Philippe de Lespinay / email@example.com / Costa Mesa, California
This Mercedes-Benz Ponton belonged to a man in Geneva, Switzerland who lost his garage space. In 1981, I purchased the car (in Switzerland) from an antique toy and car dealer for the paltry sum of $3,500. With only 60,000 km on the odometer, it had recent steering, brake and clutch work done. Drove it back through the Swiss border to Paris with fake plates. Ran out of gas on the freeway in the rain not knowing there was a reserve, so I walked eight miles each way to get gas. From Paris, it was loaded on a ship at Le Havre. When it arrived in Long Beach, California, it was undamaged, but the hood star had been stolen. It was in really nice condition, and after a good cleaning, it looked excellent.
Drove it from 1982 to 1992, and then gave it to an ex-Mercedes-Benz club president to do a minor restoration — including new paint, some re-chrome and wood work, and a new headliner. The car is otherwise utterly original, and now has 75,000 km, and drives well. Everything functions, and it has no dents anywhere. The radio is fully functional, and all the interior (including the leather upholstery) is original, with the exception of the floor mats. Even the infamous heater boxes are fine.
I showed it at the now defunct Fashion Island Mercedes-Benz show about four years, and did a couple of Concours d'Elegance where it won People's Choice. It sleeps in my garage next to my C43 ex-PPG pace car and my "beater" C36.
1998 C43 AMG ex-PPG pace car (no Ponton content)
Phillipe / February 26, 2006
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