1955 Mercedes 180 Ponton W120

Trade Classics > Auctions > Mercedes > 1955 Mercedes 180 Ponton W120


*** UPDATE: This car has now been sold for £12,614 all inclusive ***

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Mercedes after World War II wanting to expand its production, turned toward the unibody concept to design a line of mass produced autos that would be rugged, reliable, and both relatively simple and inexpensive to build. The “Ponton” was the first car that Mercedes produced after the war to begin this expansion.

Work began in earnest on the pontons bodied cars in 1951, with a design focused on passenger comfort and safety. Part of the design was integrating into the “three-box design” the concepts of crumple zones and the non-deformable passenger cell. The crumple zones patent 854157, granted in 1952, describes the decisive feature of passive safety. This made for a milestone in car design with front and rear crumple zones for absorbing kinetic energy on impact.

Mercedes produced over 52,000 of this particular model, the 180 (W120) 4-cylinder sedan, in a production run from 1953 through to 1957.



David has owned the car for around 36 years (he’s sitting in the back of the vehicle) and unfortunately is suffering from Alzheimer’s, so his children Neil and Louise have made the tough decision with him to sell his classic vehicles, and move them on to new custodians to enjoy and maintain.

David has looked after this car, it’s always been stored in a dry garage, and he used to own a Ponton in the same colour when Louise and Neil were kids too, so they both have fond memories for this car. At the end of 2014, David commissioned a restoration of this Ponton, and it still has that same standout appeal today.

If you have any questions then please drop them in the comments below and Neil or Louise will answer as soon as they can.



Finished in Red, the car looked lovely on a cold winters morning having been given a quick wash.

Wheels & Tyres
The car is fitted with Kenda Radial tyres across all the wheels, and the wheels are painted to a matching specification as the car with chrome hub caps.

The bodywork on the car is in very good condition across the entire car. Having been restored, any issues were remedied. We didn’t observe any dents on the bodywork, or rust, and the panel gaps and shut lines look great. Take a look at the video review to see the detail.

Having been restored, the paintwork looks really good. Finish and depth looks even across the entire bodywork, and there is no fading to be observed in the paint, having always been stored in a garage. The only blemish observed is a scratch on the nearside rear roof, where likely at some point something has scraped across the car.

Glass and Trim
Both are in good condition as can be seen in the media pack. The rubber seals across the car look in line with the age of the car, some cracking can be observed as shown in the media. The drivers side door rubber seal is loose and would benefit from being replaced or fixed back correctly.



The interior, finished in grey leather, has been restored over the years and looks almost new; a lovely place to be.

Seats and Carpets
Grey on grey throughout the car, the seats and carpets look really good. There was no visible wear on any of the seats, the door cards, or the carpets. As a passenger the seats were really comfortable as you would expect of a saloon/sedan of this age.

We were informed that everything works as it should do, the dials being legible and showing patina on the chrome borders in line with the age.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick
A lovely period correct thin steering wheel adorns the dash. This car features a manual gearbox that is operated via a column change mechanism. The chrome/metal work shows signs of pitting as you would expect given the age of the car.



During the restoration, David commissioned an engine rebuild on this car, along with other necessary elements being worked on. We took the car on our usual test with the owners, watch the video for the details.

Engine and Gearbox
From cold the car started with no issues (first time, no smoke to be observed). On our trip we managed to get the car to go through all the gears without issue.

Suspension and Brakes
The car cruised along the local roads with no issues. We did not observe any squeaking from the brakes, and no knocks or rattles from the suspension.

The Drive
A lovely little trip in the car on the local roads. The engine pulled us along without issue, and it was a very comfortable drive.

Electrics and Other
All of the electrics etc should be working on the car as informed to us by the owners.



As you have read, Neil and Louise are selling the car due to David’s health issues – he will be very sad to see it go but knows it now needs to move on to its next custodian.

Please see the images to review all the invoices and paperwork with the car.

The car is showing just over 84,800 miles.

HPi Check Results
– In Progress

Mileage Records
– 13.01.2019 – 84,885 miles



The Ponton was quite an important car in the Mercedes Benz history of production. The first mass produced model range post World War II, the hallmarks of the brand are all present in this saloon made in 1955.

David has owned the car for over 36 years, having owned another Ponton earlier in his life, and commissioned a restoration on this model in 2014 that puts it in very good stead.

If you are looking for a great example that you can drive away, that has been well tended to over the years, this could well be the car for you.



This auction listing was written by Kulraj Singh Salh from information gained from David, Neil and Louise the owners, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

If you have any specific questions about the vehicle then please use the comments section below. Neil will receive a notification and will reply as soon as he can.

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Brian Herworth
Brian Herworth

Would the car be MOT tested before purchase?


HI Brian – yes we may be able to organise that for you if you commit to buying the car. Best to give us a call on 01926 426 635 to talk it though.

Brian Herworth
Brian Herworth

Hi Adam, someone from your company rang me on Saturday confirming that the MOT could be arranged. Unfortunately when I made my maximum offer the gentleman thought it would not be sufficient to buy the car, so I have since bought another vehicle and am no longer interested in the Mercedes. Many thanks for your communication.