1958 Mercedes-Benz Type W180 220S sedan

Bambang Witono Angkawijaya / b_angkawijaya@hotmail.com

"Sweet Potato"

I bought Sweet Potato on August 21, 2001.  She belonged to a retired geologist.  The chassis number is R180.010.8507586 and the engine number is R180.924.8502160.  When I first saw her, I was immediately struck by her grace and all.  That was the nice part.  When I drove her home, everything seemed to be falling apart.  The engine was lousy, the transmission worse.  The 2nd and 4th gear always "jumped" or "skipped."  The brakes were not good either.  I had to literally stand up to floor the brake pedal and the car would only then hesitantly stop.  When my mechanic took out all of the mechanical parts and transmission, he told me that it was by sheer luck that I made it home.  We literally had to change everything that we opened up.

To make things worse, there are not many Ponton parts around in Indonesia.  In fact, there are hardly any 220S Pontons roaming around.  The temperature gauge was not working at all, and Sweet Potato was equipped with an incorrect pair of fog lamps which were not made by Hella. 

It was then that I found out about this website.  I contacted Mr. Len Sokoloff who recommended me to Mr. Will Samples.  Mr. Samples definitely helped me a lot with parts and very valuable advice.  He helped me in deciding what was foremost in renovating the car. We also managed to obtain the Hella fog lamps from Mr. John Green of Australia. We managed to find the other parts from the local auto scrap yard.  I also received some much needed help from a visiting MBCA friend, Kaia Bergmann, who was kindly introduced to me by Mr. Tom Hanson.  We have become close friends.  We also installed a working temperature gauge.  The car is now in running condition.   

Right now, I am focusing on the interior of the car, as the switches are all wrong. Sweet Potato is still equipped with a pair of incorrect front bumper guards, which actually belong on the rear bumper. The exterior is pretty good, except that I must repaint her sometime later.  I drove it last only two nights ago.  It is a really fun car to drive.  I was so proud, as almost all heads turned to see Sweet Potato cruising around. The car is driven every day and there have been many encounters with people who ask if the car is for sale, and so on.  It is definitely a traffic stopper.  Especially when we are at the gas station, guys with much more modern and flashy cars approach us and ask where the workshop is, and eventually ask me to contact them should I ever want to sell the car.  Well, the car is not going anywhere, that's for sure.

Now, Sweet Potato is proudly displayed in the Ponton website photo archive.  Thank you so much to Mr. Jeff Miller.  As usual, whoever wants to touch or wash the car must go through a very thorough and annoying (that's what others told me) watch, belt buckle and ring inspection.  Meaning, they have to remove their watches, rings and metal belt buckle before touching Sweet Potato and her younger siblings, the 1962 W-111 (220b), and the 1969 W-108 (280S).  My other non Mbz cars are a 1972 VW Deluxe Kombie, a 1966 Morris Mini and a much treasured 1966 R-27 BMW motorbike, which I inherited from my late father.  He used to drive the bike to date my mom decades ago.

Bambang Witono Angkawijaya
November 30, 2001

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