A car with a (hi)story – The Mercedes-Benz 180 Ponton

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Massive, yet graceful. Scary, yet classy. Elegantly old and robustly graceful. This is the Mercedes-Benz 180 Ponton, owned by Wolfgang Kufner, a classics enthusiast from Germany.

The car was build in Sindelfingen over 6 decades ago and it was especially reserved for the South African market. That is the explanation for the right-hand drive. A German classics enthusiast, Wolfgang Kufner, had a friend living in South Africa at that moment. He found out that the car was available and bought it in a heartbeat. He then shipped it back to Germany.

The sedan underwent a restoration procedure, as the interior needed some repair work. The seats and the dashboard are covered in dark red leather and the thin white and chrome steering wheel reminds of times long past.

Most of the parts are still the original ones and never has it been involved in an accident. Not even a minor collision affected the glossy black paint. Rust never touched it either, aspects that make it one of the rarest automobiles out there. But it was still far from perfect. After being inactive for so long and being kept in humid conditions, the engine faced big trouble. Herr Hufner was advised to scrap it.

“I didn’t want to do that”, he tells, “I wanted to keep the original engine that was already in the car.”

Therefore, he invested a big amount of money to make it like it once used to be. The six-volt gasoline engine with 52 horsepower was revived. Strange for the cars of today, the Ponton makes its way from a standstill to 100 km/h in 32 seconds. Yes, you read that well, in point in between those figures.

Wolfgang Kufner is now planning a roadtrip in the Alps, one that will turn in a story to tell grandchildren time after time.