In many ways, vintage Mercedes’ are the perfect combination of old world luxury and universal appeal. Comfortable, stylish and built like a Panzer tank, they’re the first choice of discerning car collectors who value unmatched substance and an acute attention to craftsmanship. As 1 of only 997 220B Cabriolets built during the W187 model run, this fully restored Benz is the beneficiary of roughly $30K in maintenance work that’s spanned the last four years. And if you’re a Daimler diehard who’s in the market for a first class investment piece that can be enjoyed to its fullest extent, it’s the classic you’ve been waiting for!
Despite their recent challenges, Mercedes-Benz is a very fortunate automaker. Not only do they have a great reputation that’s as well engineered as their legendary cars, they also have big momentum in the collector car market thanks to renewed interest in European classics. Fastidiously maintained by Bud’s Benz in Douglasville Georgia, this stunning Euro is rumored to be the former car of Hollywood actress Shirley Mitchell. Its all-too-appropriate Black lacquer is exceptionally dynamic and absolutely nails the formal appearance Daimler has spent over 80 years cultivating. Its finish is flat and smooth. Its gaps are as you would expect from something with a three-point star. And while this vintage treasure does show a few signs of being driven, it’s an outstanding cruiser that mixes a super straight body with great build quality.
Like all of Stuttgart’s best luxury metal, this convertible’s styling is brilliantly executed with excellent proportions that, rightfully, place form over function. At the front of its body, a slightly canted grille hangs a familiar Mercedes-Benz emblem between chrome-trimmed headlights, streamlined parking lamps and a curved chrome bumper that’s fitted with Bosch driving lights. Behind that grille, a long hood centers straight stainless trim behind a fine Mercedes gun sight. Behind that hood, a flat windscreen floats among small stainless wipers, a fresh black top and ornate chrome hinges. At the sides of that screen, stylish coach doors swivel between a small mirror, small antenna and polished rocker guards. And at the back of the car, vintage tail lamps illuminate a simple fuel filler, classy Mercedes trunk emblems, clean stainless exhaust and a second curved bumper.
Mechanically, this Benz exemplifies top notch restoration via a correct M130 6-cylinder that’s been completely rebuilt. Hoist the car’s narrow hood and you’ll find the final iteration of Daimler’s ‘mid-sized’ SOHC inline six that, in this rendition, creates 79 horsepower. Similar in design to Chevrolet’s storied Blue Flame, the ‘mid-sized six’ isn’t a grossly overpowered piece. But it’s certainly proven its ability to scoot this large luxury car down the boulevard with comfort and reliability. At the top of the proven block, restored air induction pipes wind into a familiar Solex carburetor. At the base of that carb, a silver, factory-correct valve cover caps factory intake and exhaust manifolds. At the front of that valve cover, a traditional points distributor sequences spark between a high quality Bosch coil and fresh Belden High Temperature plug wires. And the car’s clean engine bay is dotted with many road-ready essentials, including a fresh battery and Willy Vogel brake components.
Based on Mercedes’ stalwart W187 architecture, the 220B champions a strong, 4-speed manual transmission that’s rowed by an unconventional, column-mounted shifter. A fully independent suspension commands a nice, 112-inch wheelbase to mix composed turns with cloud-like ride quality. Naturally, there’s old school manual steering. At the perimeter, manual drum brakes, which were recently rebuilt, provide solid, drama-free stops. Spent gases flow through a single-pipe exhaust system, which utilizes a big muffler and rear-mounted resonator to emit barely a murmur. All that cushy technology rides on snazzy, 15-inch wheels which spin 6.40-15 BF Goodrich Silvertown whitewalls around Mercedes-branded center caps. And aesthetically, the car’s undercarriage is exactly what you’d expect from a well-traversed cruiser, with clean floors that display no evidence of abuse, neglect, or damage.
On the inside, this well-mannered Mercedes is vintage Teutonic luxury at its finest. Soft leather benches are supremely comfortable and look great in their subdued Red tint. In front of those thrones, crystal clear gauges are laid out in typical Mercedes fashion: three binnacles with simple dials. Behind those gauges, a straight dash features rich wood trim that flows into great looking wood door toppers. Below that dash, a combination of clean red carpet and fresh black mats harkens back to the days of formal sedans. At the sides of that flooring, leather door panels hang sizable map pockets below simple chrome handles. And in front of the driver, a black, Mercedes-branded steering wheel maintains excellent road manners while providing a heavy, luxury car feel.
The sale of this old world super star includes an Instruction Manual, vintage marketing materials and a stack of service receipts.
Both luxurious and capable, this distinguished Benz is a substantial classic that’s been meticulously maintained. Thanks to Daimler’s storied reputation for excellent engineering, Mercedes sold every W187 car they could build, and rare examples like this 220B enjoy a large group of dedicated fans. If you’re looking for a great cruiser that’s a genuine iron fist in a silk glove, you’ve found your next collector car!