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Garage Ponton: 1958 Mercedes 220S Coupe

This 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220s Coupe was parked in this garage for the past 8 years and while it may not be a 300sl, there aren’t many 220S coupes out there. It is in need of work, but it runs and drives. With a little work, this could make for a nice daily driver. It was originally in California, but is now in Shreveport, Louisiana and can be found here on eBay.

Now that it is free from the garage it is easy to see what kind of condition this 220S is in. It has surface rust anywhere the paint was chipped off, but the seller claims the chassis had undercoating applied years ago and that it has protected it from rust. The seller has some of the car’s history, but they are missing part of the ownership history.

The interior looks complete, but is in need of attention. The wood panels are solid, but will need to be refinished. This car originally came with the Hydrak automatic clutch transmission, but one of the previous owners swapped it out for a more reliable four speed manual. This was a common swap, as the Hydrak transmission was notoriously unreliable and costly to repair. It would be nice to have the original slushbox for values sake, but it’s long gone and the four speed will be much more enjoyable.

The 220S derived its name from the 2.2 liter inline-six sitting under its hood, which put out 100 hp and 120 lbs. of torque. When the seller got the car home, he drained the fuel system, had the oil changed, a new Mercedes-Benz battery installed, and the carburetors cleaned and rebuilt. It supposedly starts right up with the choke on, but will need a tune up.

Had this car stayed in California it would likely be rust free today, but sadly its time in the South has allowed surface rust to form. The seller claims the rust is strictly surface rust, but given the location of the rust there is a good chance some of it is more serious than it looks. There were only 1,250 or so 220S coupes ever built, but this is going to be an expensive project.


  1. fred

    I’ve seen a couple of convertibles but the only other coupe I’ve seen belonged to Werner von Braun in Huntsville Alabama.

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  2. Horse Radish

    Expensive project alright.

    The majority of these cars is going back to Germany and you have to duke it out with foreign bidders.

    BTW, that Hydrak is super cool. It was on the first Mercedes (a 1958 220S) my brother and I bought in 1981.
    I took my driving test with that car and would NEVER ‘change it out’ !!
    Even MORE fun to drive than a 4 speed !

    As for the rust :
    Common mistake that ‘s done..
    Take a CA car into a humid climate and not RUST PROOF it or at least cover the bare metal with paint, what a shame.
    I bet that car sat outside too…….

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  3. Horse Radish

    What an absolute atrocity to change that noble column shift to a proletarian floor shift.

    It’s reversible, but by god, how barbaric is that.

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  4. Marc Robertson

    How dare those damn yankees take out a junk transmission and replace it with something reliable! (j/k) Too bad about the rust, it is an interesting car.

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  5. Jim Rosenthal

    A beautiful car of this model is for sale in Emeryville, CA, in the fifties. This would give you a clear idea of what this car is worth restored to roughly Condition 2. That restoration would only cost you upwards of eighty thousand dollars unless you do it yourself.

    In other words, unless you feel a 220S coupe is the most beautiful car ever made and you had your first girlfriend in one, or some similar life-changing event, this is a parts car. If you want one, buy the one in Emeryville and forget you ever saw this car. Although the floor-shift four-speed is a nifty idea. Sods to you, Horse Radish.

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  6. twwokc1

    Alabama plates and now in Shreveport. Sure been in some hot/humid climates. Shame about the rust. There is no telling how many dollars it will take to get this one back on the road. Best of luck.

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  7. Chris

    The 220S Coupe and Convertible were built on their own special assembly line. Lots of hand fitting went into building these. Top of the line for the 220 series pontons. If my 220S is any prediction of where the rust settles in, the front subframe to body shell mount is one suspect place. Headlight buckets are another. The engine rebuild is not for the inexperienced as it really is a high perfomance engine with about as much hp as you cuold get out of it without fuel injection. Properly tuned, my 220S was a delight. Here’s a hint of what you can encounter. To take the head off, in addition to the head bolts that need to be backed out in sequence, there are 3 small bolts in the cam drive case that must be taken out.Try not to drop them down the cam drive area into the sump. The chains wear which afffects cam timing. TDC on the crank should correspond to the slot on the cam drive. Mercedes addressed the stretch by making a set of offset keys so you could take up the chain slack. Good oil was critical as it was as much for cooling as it was for lubrication. Engines that had neglected oil changes like the two I had, showed extreme cylinder wear and needed oversize pistons and all new bearings. $$$ but mine was our honeymoon car, wish I still had it and my wife remembers it fondly.

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  8. Barn Finds

    Bidding ended at $17,205 with 29 bids. This is going to end up being an expensive project indeed. We hope the next owner will keep us update on their progress.

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  9. Gerry Z.

    I recently had the good fortune of acquiring a 1958 Mercedes 220s 2 door coupe with sunroof that had been parked in a barn for the last 30 years. It is in great shape overall but is in a need of some repair. Can anyone tell me how to get the MB part number for various parts I need to buy, and where the best places to shop for the parts are. Any help would be greatly appreciated

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  10. Horse Radish

    @ Gerry Z.
    I got a couple of these and have plenty of sources.
    If you are still looking or even have this car , send me an e-mail.

    Like 0

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