Fashion Island 2003

26th Annual Fashion Island Auto Show / May 3-4, 2003
Fashion Island, Newport Beach, California

photos & text courtesy: Bob Gunthorp /

A small section of the mall

From: Robert Gunthorp
Date: Mon May 5, 2003 9:19 pm
Subject: Re: [ponton] my Fashion Island adventures: 

Hi again: Here are my Fashion Island adventures from last weekend. I spent the better part of Wednesday and Thursday cleaning the interior and exterior of my 1963 Type 190b station wagon for the show. My wife Terry always complains (she is correct) that I do a poor job of cleaning the windows. So this year I spent more time on that job. When I was finished with them it was the best window cleaning job I had ever done. I knew she would be pleased when we got to Fashion Island. Saturday morning at o'dark-thirty (04:30) we were up and getting ready for the approximately two hour, 101 mile drive to the show. I am always nervous because this is the longest drive the car has been on since the last time we took it to Fashion Island. While I was waiting for Terry, I heard a strange noise outside. Well, the noise I was hearing was the sound of pouring rain. So much for the very clean windows. At 05:10 we started our drive to the show. I had to use the wipers all the way, and they worked quit well. The time the wipers were on during this trip was more than the total combined times I have ever used them. We arrived only 5 minutes past our ETA. Not bad considering I rarely went over 55 mph. I was passed by many vehicles doing 70 + mph. 

Car #71: 1963 190b station wagon with owners Bob and Terry Gunthorp.  Original cost: DM 12,750. One of 349 Type 190b units produced as station wagons from 1959-1961 and one of approximately 50 built for sale in the USA.  The chassis was delivered to Binz Karosserie in Lorch/Wurttemberg, West Germany, on September 3, 1959.  The completed vehicle was delivered to Daimler-Benz, North America on October 30, 1964 and for some unknown reason was registered as a 1963.

The show committee was waiting for the cars at the parking garage entrance. As it turned out, they had a choice of canceling the show or moving it into the parking garage. They chose the garage. This was their "Plan B." As all the cars had to be in place by 08:30 for the mall's opening at 09:00, there was simply not a chance to get the cars in to the mall. As it turned out it rained most of the day and the mall was virtually empty. Continuing with their "Plan B" we were up at 06:00 Sunday morning to clean the cars again and get them in to the mall. I did not get the windows as clean as I had had them on Thursday. We then went back to the hotel to change clothes for the 09:00 brunch. Well, Sunday started out overcast but, by 10:00 the skies were clear and Sunday turned into a beautiful day that everyone enjoyed. This was the only time in 26 Fashion Island shows that a day was ever rained out. Only 75 cars out of the 82 planned showed up for the show. Of those cars the following Pontons were there: 3-1960 220SE cabriolets, 2-1960 220SE coupés, a 1959 190 sedan, a 1958 220S, 1960 190Db, my 1963 190b station wagon, and 6 190SLs.

Car #24: 1960 190Db sedan.  Original cost: DM 9,900. Mileage: 386,000. This car has the Webasto sliding roof.

Car #24:  1960 190Db sedan. This Ponton was featured at the first annual Mercedes-Benz Drive for Excellence in 1999 at the M Class factory in Alabama.

Car #32: 1957 190SL roadster.  Original cost: $3,998. Mileage: 163,000.

Car #32: 1957 190SL roadster.  This SL underwent a ground-up restoration in 1992 and was recently detailed.

Car #23: 1958 220S sedan. Cost in 1956: $4,283.  Present mileage: 42,030.

Car #6: 1960 220SE cabriolet. Original cost: $3,600. Mileage: 44,000. 

Car #6: 1960 220SE cabriolet. Previously owned by the actor Robert Mitchum.

Car #6: 1960 220SE cabriolet

Car #5: 1960 220SE cabriolet.  Mileage: 120,000.  Original DB color: Canton Blue

Car #5: 1960 220SE cabriolet.  Mileage 120,000.  Original color: DB 250 Canton Blue.

Car #7: 1960 220SE cabriolet (right) and car #8: 1960 220SE coupé.  Car #8 originally cost $9,000.  L. Philip Lufty, MD owns both of these cars and he is the original owner of the coupé.

Car #7 : 1960 220SE cabriolet. Original cost: $9,000. Mileage since restoration: 000,002.

Car #7 : 1960 220SE cabriolet. Original cost: $9,000. Mileage since restoration: 000,002.

Car #8: 1960 220SE coupé.  Original owner.  Purchased new on European delivery program at the local Studebaker-Packard agency, which at the time, was the authorized importer of Mercedes-Benz automobiles into the USA.

Car #8: 1960 220SE coupé

Car #8: 1960 220SE coupé

Car #8: 1960 220SE coupé. Rare steel Webasto sunroof.

Car #8: 1960 220SE coupé.  The fitted luggage was an original option.

Car #9: 1960 220SE coupé. "Blue Max." Original cost DM 23,200. Mileage 38,500.  Owner: Ed Richardson. Features a rare steel Webasto sunroof.  This car also features a rare special order color.  It is known as DB302 or "Derby Blue" (Dunkle Blu). As far as Ed was able to find, this was never a standard color on any model. It is very close to the current DB904.

Photo courtesy: Ed Richardson.

Car #9: 1960 220SE coupé. Note the International Ponton Owners Group (IPOG) grille badge.

Car #9: 1960 220SE coupé

Car #22: 1958 190 sedan. Original cost: $4,500. Mileage: 79,900. Owner: Earl See. Was previously owned by song writer Jack Norworth, who wrote Take Me Out To The Ball Game and Shine On Harvest Moon.  The owner purchased it from Mr. Norworth's estate when he died in 1961.  It has won several trophies in competition because it is in original condition, no restoration.

Car #31: 1956 190SL roadster. Original cost, $3,500. Mileage 102,507.  This car was purchased by the owner's father in Germany as a gift for the owner's mother.  The father was an engineer on the Manhattan Project.  This car has had an interesting "passenger history" including Aristotle Onassis and Danny Devito.

Car #36: 1962 190SL roadster. Original cost $5,600. Mileage 44,200 (completely documented).  One of the finest 190SLs in the country. Note the Ulonite reflectors inboard of the tail lights.

Oasis of Mercedes-Benz roadsters

Car #56 1956 300SL gullwing with owner Gary A. Jarvis.  Original cost $7500. Mileage 61,964.  Only 140 gullwings were built after this one.

Car #50: 1955 300SL gullwing with owner Bud Hartwell. Original cost: $8,000.  Mileage 138,000. Note chrome rudge wheels. 

Car #60: 1957 300SL roadster.  Mileage 71,000.  The unusual strawberry color was an original DB offering.

Car #65: 1962 300SL roadster with owner (since 1980) Bob Deichmann. Original cost: $12,100.  Mileage 67,910.

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