1958 Mercedes-Benz W105 219 2.2 SOHC single carb from North America
An elegant old lady who can handle the curves with confidence
The front bench seat material deteriorated to the point where reupholstery would have been required. But it WAS 20 years old when I bought it.
The 219 is a de-tuned version of the 220S of the same era. Mine had a 4 speed column shift that was actually nicer than floor shifts in other Mercedes that I owned later.
I came across this car on a VW lot in Ontario and it was in exceptional condition for its age. Upon being offered a test drive I got in, pulled out the choke, turned the key and pressed the starter button. Could barely tell the engine was running. Before I drove it as far as the road in front of the dealership I knew I had to own it. No car, before or since, has ever affected me that way.
I drove her back to Manitoba and stored her for the winter. Next summer I drove her out to British Columbia and back on vacation. I did the return trip of 1750 miles in 27 hours with the speedo pegged at 70 mph.
You could drive her along a gravel road at 70 in complete control, or make fast corners with the same confidence. Beautiful handling and comfort.
Acceleration was not great and the top speed was just over 90 mph. Fuel mileage was disappointing at about 24 mpg cruising at 65 mph. Still, the overall package was wonderful and I haven't loved a car as much until I bought an 85 Peugeot 505 Turbo.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd January, 2004
Onsidering how you felt about the car, would wonder why you sold it after only a year and 12K miles...?
At the time I had a 70 Pontiac (for winter), the 219, and a project car 63 Studebaker Hawk GT that I'd almost finished restoring. I was trying to move to Vancouver and sold all three cars (making a huge profit on the 219) then bought a 71 280S to make the trip in, figuring I could sell it at a profit once I got here. I planned to eventually replace the 219 with a really nice west coast 220S of around the same vintage, which as I mentioned was a sportier and more luxurious version of basically the same car. I figured I'd like that even more. Unfortunately, the 280S developed a cracked cylinder head and I sold it at a loss. But by this time I'd become interested in diesels and bought a cheap 68 200D which I drove for a couple of years. Whole different driving attitude, but neat in its own right.