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Old 06-04-2006, 01:31 PM
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Question 1959 190D has caught my eye, however....

I came across a 1959 Mercedes 190D diesel, 4 speed manual. Its in excellent running condition, though the interior needs a little work. I'm very very tempted to buy it, however I've never owned a car more than few years old and dont know what to expect. As well... I dont have tons of spare cash to pour into it though I should have enough to do some minor upgrades, and I would be making this my primary vehicle.

Anyone have some advice??
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Old 06-04-2006, 02:25 PM
Dan Rotigel
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I dig the simplicity of these cars-this means repairs are relatively straightforeward and tend to last a while. You can most likely price interiors on ebay, and many (perhaps all?) parts are still available from benz. On the otherhand, rust will kill them. I think the car you are refering to is a w121 pontoon. I think there is an owners group webpage somehwere out there as well.

These cars might not be the best for harsh winters or hot summers-bad rust and questionable AC. Otherwise, I say go for it

dan r.
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Old 06-04-2006, 02:48 PM
Jim B.'s Avatar
Who's flying this thing ?
Join Date: May 2006
Location: N. California./ N. Nevada
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Dan (above) is right, look it over *very* carefully for rust. If the body integrity is not good, on this example, it wouldn't be worth owning.

The '59 would be the "ponton" model, they found their way all over the world, but not too many are around any more.
1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)
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Old 06-04-2006, 03:06 PM
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One more question... assuming the engine is a 4 cylinder diesel.... what would the fuel consumption be like? And would there be any way to improve it? (other than the obvious of replacing the engine and everything?)
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Old 06-04-2006, 03:24 PM
Dan Rotigel
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this page says 23mpg for a 200d in the early 60s(very similar engine i think). Of course, you could also get 23 miles per gallon of french fry oil if you converted it to a greaser =). One of these went up on ebay a while ago, I really liked the idea.

dan r.
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Old 06-04-2006, 03:38 PM
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Location: Sacramento-Bay Area Corridor
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heres one on SFbay craigslist. Not sure where you are located, but if you are near it might be worth a look. They didnt say much about the car in detail, just a blurb about the ponton series cars.

1995 E420
1992 BMW 525i
1984 300D Turbo sold
1993 Volvo 244 sold
1995 Volvo 944T R.I.P!

"The details are not details. They make the product."
-Charles Eames
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Old 06-04-2006, 04:36 PM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: central ky
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SG, the big question is where and how the car will be driven......

If you're located where its all long haul stuff with point-to-point being 50+ miles without alot of city stuff - then the bathtub Benz 190D will deliver an honest and trouble-free 38mpg forever. And it's probly the most comfortable and lovable car you'll ever own, assuming you dont need air conditioning and you dont mind driving the slowest vehicle on the road........ Kindo cool actually once you get used to it - Knowing you're driving the tortoise that beats the haire for economy and efficiency.

Otherwise rare and endangered parts for that model include hydraulic drum brake cylinders, clutch pressure plate, kingpin kits and column shift bushings. The rest is easy - the '59 190D shares alternator, starter motor, tie-rods, glow plugs and injectors with 4 cylinder diesels that followed for another 20 yrs.

Yes, there are "specialist" forums in our useful Vintage Links Folder including one helluva fine Pontoon website that can psyche you up. Meanwhile welcome to the hub where Vintage MB owners meet.
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:36 PM
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Location: Ocean Isle Beach, NC
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Here's an old post of mine that's applicable here.


Check out the Ponton Page, You can read about your car for days there. Then when you're hooked, feel free to join the ponton discussion group at We've got about 500 ponton owners there. Great info and expertise available.

'59 220S Cabriolet
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Old 06-04-2006, 11:32 PM
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Location: Long Island, NY
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and who cares about milage when you can make your own fuel. -CTH
PS. when they talk about rust, they mean the underside. the car's a unibody. Get it on a lift, walk under it, and poke things mercilessly with a screw driver.
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:40 PM
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Thanks for the tips!!! The more I research this car, the more I'm falling in love with it (which could be dangerous... I havent taken it out for a test drive yet so I dont know exactly what condition its in.)

It will be a city car, though I'm lucky enough to live only ten minutes from my work so gridlock is not an issue....

I also live in Canada, so does anyone have any tips for getting through the winter?? (Humidity is definitely not a problem here in Calgary though.......)
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:12 PM
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Location: Upstate SC
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Don't expect to drive it more than 100 kph...... For the record the style of car is called: Ponton (Pon-Ton)
"Shabby" 1978 240D with a 300D motor
1997 Volvo 960 wagon 245K
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sciencegeek
I also live in Canada, so does anyone have any tips for getting through the winter??
Start it up in December, don't shut it off until April.

2004 C240 Wagon 203.261 Baby Benz
2008 ML320 CDI Highway Cruiser
2006 Toyota Prius, Saving the Planet @ 48 mpg
2000 F-150, Destroying the Planet @ 20 mpg

0BAMA .......... OUTHOUSE
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:15 PM
John Holmes III
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I have owned a '59 ponton for over twenty years. They make great second cars. Parts are the problem. There are many parts that are similar, but they do not interchange. They are ponton specific. These include transmission, rear axle, motor mounts, water pumps, clutch release bearings. Many parts don't interchange from later W110 finbody models.

A w114 diesel would be as old as I would go for a daily driver. In reality a w123 is probably as old as you want to go.
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