1954 Mercedes Benz Type 220 – Murray Mules
My 1954 Mercedes_Benz Type 220 sedan is quite a rare car – only 16,154 sedans were produced 1951 – 1954, 214 produced in 1954. The car was also available in coupe, 2 seat convertible, 4 seat convertible and 41 open top police cars were made.
Only 14 or 22 cars were sold in Australia – all believed to have been sold through M&B Distributors, 307 Latrobe St Melbourne. I believe that all the cars sold were black with red leather trim. All were 4 door sedans.
My car was sold by the Zung Fu company new in 1954. A well known authorised distributor of Mercedes Benz cars. The car probably came to Australia in about 1959 as it was seen in Rossyln Gardens in Sydney about this time.
Nothing is known about this owner of the car , although it is known that the car was still its original light green colour with dark vinyl upholstery ( not leather ).
I have some information that the car was repainted in Sydney in the mid seventies. It was repainted a dark blue Mercedes colour, the same colour and paint that it has now.
The car was bought at a Pickles auction in Sydney in about 1989 by a well know antique Mercedes restorer known as ” Ziggy ” who also owns a convertible version and 2 pre war Mercedes – he has restored all these cars to a very high standard.
Ziggy had the engine rebuilt ( not the original engine ), rebuilt the gearbox, rewired the car and restored the woodwork. He also rechromed the bumpers and grille.
He advertised the car about March 1998 and after some intense saving on my part – I bought the car in October 1998. The drive from Sydney to Canberra was uneventful, but on arriving in Canberra a large kangaroo walked in to the right front door, right rear door and right rear guard. $3000 worth of damage!
So I have now owned this car for nearly 14 years, I have covered about 10,000 miles in it. I have just about rebuilt the car mechanically: all new brakes – everything including remade rear brake drums, rebuilt front end, new steering box, rebuilt gearbox, rebuilt diff and tailshaft, cylinder head rebuilt, radiator rodded out.
Other work – completely rewired to 12v from 6v – a vast improvement! Generator replaced with alternator, thermo fan added, original troublesome carby replaced with latter twin carbies, 4 new safety rims added.
Nearly the whole car has been rebuilt apart from the interior (mostly original ) and the bodywork!
It is an interesting car as it encompasses the old and the new. It is based on pre-war styling, but with the headlights integrated into the front guards, instead of free standing.
It looks old, but mechanically is very advanced :
2.2 litre OHC engine 100 hp with alloy head
4 speed all synchro gearbox
all independent coil sprung suspension with swing axle hypoid
diff 4.44 to 1 ( first on a German car )
recirculating ball steering 13.9 ratio
central lubrication – a pre war throwback
power assisted 4 wheel drum brakes
telescopic shock absorbers
ground clearance 7.4″
weight 2,970 lb
it has a separate tubular chassis
It is a nice old fashioned car to drive, with good acceleration and will cruise at 70 mph, and probably top 100 mph, but I have not tried this!
It is also rather old fashioned with its wind up 8 day clock, wooden dash, running boards, and suicide front doors, but in this has a lot of old world charm and probably represents the last of the link between the pre-war Mercedes and the new post war Mercedes – the roundie pontoon models.
It is extremely well made – back then the Mercedes company had some of the highest standards in the auto industry. The doors shut like they were new, and nearly everything works precisely! It is interesting to note that every forged part of every Mercedes built was crack tested !
It is also interesting to note that I can buy nearly every part for this car new from Germany! (at a cost).
Of the cars bought to Australia – about 5 survive in good useable condition. One was destroyed years ago in a bushfire, and one in a wreck in Melbourne ( this is reputed to be the ex Redex trial car used in 1953 ).