1959 Mercedes-Benz Type 220S Ponton sedan

Participating in the 36th Continental Milligan Rally / June 6 - June 9, 2005 

Pam and Hans Matter / hans@inds-ct.co.za / Cape Town, South Africa

We recently returned to Cape Town from the 2005 Milligan Rally! This was our first major national rally. It was a great experience and we enjoyed it very much! There is NO speeding involved, as we selected the speed group which suits our car.

The 36th Continental Milligan Rally (June 6 - June 9, 2005) started off at the Marine Protea Hotel in Port Elizabeth in beautiful sunny weather, a perfect day. On Sunday all of our cars were scrutinized to see whether they were roadworthy. This included having a fire extinguisher and all the speed and distance indicators being covered and sealed with tape. We were also given a number and advertising stickers for our car as well as other goodies. On this rally we drove our new (to us) 1959 Mercedes Benz Type 220S Ponton sedan.

After a delicious supper we were all welcomed and we got to know each other. There was an exciting buzz in the air when we left on Monday morning, each car getting its own starting time and also the route indicators we were to follow. We all had our photo taken at the Continental tyre banner, who were the sponsors for the rally. Then we followed our written instructions to the starting point where we waited for our allocated starting time.

The route consisted of timed sections where we were supposed to maintain a constant prescribed speed, which changed at various landmarks, according to a route table giving instructions on what to do at various landmarks, without the help of our sealed speedometer and odometer. There are regular check points along the route, where our time is taken and then a penalty point is awarded for every second early or late that we pass the checkpoint.

We followed the route which was all secondary roads with beautiful scenery down to the Wilderness Protea Hotel where we were booked in to stay for the four days of the spider rally. There were 65 cars in total, each with a driver and a navigator.

Quite early, after breakfast, the following morning we got our instructions and had to find our way to the day's starting point in George. This day the rally went to Oudtshoorn, and, being first-time Milliganers we learnt a lot on this exciting stretch.

Before supper each night the results were posted for everyone to see. We were quite pleased not to be last and resolved to do better the next day. On Wednesday morning the rally took us to Hartenbos and there we once again saw beautiful scenery. We did a lot better that day - not so many penalty points.

That night we had a dinner-dance with an African theme. There were some hilarious costumes and many people went to a great deal of trouble with their dressing up. After dancing to the music of a club member, we went to bed exhausted and looking forward to the next day.

By Wednesday we had a better understanding of the rally procedures and requirements, so it was a bit easier for us as was evident from the results tables. On Thursday the rally went to the Uniondale area and we again managed to do quite well.

Thursday night we had the awards dinner. We still have lots of tricks to learn, but managed to do quite well with 31st place overall out of 65 cars, mostly VERY experienced teams from all over South Africa! Our Mercedes-Benz Ponton handled the 2600 km very well and we are now looking forward to next year's rally!

Two other Pontons took part, a diesel and a 190 with a ladies team. The ladies team did incredibly well. If I remember correctly, they came in first on one of the days and were placed near the top overall.

Pam and Hans Matter
January 3, 2006

Created: January 3, 2006 / Jeff Miller
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