take your word for it….look like holes to me, but it may be undercoating. Im sure it is a good find either way…any classic that doesnt go to the scrap yard is a good find in my book.

  5. J. Pickett

    I had one in college, 40 years ago, unfortunately Chicago winters did it in. It was a fantastic drive. Plenty of power for a six. extremely comfortable. Beautiful leather. There is solid wood behind that veneer. Comfortably cruised at 80+. I would love to find one I could afford now. The last year(mine was a 69) for drum brakes. At over 100k, did 1st replace on fronts rears still good. And it stopped well. Even had 2 climate controls for pass. and driver. But only one fan. Even with extensive rust and bondo, still felt of a piece.

  6. Ron B

    It is the rubber mat falling to pieces. These cars have a steel floor which is under what you see here, which is in fact a plywood panel . The actual body floor pan is 2.5 inches under the plywood panel . The fact the rubber is still there says a lot for the overall condition which must be pretty good for a 50 year old car.

  7. Doug M

    Yes, I own this car, and yes, the crusty floors are only breakup of the rubber mats. So far, I have not found rust holes anywhere! And such a solid feel when you close the doors. Also, in the trunk was a Fuel Injection manifold and aircleaner and “SE” chrome script in case I want to swap out the carbs and convert to “injection” -which, I hear, makes it a more dependable drive. I have played with a lot of foreign cars, but this is my first Mercedes… so I am looking forward to the fun of the “learning curve!”Thanks, Barn Finds, for sharing my pics!

  8. Wilbur

    Why is it I only find warped LPs and ugly ash trays at yard sales?Good luck with this! I envy you. I’ve always wanted one of these sedans.

  9. Ron B

    They Are a very rare car and the injection is quite simple once you learn a few things about the system .No electronics is one great advantage..LOL!. make sure the original pump is still in the rear of the car too, it’s the same as the fintails,and W109 6.3 so you can buy them new but old ones are rebuildable. The two plunger injection pump is rebuildable at pacific fuel injection as are the injectors. To give you an idea of it’s value, a friend recently paid $27,000 for a wrecked cabrio version just to get the engine…

  10. Chris Junker

    Great save Doug. I owned a late 58 220S after rebuilding the front end after a deer hit and a leaking side plate. It was Brazilian Nut Brown with a tan leather interior. Carbs were no trouble once a new fuel filter and complete tune up was done. I had overheating problems due to a leak that took forever to find. Oddity was the car had doubled up heater boxes for better winter comfort. I’d change every hose, all fluids, fan/water pump belt, oil, torque the head, set valves with a tune up and do a complete chassis grease job. I hope you can find a used air filter housing as it is easy for stuff to fall into those carb throats. Lightly oil the carb linkage and make sure it moves smoothly. A shop manual will be hard to find, but the English Olyslager repair guide is a good one. When I started mine for the first time after the rebuild, I pulled the distributor and drove the oil pump with a blade end that fit in the oil pump slot. With a completly dry engine, even with oiling the cam, lifters and cam drive, you’d be surprised how long it took to bring the oil pressure up. Make sure the temp and oil pressure guage work, they are your best friend. Wish I was there to help you with it. I’ve kept my owners manual, parts book and Olyslager manual in hopes I’ll be lucky like you. Enjoy the 220S, great driver.

  11. Doug M

    Chris, and others, Thanks! for the great, helpful comments! Yes, I do have the original air filter system…and the carbs are in great shape. I will probably drive it with carbs while I try to source an injction pump. There was one on Ebay, but they wanted $875 for it! Maybe that’s good? Also, my MB came with the owners manual, some service records AND a large Shop manual (Daimler-Benz, very thick, although it is for a 190). Also, I love the comment about ash trays and warped LP’s at garage sales! LOL. I have not had time to tinker with this yet, but I feel like a kid again, as I have just sat in it a number of times…just to appreciate the real wood and leather! And it doesn’t even smell musty!

  12. Chris Junker

    The 220S had a neat driver’s glove box that was handy and out of sight. Love the way the way the car started, ignition on with the key and a push button start. When working on it you’ll fnd the build quality incredible. I found the seating position and the big wheel the most comfortable I’ve been behind. A joy to drive.

  13. VillageHeadMaster.Com

    Excellent score Doug. I just got a 68 250S last weekend that I’ll be fiddling with too.

  14. John Reardan

    How’s your project coming Doug? I am going to look at a ’58 barn find this weekend. I had one back in ’76 and I’d like to get another. Hope this one works out.

  15. Ron B

    The 190 manual has all the info for the body,engine etc but you need to get the supplement for the manual (available in DVD from the mercedes Classic center) to get concise info on the 220SE engine . Paper versions of the shop manual are valuable so dont lose it! :-)

  16. Doug M.

    Hey, John R, I just got started on my summer’s Mercedes find! Yesterday I got some gas and a fresh battery. A little tinkering and she started right up!! Carbs need some work. But she runs pretty nicely. Also, clutch and brakes seem to work (a real plus!) although I can tell something is not releasing all the way (brake cylinders). I’ll start to wade into the brakes today. As soon as it is roadworthy, in to the upholstery shop to recover the Webasto top. Then it can get out of the garage for an actual drive! I do have a Bentley’s manual, which I see highly details any repairs. THanks, Ron B, for your tips, too.

