1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S

Illustration for article titled 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S

Some of you Mercedes-Benz experts may have taken one glance at the photo above and spluttered "1958? Why, any fool can see that's a 1959!" However, I swear I did my best to figure out the exact model year of this car. With the help of such sites as this one, I believe I've narrowed it down to 1958 or 1959 (the 220S was made from 1956 through 1959, and the bumper-mounted license-plate lights should mean it's from the last two years... unless it's had a junkyard bumper swap, of course). Anyway, regardless of year, this is the car that Mercedes-Benz aficionados consider the very first S-class. That means it's both a cool old 50s daily driver and a significant piece of automotive history, all on one West End Alameda street!

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Illustration for article titled 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S


This car lives within a few blocks of the '66 200D. Unlike the '66, however, this Benz gets driven.

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Illustration for article titled 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S


Unfortunately, the interior has That Mildewing Car Smell, which is noticeable from several paces away. The weatherstripping has most likely succumbed to the decaying effects of sun and smog, and so the car spends the entire long winter leaking rainwater inside. Fortunately, it rarely rains in Alameda from about April through November, so leaky cars dry out by summertime.

Illustration for article titled 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S
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The parking permits are for Tom Hanks' alma mater, Chabot College in Hayward, which means this machine's commute is about 25 miles round-trip. I couldn't get a good view of the odometer, but I'm willing to bet the total mileage on the clock is in the interstellar range.




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DISCUSSION

ranwhenparked
ranwhenparked

@Eldorado:

I'm not sure if it was the first - serial production really only means built in marketable quantities for retail sale, it doesn't have to mean 10s of thousands, it could just be thousands or even just hundreds.

In that case, Mercedes was the first, but not in 1959- they offered einspritz way back in 1955 on the 300SL.

Then GM, Chrysler, and AMC all came out with it in the intervening period between '55 and '59