The Mercedes-Benz W187 was presented in 1951 at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt. By producing this luxury car based on the pre-war W136, Mercedes-Benz aimed to reestablish itself as a manufacturer of solely luxury vehicles. Thus, the W187, always sold under the model code '220' due to its engine displacement, featured a straight-six engine which was the first from Mercedes-Benz after the war, alongside a range of four-cylinder models. For four years, Mercedes-Benz produced the W187 alongside the equally high-end W186, creating a duo of flagship models, which later became a trio in 1953 with the arrival of the 300 SL.
The W187 is based on its predecessor, the W136, which was also a precursor to diesel engines. Many parts of both cars are similar. The most significant exterior difference is the position of the headlights; in the W136, they were mounted on top of the fenders in a 1930s style, while the W187 chose to integrate the headlights into the flowing fenders for aerodynamics reasons. Like the W136, the W187 was available in various configurations, but only the 2.2-liter six-cylinder engine lied under the hood, which allowed Mercedes-Benz to reposition itself as a producer of high-quality and prestigious cars after turbulent war time. After World War II, the company had only produced four-cylinder engines, which did not align with their business policy and their world-famous Mercedes motto, ‘das Beste oder nichts’, or 'the best or nothing', which Mercedes-Benz strictly obeys to when building their cars.
In addition to its relatively progressive external design, much can be said about the luxurious interior finish, where Mercedes-Benz leaves no doubt about being a luxury manufacturer. No expense is spared: the seats and doors are beautifully finished with classic leather, the dashboard is adorned with wooden accents and gauges, and the classic radio also takes centre stage. Avantgarde paddle shifters on the steering wheel, the elegant steering wheel itself, and the handbrake placed in a spot that only Mercedes-Benz could think of, right next to the clutch pedal – everything is meticulously placed, leaving nothing to chance and presenting the whole with imperial pride.
Production of the W187 ends in 1955, a total of just over eighteen thousand cars of the four models - a saloon, a coupe, and two convertibles – were built.
Mercedes-Benz 220 A
In the W187 series, the 220 A serves as the convertible version. Alongside the A, there is also a B, with the only distinction being that the A has a convertible top with two side windows, while the B has four – two on each side.
Unlike the B convertible, which ceases production in 1954, the A convertible is built throughout the entire production run of the W187 series, until 1955. A total of 1,278 are produced, they are scarce.
Due to its elegant design and the pioneering role in Mercedes-Benz's return to producing luxury vehicles with powerful engines, the 220 A is a highly sought-after collector's item.