If you’re looking for a classic that could make a solid daily driver, with good durability and reliability, but the usual Volvo/Toyota/American classics are not your thing, you could do worse than looking at the postwar Mercedes lineup. These were the years during which Mercedes built up their reputation for elegant, conservative, and cost-no-object engineered cars that would, with thoughtful maintenance, go far further into the six-figure mileage numbers than any of their contemporaries. That said, many of those cars involve a performance sacrifice, being equipped with not-so-powerful four cylinder diesel or gasoline engines, sometimes paired with automatic transmissions, so it’s nice to see an affordable old fintail with a six. Check out this 1963 Mercedes 220 for sale for $3250 in Portland, OR.
Pale grey is a nice color, and back in fashion for classic cars. It lets the chrome shine without being flashy, and also does a good job of showing any corrosion. And to be up front, the car does have rust, most notably on the passenger side rocker. Trim looks complete, and this car hasn’t succumbed to the emblem thieves of the 1980s. The car is said to have new tires and battery, and to run well – the fact it’s parked in a lot – away from the seller’s home – suggests it’s a regular driver.
There’s some corrosion on the driver’s side too, but again, it’s encouraging that this car appears to be doing regular driver duty. It’s unfortunate the seller uses the “serious buyers only” line without showing he’s a serious seller by giving at least some detail on what works and what doesn’t. While this side of the car looks complete too, another head-on front shot also confirms everything’s complete up there. There is a trunk shot which shows the car has been used for moving something dirty – perhaps equestrian gear, or a dirty tire – as it needs a good vacuuming. On the bright side, the original rubber mat is present and intact, as is the full-size spare, and with a good cleaning things would look just fine for a car its age.
Things look decent under the hood too, with the twin carburetor setup indicating this is the mid-range 220 Sb, good for 110hp, 103mph, and 0-62mph in 15 seconds (even half that wouldn’t be acceptable in a modern Mercedes!). In the era of the fintail, Mercedes had a curious product differentiation strategy, using essentially the same body with trim and engine differences to make completely different model designations (W110, W111, and W112). In addition to the previously mentioned new battery, the car also appears to have received electronic ignition at some point – the module is visible on the firewall. There are no other obviously new components under the hood, though if this car is truly a daily driver, that’s to be expected, and it’s nice the seller didn’t dump half a bottle of shiny over all the hoses.
The front and rear seats look very nice, and the bright red contrasts nicely with the exterior. That said, there are splits visible in both front seats, worst on the driver’s side, and the floor mats look pretty rough. It’s interesting to see what look to be factory/period 3-point belts, and it’s worth noting this car was one of the first to to have front and rear crumple zones. The rest of the interior is clearly aged, but liveable, with dried out varnish on the wood and cracking in the otherwise-attractive ivory steering wheel. The rear seats look excellent, as do the visible door panels and the front arm rest. With a bit of cleaning, and replacement of a few panels in the front seats, along with new carpet, you might have a pretty decent interior that still gives you the great olfactory experience of any older German car. If you’re looking to pair elegance and durability, there aren’t many better choices than a fintail sedan.