1957 Mercedes Benz 220S

Classic and Hot Rod Cars And Their Stories
1957 Mercedes Benz 220S "Ponton"

This edition we feature a 1957 Mercedes 220S Coupe belonging to Terry and Olene Shannon
As one of the leading industrial complexes in Germany, Daimler-Benz was a prime target for Allied bombers in World War II. In September of 1944, two weeks of daylight air raids left 60 years of Daimler and Benz history in smoldering ruins. The main plant at Stuttgart-Unterturkheim was listed as 70% destroyed, hardly more than a skeleton of Daimler-Benz Aktiengesellschaft survived the war. The Board of Directors issued a statement in which they declared that "Daimler-Benz had ceased to exist in 1945."

As early as 1946, the pieces were beginning to be put back together, production resumed with pre-War models such as the Type 170V. Slowly, production increased and other models were offered such as the Type 170S and 170D. The 170D (diesel) was primarily intended to be used as a taxi.

The Mercedes-Benz Ponton body style began production in July 1953 and was introduced to the public in the autumn of that year. It eventually replaced the Type 170 series which was a post-War production of a pre-War car. Following the Type 300 "Adenauer" limousine, this was another totally new car from Daimler-Benz at this point in history. As Germany slowly recovered from the disasters of the Second World War, more and more people could afford a car. Of course, more people were also able to afford a Mercedes-Benz.

The body styling for the Mercedes-Benz Pontons was accomplished by Karl Wilfert and his team with his "head-designer", Friedrich Geiger. The 220S featured a 6 cylinder engine and was available in three models, the sedan (from 3/56 - 8/59 55,279 were produced), the coupe (from 4/56 - 9/59 1251 carburetor and 830 fuel injected units were produced), and the cabriolet (from 4/56 - 9/59 3290 carburetor and fuel injected units were produced), from 1953 through 1959 585,259 units produced.

“Pontons” were built. In a 1960 DBAG publication about the Sindelfingen factory it was reported that it took approximately 1,500 minutes (25 hours) to build a passenger vehicle. This was from the time the first sheet steel molding was pressed, to the moment when the car rolled from the finishing hall into the sales department.
Mercedes up to 1953 built cars with sharp corners on their vehicles. These new cars
now called Pontons received their nickname from the word pontoon, a tribute to their rounded front and rear fenders giving the car a “pontoon boat” look. Somewhere along the line either in translation or spelling error, these models became known as “Pontons” a name that stuck to this day.

The Shannons’ 1957 220S Coupe was purchased in 1982 by Olene and her previous husband. After splitting up, Olene got the car which was driven by new husband Terry and her for years. In 2005 restoration began, a project lasting 3 1/2 years and not without problems. Through thick and thin Shannon kept going and bit by bit everything fell into place to reveal the beautiful chrome and medium red car they are so proud to show off today. Except for paint and chrome, all work was done by Terry and is something to really be proud of. Entered in the Main Street Need For Speed Car Show they received their first two trophies for Best Oldie (it was the oldest car there) and City Council’s Choice.



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