  17. Chris

    Although the 220S has 6 brake cylinders, they are accessible. Once I rebuilt all 6 and bled all the brake lines, I had no trouble with the brakes. Hopefully the radiator and heater system can be drained and flushed clean, if a 220S engine overheats a warped head will be the least of your problems. I thought about putting a rebuilt early 220SE engine in mine, but opted instead for a complete engine rebuild with 20 thou oversize pistons. Rods, pistons and crank/flywheel were balanced. Once set up, tuned and through the break in period, it was very smooth. As the horsepower in the later Ponton 220S was closer to 115 hp, it isn’t that far from one horsepower per cubic inch so keeping it in tune and running well requires more care than american iron, especially since you are hauling around a sedan. I hope everything is going well as you bring it back from it’s long sit.

  18. Doug M.

    Chris, thanks for your comments and advice. My 220S Ponton pictured on this post is coming along very well! I am about ready to send in some “after” pics, and will be driving it in a few days. I am SOOO impressed with the quality of all these MB parts! My only setback was to find that the original color is 157 G (grey-beige) rather than the grey metallic it is currently sporting. The door jambs were done so well that I could swear that it was factory paint… and no overspray on rubber or any parts. They must have done a full tear-down when it was re-painted. Also, picked up a bone-white steering wheel and a Becker-Mexico am-fm radio for her (not working, but all there). So, anyway, my new Webasto top works great, and the leather has been repaired. This car is really turning out nice! (oh, and I forgot to mention red carpet and wide whites added, too!) -Doug

  19. Chris

    Doug, sounds like good work was done in the past. Mine also had a Becker-Mexico radio and it worked well. There are radio restorers that have the replacement tubes and can get it operable. When I remounted mine, I used rubber washers to cut down on vibration reaching the radio. Supposedly that would make the tubes last longer. My 220S originally had the white steering wheel interior. As the white plastic was cracking, I did the dash ove with the european dark steering wheel and horn ring together with the knobs. The change over looked good with the tan leather and the dark brown interior. I did a couple of weddings driving brides and grooms of family friends, the brides liked it due to all the room and the ease of getting in and out. And the fact the 220S was one classy ride. My 220S was used for my wedding and honeymoon. The grill, hood and front fenders all had damage from a deer strike when it was 10 years old, so he kept the insurance money and sold it to me for $750. Interior was perfect, but it took some serious money to rebuild the front end and do the mechanical repairs. Have you noticed the thickness of the sheet metal? Built to last.

  20. Chris

    I meant dark brown exterior. The color code was for Brazilian Nut Brown.

  21. John

    Doug, Thanks for keeping the comments and pics coming. I looked at a ’58 out in a field, but it had too much road rash–I’m not into bodywork. One of my favorite features of the older 220’s is the driver-controlled distributor timing. When I put a turbo on my ’82 Jeep Scrambler, I installed a turbo-timer from Jacobs, which allowed me to do the same thing.

  22. Chris

    My 220S had a distributor lever for advance and retard. As I was always able to source premium gas, I never had to use the retard feature. My Borgward had the same advance/retard set up which made it easier to start in the winter. Today: What’s a distributor, points, advance/retard?

  23. Goetz

    Great find, have a 63 250 SE coupe
    Brought it over from Freiburg Germany in 79 wish I had more knowledge about repair works!
    Still runs but will need work soon
    Oh well

  24. Doug M

    Well, this has finally come to completion, and I have submitted the after pics to Barn Finds. This car is turning out really sweet. As winter is coming and my storage is limited, I have placed the car on Ebay to end 9-16-12. I am a fixer, not a collector, as I get more enjoyment in getting them ready for someone else’s heated garage. I even made a set of reproduction fitted luggage! All this took me longer than I thought, But I am now a member of the MB Club of America, and am already looking for my next one! Such quality! Thanks, all for your comments along the way,

    Doug

  25. danny arnold

    Doug
    do you still have the car? i just bought a webasto top with a lot of restoration work ahead, your luggage and tool kit are very nice add ons. i would have definitely bought your car over the one i have . if you have any spare parts let me know . thanks DA

    • Doug M

      Danny,

      Just checking in to see how your project is progressing?? I do have some misc. dash knobs and other small parts, if you still need anything -I might have some.
      Best wishes! My email is tradin.shells (at) gmail.com

  26. David Frost

    I’m looking for a project car any ideas where I can find complete rollerable 220s

    • Doug M

      David,

      When I was working on mine, there were several projects that came up, and I passed on… but now they seem to be available even less often! Good luck!

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