Barn Treasure: 1951 Mercedes 220s

After 40 years tucked away this 1951 Mercedes 220S has been brought back out into the sun light and is looking for a new home. The seller has described this as a “Barn Treasure” and it certainly looks the part. Appearing to be in solid condition with even some hopes for decent paint, this 220S is offered for $9,500. Check it out here on craigslist out of Nashua, New Hampshire.

40 years of hibernation looks to have been a good thing for this Mercedes as it is in very reasonable condition. Unfortunately there are some parts stacked in the front seat area, but beyond the parts stash, the interior looks very nice. A good cleaning and a fine detailing would likely leave this interior in very nice survivor condition.

With many layers of dirt, dust, and leaves, this 220S looks like a remarkably solid and straight survivor. Looking at the tops of the fenders, you can see paint peeking through. It looks as if a delicate wash would leave you with quite a bit of paint and perhaps a nice looking survivor. There are no details about the engine, but there is a cylinder head in the trunk of this car. Also there is another 220S offered by this seller that is a “parts car” for a separate price. If you are a classic Mercedes fan looking for a survivor, this car looks to have very good promise, but more details would certainly be appreciated. Are you a fan of this Mercedes 220S?


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  1. JDJonesDR

    I’m guessing it’s not in running condition.

  2. Fred W.

    After shooting the “dusty”photos, they couldn’t spend 20 minutes washing it off so you can see what’s there? In this case, I suspect it would add greatly to the perceived value.

  3. doug6423

    Restomod. These make nice custom cars. Swap all the expensive stuff for easy to obtain American stuff like a SBC, digital gauges, custom paint, newer drivetrain, etc… Class but not at the German price tag!

    • KEN TILLY Member

      That sounds like a real sensible idea, after all there are hundreds of these ORIGINAL Mercs lying around aren’t there? Not! There are enough fakes out there already. Keep it original!

  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Nice car from what I’ve seen so far. I don’t see any photos of the engine bay. Seeing engine parts in the front seat and the trunk makes me guess the reason the car was stored away for so long. If that motor needs a lot of work then you’re going to be out some serious cash. Add that to the purchase price and you’re in for quite an investment. My budget won’t allow that much. Of course if the Powerball gods smiled upon me I might have a different answer….

  5. Al

    As “DrinkinGasoline” once posted, to quote
    “Drop shackles in the rear, trip Stromberg 97’s, Offenhauser heads. Isky cam and Fenton headers piped into Smithy’s mufflers dumping out of 3″ echo cans. On to the exterior…….Fulton sunvisor with dash mount sightglass.
    Twin Baby Lorraine spotlights, skirts, wide whites with flipper wheel covers. Maybe some headlight visors or eyelids, or both.”
    I have no idea what “DrinkinGasoline” was really writing about, but it does sound knowlegable. This Merc. seems to need it.

    • doug6423

      Big thumbs up!!

    • KEN TILLY Member

      Al, it would appear to me that you, and similar supporters, are not TRUE classic car enthusiasts. Anybody that would want to desecrate such a beautiful old Mercedes to that degree is definitely in the wrong game. Surely the whole plan in seeking out a barn find is to restore it to what it was when it was built, not to make it look like something that fell off a fairground carousel.

      • Al

        Gee Ken, I just didn’t think you would object to my opinion. I guess the Merc. 1958 W189 cabriolet I have in my garage, does not count for much, hmmmm…………..too new!! Oh well, just another wreck to drive four times a year. Oh, I forgot, it has been in my family since new. Much as I would like to post a photo, I won’t.

  6. Rodney

    In 1951 there was no Mercedes-Benz of North America. So, the cars that are here were all imported privately. I believe it is one of 3453 produced that year
    making it fairly rare. But, rare does not make it valuable. Who knows what the survivor rate for these actually is, probably not many.This was essentially the first S-class Mercedes. Introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show that year. At some point in time I am sure it’s value will increase but currently you would only take on this project because you just love post-war Mercedes. The build quality is terrific. All parts except body panels available through Mercedes-Benz Classics. Ask the man who owns one…….

