A New Start After World War Two
During World War Two the Mercedes-Benz factories were essentially destroyed. Some were destroyed a bit more than others but they were for all intents and purposes put out of business. Because Mercedes-Benz represented a large German industrial complex it was a prime target for Allied bombers in World War II. This was quite different than during the First World War when the factories were untouched physically.
During the post war years the company slowly started to rebuild it's operations. Construction was underway during 1946. The first series of automobiles built after the war were the 170 Sedans. It was by selling these models that the company was able to put their finances together and rebuild.
Facts About Mercedes-Benz
Some interesting facts about Mercedes-Benz includes the fact that it is the world's oldest automobile brand still in existence today. It's history goes all the way back to 1886 when Karl Benz invented the Benz Petrol Motorwagen. The auto was designed with a four-stroke petrol engine. Mercedes first automobile was sold in 1901. The first automobiles produced under the Mercedes-Benz brand name were introduced in 1926.
A second interesting fact is that Mercedes-Benz introduced several engineering technologies which eventually became common in the industry.
A third fact is that Mercedes-Benz was the first to introduce diesel trucks. The world's first diesel truck came out in 1924. This was quite an engineering feat for the era. The company even turned out a diesel passenger car model in 1936 with the Model 260D. The 170D came out after World War Two and sold well. This helped the company rebuild itself after the war.
The Model 170's essentially relied on pre-war styling with a four cylinder engine. It took until 1951 for Mercedes to unveil a new line of six cylinder luxury cars. These were the 220 and 300 Series models.
The Mercedes Benz Ponton 220S models came out in 1958 although the first Pontons came out in 1953. The 220S Ponton was manufactured in limited numbers beginning in the mid-1950's and continuing up until October of 1959.
The classic car shown in this article is a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Ponton. The word "ponton" is derived from both French and German. The word means "pontoon". Today the word is generally used to describe the Mercedes-Benz models that were produced between 1953 and 1962. The Ponton is a auto styling word for the shape of Mercedes automobiles. The Ponton Models were Mercedes-Benz first entirely new design after World War Two and really represented the new post World War Two Mercedes-Benz.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Specs
The 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S sold new from between about $4,500 to $7.300.
The car's total length is 187.0 inches with a width of 68.5 inches. It's wheelbase is 106.3 inches and weight of about 2,970 lbs.
The Mercedes 220S engine is a six cylinder four stroke 133.9 cid. Maximum speed was rated at 99.5 MPH at 3,320 RPM and 106 MPH at 5,200 RPM. Front suspension is independent with coil springs. The rear suspension is a single joint swing axle with coil springs.
The car came with a four speed manual transmission and servo operated drum brakes. A total of 20,181 sedan models were produced for the 1958 model year.
Mercedes-Benz automobiles, especially ones from during the 1950's, are prized collector cars. The 1950's were a key and critical decade for Mercedes as they transformed themselves after the end of World War Two. Depending on the automobile and it's condition including it's degree of restoration, the Mercedes-Benz autos from the late 1950's will see auction prices offered from the $40,000 range into the six figures.
(Photos from authors collection)