1959 Mercedes-Benz 220S Ponton sedan

Andrew H. Litkowiak / andylit@feralwombat.com / Illinois, USA / August 25, 2002

Restoration Project (after the 220S was damaged by a falling tree)

I have been searching on and off for about 5 years, waiting for the right car.  I started looking back around the time Frank Barrett decided to cut loose with his 1959 220SE Ponton sedan.  I was dying to buy it ($8000, I think) but my now former wife put the kibosh on that idea.  And she wonders why I divorced her :-)  Since then, nothing decent has been available when I was ready. 

I finally caught my break.  I just took receipt on my first Ponton on Thursday (August 22, 2002).  It is a 1959 220S sedan (12/58 manufacture date), which appears to be a US export model.  I have attached a few photos.  This is the perfect car for me.  For the last 15 years, everything I have bought has been a project.  This time, I wanted something I could get in and drive.

Although the car does need a few things, it is ready to go.  It appears to have received a fair cosmetic restoration sometime in the last 10 years.  With a few minor exceptions, the interior is in very, very nice shape.  The exterior looks good up to about 5 feet away.  Not a speck of rust to be found, but the paint is obviously old and obviously was not a top notch job.  Still, I think it will place in any local show.

All the window rubber needs to be replaced sometime in the next few years.  It is starting to show some cracks and fragility.  I suppose that I will do a full tilt body strip and paint at that time, but I believe I can get at least 3-4 years out of the current set of clothes.

The chrome is all there and about 90% solid.  There is no rust other than one quarter sized spot on the rear bumper, but a few pieces are a little out of shape.  There is virtually no pitting at all.  The grill mesh had a bad re-chrome at some point and needs help. 

Mechanically, the car is a dream.  The last 2 owners poured buckets of money into this car.  I have receipts for about $20,000 in parts and professional labor over the last 4 years.  Darned near everything has been done.  All new suspension on 4 corners, rebuilt head, new clutch, brakes, rebuilt master and booster, new tires, steering linkage and on and on. 

One major drawback is the total lack of heater and ducting.  A previous Texas owner removed everything.  I do mean everything.  The box and controls are gone, the fan is gone, the dash ducts are gone.  He even yanked out the fresh air ductwork.  Worse yet, even the dash control levers are missing.  I knew when I bought that "the heater is missing", but this was a little more (less?) than I expected.

I am almost hesitant to say what I paid for it, but I suppose a guy has to gloat every now and then, so, here it is.  It was originally offered up at $8995, which I would have paid for it.  After a 20 minute discussion about the car, I asked the seller for his last ditch, rock bottom, drop dead price.  $7000.  I kid you not.  I nearly crawled through the phone.

Cooler thoughts prevailed.  I agreed to the price, conditional on a professional inspection. Usually, the inspector shows up and calls to tell me that it is a "Flinstone special" (no floor, no brakes), that will be $200, thank you very much.  This time, I heard the prophetic words, "As Described" Woo Hoo!  The car arrived.  It is indeed "As Described."  Here she is. 

Andy Litkowiak / August 25, 2002

Third place in the "clean car" competition at Mercedes car show / September 22, 2002

Photo submitted: September 22, 2002

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