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Studebaker sold Mercedes Benz early on, but not sure when.

      Engine not a bad design, parts a little pricey, but cheaper than Jaguar parts from the same era and better quality.

      While Jaguar had the patent for developing disc brakes, Mercedes managed to get Teves to make them and brought them to market before Jaguar.

      I own a couple of Pontons. Not sure where those disc brakes came from originally?

      • Dave Wright

        I agree all around…..the Mercedes engine is superior to most engines built at the time or in the ensuing years up to today. Superior engineering and build quality. It has something like 30% fewer parts than a common American 6 cylinder engine. A cabriolet version of this car will sell for 150K bringing the value of the sedans up as well. When properly finished even these sedans are magnificent looking and driving cars. I love the deeep German chrome too. The 220S was a very high end car as said before, an early S model car. Probably not the first but the first post war car. The price is to high to get me excited about buying it, otherwise I would be all in.

  7. Jeepster

    wash it off a bit, then set the body on top of a 1970’s 4×4 chassis/drivetrain with non directional military tires – make it a German SUGGA !

  8. blaine horne

    Has an early model chevrolet look, would make a nice street rod.

  9. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Dave, did you get the “good” chrome?

    Seriously, the Pontons still had formed sheetmetal bumpers. The chrome wasn’t bad but the thickness was nothing compared to the later Fintails.

    The chrome may be deep but the metal on those seem thin.

    When did Benz retire the Flathead?

    • Dave Wright

      I am not sure……about the flat head. I was thinking this was an OHC……the question will give Howard something to research. My 58 220S has wonderful deep chrome all through. I would really like to do one of these to go with my 58, 65, and my 73. I think this one is a bet spends for me with the distance from Idaho and all. I have bid on several over the years but no cigar yet. The coupes and cabriolets in the early 50’s are surely a richly appointed with chrome, leather and wood.

      • Dave Wright

        I had to look…….it is an OHC.

      • Ross W. Lovell

        Greetings All,

        I’m sure this is OHC.

        Just wondering when they discontinued the Flathead.

      • Dave Wright

        Ok………now I have to get out the dusty books……..(yes kids…some of us still have real books)

  10. Michael Shook

    A wow for this beauty. If you desire changing it…AT ALL…stretch it over a tight AMG built chassis, and powerplant, drop one inch, reradius the original fenderwells to fit the changed (if any) wheel positioning to keep wheels tight and properly centered. Don’t forget…big brakes! Then perfect the body as though a chauffeur would adopt it as a family member. Oh, don’t forget to feed the noise through a pair of dual chamber Flowmasters, with shotgun pipes straight out the back…spaced about three inches apart….yummy!

  11. Pete

    I guess you didn’t see the camshaft in the interior shot, along with the removed radio. Somebody has already started gutting this car. Yeah lets just take the motor and stuff apart and let it sit around for 40 years, that has to be good for it. That just knocked 4000 off the price. Because now it effectively has no rebuildable motor. To much corrosion on the innards. Maybe you could save the block, but not even sure of that. I think it is a worthy project and may have enough meat left on the bone to bring it back to life. This jewel is still in the rust belt so I would proceed with caution. I would have to lay eyes on this thing to even think about bidding on it or making an offer.

  12. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    I saw the camshaft.

    I also saw the brake rotors. Don’t believe this era had discs.

    Clearly there were some parts that didn’t go with that car.

    But you’re right. Still wondering when they went to OHV.

  13. Anthony

    The photo with car in front the garage just fits perfectly. Dusty and all.
    Love it !!

  14. Matt Kish

    If in need of a kidney, I would give one healthy non-drinker left or right,in trade for this amazing beauty 220s. I’ve wanted, and been looking for such an exceptional vehicle for quite some time. I did acquire a nice solid 59′ a few decades back, but was unable to hang onto it in my secondlast difforce proceedings! I need this car!

    Like 1

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