Classic Van Auction Talk

Friday 21 June 2019

1959 Mercedes-Benz 220 S 'Pontoon' Cabriolet - BONHAMS AUCTIONS Chantilly Sale Sunday 30th June 2019


Chantilly Sale
Sunday 30th June 2019

First owned by Princess Ashraf Pahlavi of Iran 

1959 Mercedes-Benz 220 S 'Pontoon' Cabriolet
Chassis no. 180030109509259
• One of only 786 Mercedes-Benz 220 S CoupĂ© / Convertible models built in 1959 

• Three owners from new 
• Present ownership since 1988 
• Registered in France
  • Mercedes-Benz reintroduced six-cylinder models to its range in 1951 with the 220 and 300 types, both of which were shown at the Frankfurt Show in the spring of that year. Both featured overhead camshaft engines, with the valves set in the head, rather than in line, and actuated by rockers. The 220 was powered by a 2.195cc engine which in the standard form produced 80bhp at 4,600rpm. These were replaced in 1956 by a new range featuring unitary construction 'pontoon' bodyshells.

    In this new form, the 220S saloon debuted at the 1956 Frankfurt Auto Show together with the 190 and 219. Like the contemporary 180, the new trio featured unitary construction of the chassis/body, independent suspension all round and drum brakes. Powered by an up-rated (100bhp) version of the existing 2,195cc overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine, the 220s was good for a speed of around 100mph. A shorter wheelbase was adopted for the convertible model that appeared in May 1956 and also for the coupe introduced the following year when the Hydrak semi-automatic transmission became available as an option. The Sindelfingen factory coachwork was attractive, particularly in drophead form, with this example. Apart from a power increase to 106bhp in 1957, the 220s

    Dating from the final year of production, this Mercedes-Benz 220 S Cabriolet has been owned by General Teymur Bakhtiar, founder of SAVAK, the Iranian secret police. On 1st July 1959, the Mercedes passed, via General Bakhtiar, to HRH Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, twin sister of the last Shah of Iran. The Pahlavi was born in 1961 when he passed to the second owner, Boris Keller, at Geneva-based diplomat. Mr Keller had the interior fully re-trimmed and a new soft-top made in 1979 and kept it up until April 1989 when he sold it to the current owner.
    Since then this has been excellent in the past, having been repaid in the present ownership. Finished in two-tone green/beige with beige leather interior, the car is offered with its service booklet, a French Carte Grise, and a file containing almost 60 years worth of invoices and other documents. 

    Mercedes-Benz motor coaches of this era were beautifully built and of legendary quality, and this example is a very comfortable touring car with plenty of room and a spacious boot. 


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