German Ground-Breaker: 1962 Mercedes-Benz 220S Sedan

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While many people immediately think of Volvo when considering vehicle safety innovations, Mercedes-Benz has always been at the forefront of safety design, and the W111 series, which included cars like our feature 220S, are perfect examples of this philosophy. This series allowed Mercedes to become pioneers in the area of “crumple zones,” a safety feature that we now take for granted in all cars. This development has saved an incalculable number of lives, and the majority of us never realize just how important they are until that unfortunate moment when we actually need them. This 1962 220S is a nice example of that particular series and is located in North Palm Springs, California. You will find it listed for sale here on eBay with a sale price of $8,750.

This 220S looks to be in very nice condition. It has previously undergone a repaint in its original, and very imaginatively named, Mercedes Blue at some point in the past. It isn’t clear how long ago that this occurred, but the paint has held up quite well, and it does have a nice shine to it. While the chrome, exterior trim, and the glass have also held up well over the years, there are a couple of little detail items that will need to be attended to. The most obvious of these is the missing lens off one of the front park lights. These are fairly easy to source as both OEM and reproduction items. A number of organizations actually sell them in pairs, so that you can ensure a perfect match on either side of the vehicle.

The interior of the Mercedes is in quite good condition, and the seats do look comfortable and inviting. It all appears to be stock and unmodified, with everything as it was when the car rolled off the production line. The seat upholstery is showing some signs of requiring some form of conditioning, while the door trims have some scuffs on them, and the wheel does have some cracks. However, these problems should all be able to be rectified. The carpet is also looking tired in a few spots, but it might be able to be brought back with some good quality dye. Otherwise, it looks like it would be a nice place to spend time on an extended journey.

Power for the Mercedes is derived from a 2.2-liter straight-six engine, which is matched to a 4-speed manual transmission. With 110hp on tap, this allowed the 220S to reach a top speed of 103mph, which is fairly impressive from a small capacity engine of this era which powers a car weighing 2,940lbs. The owner says that the Mercedes has just had the carburetors rebuilt, it has been fitted with new brakes, along with a full service. I don’t like the tape around the rubber hose on the air cleaner and would be inclined to source a replacement hose fairly quickly. However, the Mercedes is now described as being excellent to drive.

This Mercedes is an example of cars that appear here at Barn Finds where there is little to do but to drive and enjoy the vehicle. The Mercedes would undoubtedly benefit from a few minor issues being addressed, but none of these would be classed as being major jobs. These could be attended to at the new owner’s leisure, allowing plenty of time to just sit back and enjoy driving a luxurious European classic.

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  1. HoA Howard AMember

    This, like the Volvo 240, another great car, probably one of the best cars in the world. We rarely saw these in Milwaukee when I was a kid. Believe it or not, there was still a huge anti-German sentiment in the early 60’s, and my old man, WW2 vet, would probably have thrown his coffee cup at one of these. Somehow, not that he’d own one, the Bug slipped through, but to drive one of these, in my old mans eyes, was a direct supporter of Das Fuehrer. Shame, just not true, and he missed out on a great car. Like the Volvo, repairs or parts, rarely needed, will be tough, but I don’t think you could buy a better car today, at any cost. Nice car!

    Like 6
    • Capriest

      I still refer to my friends M5 as a nazi wagon, and I was born after Nam. Jokingly of course.

      Like 0
  2. Capriest

    That color combo really kills this. Way worse than any brown. Neither is particularly appealing on their own let alone together. Too bad because it’s in great shape.

    Like 1
  3. NotSure

    I’m unable to embrace the color blue on this. I actually like the interior but I’d much prefer a different exterior color.
    Japanese and German cars were not popular with The Greatest Generation. I think even car dealers of the post-war time period named themselves “Imports” instead of calling out the particular brand marque of whatever they were selling. This a nice old MB. I hope that it gets some love!

    Like 4
    • HoA Howard AMember

      Really, you guys? I kind of like the color. Yeah, it’s a good thing that attitude died with that generation, so unfair to the German people.

      Like 13
  4. Capriest

    If the exterior was black,silver, or white I would love the interior. With that blue a white, gray, or dark blue interior would be nice. Even tan or black. A Pepsi or Chevron rep must have ordered this.

    In my defense I was changing the water pump and radiator when I cursed that M5 as a device of the 4th reich.

    Like 1
  5. David Frank David FrankMember

    This is not my favorite color combination but it’s is a really nice example of a finback. I wouldn’t change a thing. My favorite combination, of course, is mine, ivory with the red.

    Like 1
  6. Coventrycat

    Just love those stacked headlights Benz. The color is ok, it probably looks better in person.

    Like 0
  7. Tirefriar

    This car is perfect. Gas powered Heckflosse manual transmission with stacked headlights. Looks to very solid, carbs & brakes redone. Those not liking the exterior color may try calling the “used car factory”, but I heard they stopped taking orders. Just about THE only mod I would do is source European headlamps with flush lenses, would make this car look killer.

    Like 5
  8. Matthew hinson

    This has been for sale at least a year. Second time here on “Barnfinds”

    Like 3
  9. Tom Lange

    I learned to drive on a Terra Beige 220Sb, a smooth, comfortable, nimble driver’s car. Expensive to fix and find parts, but a really excellent motor car.

    Like 0
  10. canadainmarkseh

    These in there day were a fantastic car of real quality. I think some of the reason they were a hold back in the west is the engine. If they would have come with a v8 as a standard feature more would have sold. I’m with Howard on the colour they look just fine together. You must remember these kinds of colour schemes were popular back then especially in Europe. To change the colour now would in my mind diminish its retro appeal.

    Like 0
  11. Kelly Breen

    I have one of these except it is 1965 – but it is identical because they did not change year to year – they changed series to series. Mine is grey and that is the best colour for them. Black is too stark and grey keeps the chrome trim classy and subtle. Mine needs restoration. I’ve owned it since 1985. I bought it in highschool when everyone else was buying Camaros or Mustangs. They were nice cars too but you don’t do burnouts with a Benz so I still have it and those muscle cars are mostly re-bar now.

    Volvo parts fit them so when I fixed the brakes I bought them from a Volvo box and paid half what MB wanted.

    Like 1

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