1958 Mercedes-Benz 190 Ponton sedan

Current Owner (February 2015): Phil Goschnick / Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

See Phil's Australian-Built 1959 220S sedan

Former Owner (2011 - 2015) and author of this page: Paul Clune / Perth, Western Australia

Photo 1. The new arrival

Photo 2. The new arrival – and, my best side

Photo 3. The "Old Girl" was born in June 1958

Chassis: RA121.010-85-00616
Engine: R121.020-85-09203

Photo 4. Front with European style headlamps (not sealed beam)

My elder son Stephen gave this car to me. A Mercedes-Benz dealership said it needed an engine rebuild. Otherwise, it was (and remains) an un-restored gem. The paint (needing a mild cut and polish) and trim are original.

Photo 5. Showing the original paint, and the overall Ponton shape

Photo 6. Bench seating

Photo 7. Right Hand Drive (RHD)

Photo 8. Upholstery is in great shape

Photo 9. Yards of luxurious upholstery!

Photo 10. The power-plant

After a few weeks and a few dollars, I had it fully licensed with a new exhaust, fan belts, tyres and water pump, plus a radiator top tank re-solder. Thanks to the advice from a USA Ponton website, I took the dashboard clock out and reset it.

Photo 11. European colored tail lights (red / white / amber). Note position of tail pipe.

The local exhaust experts said to align the tailpipe with the car, and aim it directly out the rear, rather than have it jutting out at a 45 degree angle under the corner of the steel (spring loaded - do you mind - no touchy-feely $3,000 snap-crackle-pop plastic) rear bumper bar.

The chrome tailpipe looked good facing dead straight out - under the bumper bar; much better than the original, rather odd, 45 degree angle poking out from under the corner – until a quiet drive with three mates one Sunday...

Photo 12. The lads in the back can now enjoy an exhaust-free environment

The blokes in the back seat rolled down their windows, and guess what? Yup - you're right. After a short while, we all discerned the smell of exhaust smoke coming inside! I took the dear old lady back to the workshop experts and had the tailpipe cut, shut, and re-aligned to the original 45 degree angle poking out under the corner of the back bumper bar. The result? No more exhaust smell with windows down! How about those Germans - talk about attention to micro detail. Mercedes-Benz; why bother with anything else?

Update / October 7, 2013

Dear readers,

My 1958 Ponton continues to confirm its excellency. OK it's not a Cardinal, Supreme Court judge or State Governor...but by the living What's-His-Name, it's still rolling along with tedious reliability in stern comfort.

Photo 13. In the garage – a fine figure of a motor carriage

Photo 14. Brake drum and shoe

Photo 15. Work continued on the rust and crud

Anyway, there are a few recent things to report – besides having the brake master cylinder re-sleeved.

  1. I had the starter motor rebuilt by a local auto sparkie (in his mid-60s, so he knew where to source the bits via the "old boy network"), so now the dear Old Lady jumps out of bed in the morning like a kid during school holidays.

  2. Her ignition coil. A different, not-so-well informed auto sparkie had advised me that ignition coils either work or they don't so there's no use replacing them until they conk out...wrong. Yes – eventually the relevance of the colour of the spark plug sparks became known – so I tested hers, and the spark colour was cream, not blue. Result? A new coil. Result? She loves it and runs more sweetly. And with her new set of 185x80x13 radials she rolled along a highway here, not so long ago, up to 85 MPH, and no, she didn't float like a boat as my 1963 Studebaker Lark did when I drove that V8 thing to 90 MPH many a decade ago.

  3. For the first time since getting her going soon after my son gave her to me in early 2010 – I filled her fuel tank last week, and guess what? After driving her around with only maybe a max. of 10 litres or so in her tank since 2010 now...No...I'm not dreaming...she is running and driving even better yet again! I threw that one around between a few elderly car owners (owners of elderly cars), and their collective opinion was that the extra 40 kilos of weight over the back axle gives her a bit more stability...PLUS....that extra weight of liquid over the fuel pump and piping system has taken a bit of a load off that system - so it doesn't have to work as hard...so the fuel delivery system actually works easier – thanks to mother gravity. How about them apples?

Adios and good luck,

Paul Clune
West Australia
October 7, 2013

Farewell to the Ponton / February 2015

Photo 16. Paul Clune sells the 1958 Type 190 sedan / Phil Goschnick took ownership in February 2015

Alex Forrest's tribute article added February 26, 2015

Created: September 23, 2011 / Jeff Miller
Revision C / February 26, 2015
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