24 July 2000
One owner from new
1955 MERCEDES-BENZ 180 PONTON SALOON
Registration No. YKO 147
Chassis No. 120010 - 55/0635
Engine No. 136925 - 55/06359
Black with dark green interior
Engine: four cylinders in line, side-valve, 1767cc, 52 bhp at 4000 rpm; Gearbox: manual four speed all synchromesh; Suspension: fully independent by unequal length wishbones and coil-springs at front, coil-springs and swing-axles at rear; Brakes: four wheel hydraulically operated drum. Right hand drive.
The 180 series was Mercedes-Benz's first unitary construction automobile, its passenger shell welded to a rigid platform to form a central passenger cell with crumple zones at each end, a pioneering application of the principle. The car's independent front suspension was fitted to a rubber mounted sub-frame, from which derived the type's "Ponton" (bridge) nomenclature. Production began during the summer of 1953 and the '180' was launched at the Frankfurt show that autumn. With 52 bhp to propel a car weighing 1600 Kg (3637 lb), performance was not sparkling, but the roomy saloon rode comfortably on its independent suspension, had pleasing lines and was built with all Mercedes' traditional precision. Typically thorough was the provision of separately controlled heater units for the two front seat passengers and an array of ashtrays! But, combining outstanding fuel economy with an impressive 78 mph maximum speed, it suited the times and was to remain in production until 1962.
Purchased new by the current vendor and taken with him during his military career and postings on the African Continent, this is possibly one of the most original examples extant. In fact because of its history and condition, the car was used as the central image in an advertising campaign for Daimler-Benz, featuring milestones in the development of post-war Mercedes models. (1990)
The paintwork is original as also is the interior upholstery and all fittings. It is presented with its original handbook, tools and a number of spares including a new windscreen, which is probably very difficult to obtain nowadays. In his second career, as motor retailer and indeed, Mercedes-Benz main agent, the owner has maintained the car faultlessly and continuously with the kind of service that only can be provided by accredited agencies - the total mileage even now is only some 88,000. This vehicle represents a most genuine example of this pioneering-designed motor car. Recently MoT tested and with current road-tax licence, V5 and original old-style log-book.
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
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