1951: First IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt and the new W187 model unveiled.
The new Mercedes-Benz 220 is unveiled in April 1951 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung).
It's the first time the show was held in Frankfurt and the automobile industry’s hall acted like a magnet on the public.
The new Mercedes W187 were shown there featuring the brand new Mercedes Benz Engine M180.
Turning the 170S pre-war car into the '50s
It's no secret the W187 220 Model is derived from the Mercedes 170 S (W191).
If you got these side to side, the only difference is visible on the front headlamp: running gear and body were almost identical, though with the headlamps now integrated into the specially modified front fenders.
The second major change is the new Engine, 2.2 Liters Line six, that gave the number "220" to the car.
The new "M180" 6 line Engine
All the Mercedes 220 are powered with the new six-cylinder engine with overhead camshaft, a powerful and reliable 2.2-liter engine with 80 hp (59 kW).
The new engines attracted much attention as it was more than 10 years Mercedes-Benz didn't present a new engine model. Since the end of the war, models were fitted with four-cylinder gasoline/petrol engines such as the M136.
An interesting facts about the new engine is the unusual ratio of the cylinder dimensions :
the bore (80.0mm) is bigger than the stroke (only 72.8mm). It was designed as so to build an efficient cylinder head.
Note the special shape of each segments mounted on the piston. Nowadays, after 70 years of running, all segments wear a rectangular shape.
The W187 Convertible
The 220 went into production in 1951 came in three body variants, just like the mother car 170S :
- convertible A
- convertible B.
Great to drive!
It was a perfectly balanced six-cylinder engine, luxury interior, and enough rubber pads to make the car drives silently without vibration at any speed. It is also said that
driving this car was economical (only 14.5 Liters/100 km - sic) and comfortable touring car for a delightful journey cruise to Italy. There are shelves in the boot in order to receive 4 luggage.
As the engine was more powerful 80hp compared to the previous 55 hp, Mercedes got the great idea to fit the front wheels of the 220 with duplex drums brakes !
some figures :
The dry weight of the cabriolet A : 1,440 kg
85 Bhp and no ABS: brakes on each wheel is not an option !
A coupé highly demanded by Public figures
The W187 coupé became the most exclusive of the 200 versions, because of the units built: only 85 of these were sold.
For the body style, the coupé is based on the convertible A, and after 1954 both models were fitted with a boosted engine with higher-compression, providing 5 more horses (85 hp).
The price for the coupé was around 20.000 Deutsch Marks. the standard saloon W187 was half this price. (in 1954, 4 DM = 1US.D)
In 1953, styling offices decide to try a new front window thanks to new technologies, permitting rounded windows. The Convertible A and Coupé were fitted with a slightly curved window that bring a sportier appearance to both models.
Because certain prominent german public figures asked for a high-class luxury model they could afford, and with a "repeated insistence" as stated in a memo the sales manager the coupé body was created: "Das Beste oder Nichts” as says the Mercedes-Benz Motto.
Mercedes W187 prints of the coupé and Cabriolet A are available on the Drawinside shop.