MERCEDES-BENZ: The Fifties, Volume 1

© 2016 Bernd S. Koehling
All Rights Reserved

Excerpts from the book:

Mercedes Ponton 180
To balance off the higher center part of the hood, the fenders had to be more pronounced than in competitor's ponton cars. Although this made the Mercedes ponton look less modern, it served the purpose well: to attract a more traditionally minded generation, who appreciated that fenders had not been totally abandoned. Although the radiator is lower than on the Mercedes 170, it is still a proud testament to the Mercedes heritage. Designing the Mercedes Benz ponton car into the expectations of those Mercedes-Benz customers was for sure not an easy task. But when one looks at the sales figures of the Mercedes ponton in all its variations, which we will talk about a bit later in this book, it becomes obvious that Karl Wilfert and his team had done an outstanding job>>>

<<<Talking about the engine, no really good news here, as it was still the old flathead M136 four cylinder, carried over from the Mercedes 170Sb. Something the automotive press was not too thrilled to hear, although they universally agreed that the new Mercedes ponton delivered overall a very nice package. Also the suspension, which still used double wishbones in front and simple swing axles in the back like on the Mercedes 170, was not exactly an engineer’s dream in 1953>>>

Experiencing the Mercedes Ponton 180 D
It’s a Mercedes diesel. A stinky rotten old diesel. I did not want a Mercedes diesel; I wanted a six-cylinder  ponton 220S. Here I am at 7am, stuck with an old ponton 180 D from 1957 with 670.000 km on the clock. I just can’t believe it. Diesel cars of such a vinatge are noisy, they are slow and they…well, they stink. And I am tired, bloody tired to say the least. After a 27-hour journey from Asia to Germany, I was looking forward to something more decent to hit the German Autobahn. Definitely not a diesel for crying out loud. And for sure not an old banger with close to 700,000km on the clock.

I call my friend Norbert, who had promised me the Mercedes 220S ponton. He is very apologetic and tells me that the 220S has brake problems and as I did not give him much time, the only car he is able to lend me is the Mercedes 180D. “No worries”, he says, “the car might be a bit run down, but otherwise it is in fairly good shape despite its mileage. And it will give you 30+ MPG>>>

If you want to read in much more detail about the ponton 180, 190, its coach-built versions like the South African "Bakkie" and how it really is driving a Mercedes 180D, then please go here for the printed book and here for the e-book. The printed version covers everything from the 180, the 220 pontons up to the 190SL and both 300SL versions. It also deals with the men, who made all these great cars possible, such as Uhlenhaut, Nallinger, Wilfert and Hoffman. The e-book covers the four-cylinder Mercedes 180 and 190  variations. Both books have plenty of new color pictures, never published in a book before. I am sure you will enjoy.

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Mercedes ponton 180
Mercedes ponton 180, dashboard
Mercedes ponton  180 D Bakkie, South Africa
Mercedes Ponton 180D Video 2 Mercedes Ponton 180 D Video 1 Mercedes Ponton 180 Video

MERCEDES Ponton 180/190

Mercedes Ponton 180/190 W120/121 (1953 - 1962)

Superb books and e-books about Mercedes cars of the 1950s