It might seem strange to feature an automobile such as the Mercedes Benz 220A on a website dedicated to vintage performance cars but there are a couple of good reasons to do so.
Firstly we want to build up a full database of all the classic cars from the 1950s onwards and this particular Merc certainly fits into that category and, secondly, this beautifully engineered car had the looks and spec to be a popular touring car in the 1950s with its top end of 95mph not too shabby for family motoring.
This four door saloon looked absolutely stunning as it glided along the roads of Europe in the mid 1950s. Much of the cars styling owed a great deal to the influences of the new designers working in the United States and the large grill on the front of the car looked more Detroit than Bavaria.
From looking at the equipment list in the specifications below will show you that the Mercedes Benz 220A was lavishly equipped and provided solid performance at what was a very competitive price. Although a family car the Merc’s acceleration in the lower gears was very brisk with the 2.2 litre engine quickly roaring into life.
The car, which featured massive luggage capacity, was famous for being able to cruise all day long at 90mph, rapidly eating up the tarmac whilst the driver and passengers sat in luxurious comfort.
Have a look at the fuel consumption too. 30mph for a 2.2L, six seater saloon car is extraordinary. Although the car suffered in comparison to the Mercedes 300Sl, the 220A was aimed at a totally different market and, as a touring car, stood out a mile from its contemporaries.
Vintage Performance Cars Specifications – Mercedes Benz 220A
Costs – four door saloon £1498 ($2247)
Engine – six cylinders 80×72.8mm 2195cc, single overhead camshaft, 92bhp at 4800rpm, 7.6 to 1 compression ratio.
Transmission – single dry-plate clutch. Four speed gearbox with synchromesh on all gears and steering column control. Divided axle IRS incorporating differential and hypoid final drive.
Chassis – Frame floor unit, independent front suspension by wishbones and helical springs incorporating telescopic dampers, controlled by anti-roll torsion bar. Bolt on pierced disc wheels, fitted 6.70-13ins tyres. Hydraulic brakes in turbo finned drums.
Equipment – 12 volt lighting and starting. Speedometer, ammeter, clock, oil pressure, water temperature and fuel gauges. Flashing direction indicators. Heating, demising and ventilation system with separate controls for driver and passenger.
Dimensions – Wheelbase 9’3″. Length 15’5″, width 5’8″. Weight 25cwt.
Performance – maximum speed 95mph. Speed in gears; 3rd 75mph, 2nd 50mph, 1st 32mph. Standing quarter mile 20.2 seconds. Acceleration; 0-30mph 4 seconds, 0-50mph 10 seconds, 0-60mph 14.2 seconds.
Fuel consumption – 30.6 mpg
In 1955 the Mercedes Benz 220A was heralded as the finest saloon car in Europe and its quite easy to see why.