The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

Lot 129

1959 Mercedes-Benz 220S Coupe

Sold for $77,000

  • Chassis no. 180.037.11.9509647


106 hp, 2,195 cc OHC six-cylinder engine with twin Solex carburetors, four-speed manual transmission with Hydrax hydraulic clutch, independent front suspension with coil springs, swing-axle rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 106.3 in.

  • Mercedes-Benz’s luxury coupe of the 1950s
  • Documented professional restoration to exacting standards
  • Quite possibly the finest example in existence


Launched in 1954, the 220A represented Mercedes-Benz’s new generation of cars with unit-body construction. Built on a slightly longer wheelbase than the predecessor 180, it provided more legroom for rear seat passengers, as well as more room under the hood for a 2.2-liter six-cylinder engine. Servo-assisted brakes became standard in September 1955, followed by the introduction of the 220S in August 1957, which had 106 horsepower, courtesy of dual Solex downdraft carburetors, providing increased performance to match the fleet styling.

The most desirable of the 220S variants were the two-door models, which were produced in very limited numbers. While mass-produced, the cars were hand-finished at Sindelfingen by craftsmen skilled in the art of coachbuilding, and the result was jewel-like fit and finish, at a cost nearly 75% more than the sedan. As a result, fewer than 2,000 of the coupe and cabriolet 220S were sold between 1957 and 1959. Like most cars that were prohibitively expensive when new, they have remained desirable ever since, and they are viewed by many Mercedes-Benz aficionados, compared to the legendary 300 series that preceded them, as the company’s ultimate “grand tourer” models. The 220S has taken its rightful place in the hierarchy of Stuttgart’s most famous and beloved creations.

Don Davis’ splendid 220S Coupe is a United States-specification example, equipped with a column-shift manual transmission, a Hydrax hydraulic clutch, a Becker Europa AM/FM radio, a driver’s side mirror, windshield washers, whitewall tires, an ivory steering wheel, reclining seats, and classically European driving lights. It was beautifully and professionally restored by Precision Restoration Service, of Bucker, Missouri, for the previous owner, whose obvious passion for the project shows in the written documentation of the restoration that accompanies the car, as well as a letter written when he advertised it for sale, advising “59 reasons one should consider buying this car,” and its Mercedes-Benz factory build card. The car is finished in Ivory over a matching leather interior, providing a crisp counterpoint to the warmth of the Brazilian rosewood trim lavished throughout, as well as a lovely alternative to the numerous dark-colored Mercedes of this era.

Driven only 1,000 miles since completion, the car is an outstanding example of the 220S Coupe, and while they may well have looked this good the day they left Sindelfingen, few look as good now.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

aclassick@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

aabaci@rmauctions.com

+49 (0) 40 441 95 737
Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

dwarrener@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmauctions.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmauctions.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

jboxstrom@rmauctions.com

+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

mgirardo@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

rmyers@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

vmandzak@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more