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FACTFILE

Sold/number built 1953- 62/559,369

Construction steel monocoque

Engine all-iron, sv 1767cc/ohc alloy-head 1897cc/all-iron 1897cc or 1988cc'four,’ iron-block, alloy-head ohc 2195cc'six’;

Solex carb/carbs or Bosch injection;

40bhp @ 4000rpm-115bhp @ 4800rpm;

75lb ft @ 2000rpm-152lb ft @ 4100rpm

Transmission all-synchromesh four-speed man, optional Hydrak auto clutch (219/220S), RWD

Suspension independent at front by wishbones, coils, telescopic dampers, a-r bar rear swing axles

Steering recirculating ball

Brakes drums

Length 14ft 81/2in-15ft 7in (4485-4750mm)

Width 5ft 81/2-91/3in (1740-1760mm)

Height 5ft (1530-1560mm)

Wheelbase 8ft 81/3in-9ft 1/3in (2650-2820mm)

Weight 2595-3241lb (1180-1470kg)

0-60mph 39-c14 secs

Top speed 69-103mph

Mpg 15-44

Price new £1793 (190 W121,1956)

Twin-carb ‘four’ or injected 'six’ offer decent performance

INSURANCE

£143.10 for 30-year-old Londoner with full no-claims and a clean licence on a garaged 1957 220Sas a second car, value £25k, 5000 limited miles. Richardson Hosken: 01277 206911.


 

THE ALTERNATIVES

LANCIA AURELIA

 Technically advanced, with alloy V6 engine givingupto 118bhp. Available as unitary saloon, coupe or convertible, it’s highly complex, but still feels remarkably modern to drive. Sold/no built 1950-’58/18,197 Mpg 18-30 0-60mph 20-12.3 secs Top speed 84-115mph Price new £3471 (B20 GT, ’55) Now £25-200,000

ROVER P4

Plentiful wood and leather, and choice of lumbering four- or silky six-cylinder engines. As durable as a Mercedes with most parts significantly cheaper; an appealing option. Sold/no built 1949-’64/130,342 Mpg 17-30 0-60mph 26.5-15.4 secs Top speed 77-100mph Price new £1298 (60,1956) Now £2000-15,000


 

Our verdict

Find a well-maintained Ponton and you are almost guaranteed a reliable family friend with few weaknesses. Just beware neglected cars dressed up to look better than they are. Over- head-cam engines, especially twin-carb or injected sixes, perform well and cabriolets are increasingly sought after-there are still worth-while projects if you have the skills.

FOR

•             Exceptional build quality

•             Most models are remarkably usable

•             Last for ever if well maintained

•             Virtually all parts can be found

AGAINST

•             Spares can be expensive if rebuild required

•             Sidevalves and diesels are very slow

 

 

Technical data Mercedes W120, W121, W105, W180, W128 all Ponton series
Model
180
180a
190
180d
190d
220a
220 S/SE
Engine configuration L4 petrol L4 petrol L4 petrol L4 diesel L4 diesel L6 petrol L6 petrol
Engine capacity (cmc) 1767 1897 1897 1767 1897 2195 2195
Maximum power (PS/rpm) 52/4000 65/4500 75/4600 40/3500 50/4000 85/4800 100/4800
Maximum torque (Nm/rpm) 112/1800 130/2200 138/2800 102/2000 110/2200 157/2400 170/3500
Unladen weight (kg) 1150 1165 1165 1200 1210 1300 1350
Consumption (l/100 km) 8,7 10,9 8,9 6,3 7,1 13,5 13,5
Maximum speed (km/h) 126 135 140 109 121 150 160
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