Mercedes-Benz Ponton
Sales Brochures and Pamphlets

Related Pages: Color Chart & Paint Codes // Advertisements // Literature

Photos from the International Ponton Owners Group (IPOG) East Coast Ponton Congress (ECPC)
September 17, 2011



Both brochures and pamphlets were made available to potential customers through Mercedes-Benz agents and their sales force. The offensive was designed by the marketing department to envelop, overwhelm and eventually seduce their target audience with images, technical information and a list of accessories available at extra cost. Essentially, they were tools used to help persuade anyone with a sincere interest in buying a car to fall victim to their desires in a pleasing, informative and colorful way.

When these Ponton era (1953-1962) documents are viewed from an artistic standpoint, recognize that the illustrations can be broken in to three distinct categories:

Today, these period pieces are considered valuable by both Ponton owners and collectors of "automobilia" alike for their informational and esthetic (nostalgic) content.


Brochures and Pamphlets using Painted Illustrations


Full Line
Courtesy: Jeff Miller / October 1996

Accessories
Courtesy: Jack Kotrba / June 30, 2001

Technical Features
Courtesy: Jeff Miller / December 12, 2004

Hydrak Automatic Clutch
Courtesy: Gary Bishop / September 20, 2007

Mercedes-Benz Type 180
Courtesy: Bob Patchett / c. 1996

Contact the editor to submit any Mercedes-Benz Ponton brochures or pamphlets not yet included on this page.


Mercedes-Benz Type 180
Painting by Hans Liska

Mercedes-Benz Type 180

Painting by Hans Liska

Mercedes-Benz Type 180
Painting by Hans Liska

Mercedes-Benz Type 180

Mercedes-Benz Type 180D
Painting by Hans Liska

Mercedes-Benz Type 180D

mb_brochure_ponton_taxi1.jpg (96731 bytes)
Mercedes-Benz Type 180D taxi

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Mercedes-Benz Type 180D taxi


Mercedes-Benz Type 180b

Mercedes-Benz Type 180b


Mercedes-Benz Type 180b


Mercedes-Benz Type 180b


Mercedes-Benz Type 190


Mercedes-Benz Type 190D


Mercedes-Benz Type 180b/180Db 190b/190Db

Contact the editor to submit any Mercedes-Benz Ponton brochures or pamphlets not yet included on this page.


Mercedes-Benz Type 190D
Courtesy: Bob Patchett / c. 1996


Mercedes-Benz Type 190Db
Courtesy: Bruce Bristow / December 12, 2004


Mercedes-Benz Type 190Db

mb_219_illustration.jpg (39136 bytes)
Mercedes-Benz Type 219

Contact the editor to submit any Mercedes-Benz Ponton brochures or pamphlets not yet included on this page.

Mercedes-Benz Type 220a/300/300S (German)
Courtesy: Jan Braamhaar / Netherlands / April 4, 2014


Mercedes-Benz Type 220a


Mercedes-Benz Type 220a


Mercedes-Benz Type 220a (German)
Courtesy: Thomas Morehouse / May 28, 2010


Mercedes-Benz Type 220a (German)
Painting by Hans Liska
Courtesy: Thomas Morehouse / May 28, 2010


Mercedes-Benz Type 220a (English)
Courtesy: Len Sokoloff / August 12, 2013


Mercedes-Benz Type 220a (English)
Painting by Hans Liska
Courtesy: Len Sokoloff / August 12, 2013


Mercedes-Benz Type 220S Police Vehicle


Mercedes-Benz Type 220S
Courtesy: Len Sokoloff / August 12, 2013

Contact the editor to submit any Mercedes-Benz Ponton brochures or pamphlets not yet included on this page.


Mercedes-Benz Type 220S
Courtesy: Len Sokoloff / August 13, 2013


Mercedes-Benz Type 220S
Courtesy: Len Sokoloff / August 13, 2013


Mercedes-Benz 220S/SE


Mercedes-Benz Type 220S cabriolet

Mercedes-Benz Type 220S coupé

Mercedes-Benz Type 190SL (pre-production rendering)

Mercedes-Benz Type 190SL (production)

The illustration of the Type 190SL on the left was probably published before production started because the styling details do not accurately represent the final design of the four cylinder roadster. Compare the air intake vent on the hood, the shape of the turn signals below the headlamps, the front bumper, the protruding trademark grille, and the lack of a "wing" on the rear fender to the illustration of the 190SL (production version) on the right.

In most of these examples, the cars are oriented such that the driver's door is facing the viewer. Were right hand drive cars displayed in the opposite direction?


Mercedes-Benz "Produktionsprogramm"

Produktionsprogramm courtesy: Matas A. Bombal / June 21, 2012


Mercedes-Benz Ponton era LKW (Lastkraftwagen = Truck)


Mercedes-Benz Type O321H Coach

Mercedes-Benz Type O319 Coach

Mercedes-Benz Type L319

Contact the editor to submit any Mercedes-Benz Ponton brochures or pamphlets not yet included on this page.



Pamphlets using Color-Enhanced Photographs

In this group, photographs are the means used to convey the message. Often the photos were accented by skilled, subtle hand coloring for a more vibrant appearance because the use of color photography was not yet widespread. The result was an image that looked more like an accurate detailed painting of idealized contemporary life than an objective photographic representation of the subject.


Mercedes-Benz Type 219


Mercedes-Benz Type 180D

The Type 180D pamphlet (above, right) is stamped with the dealer's contact information: "Ahr and Company" / Buffalo, New York.[1]


Mercedes-Benz Type 180

 


Optional Equipment

In this example the hand coloring accents the accessories available at extra cost. Note the fog lamps, two-tone paint, rear seat, radio and ivory color steering wheel.


A More Objective use of Photography


Mercedes-Benz Type 219

This brochure for the 219 sedan uses black & white for both the photograph of the car and the hand illustration of the engine. This conservative, static approach is informative, yet looks like an assignment directly out of technical art school when compared to the color photograph depicting human and equestrian models on the pamphlet cover for the 219 sedan (above, left).

220SE
Mercedes-Benz Type 220SE coupé / cabriolet

With the 220SE coupé / cabriolet brochure, it becomes more difficult to tell if the photos were color enhanced by hand. If they were, was it to increase the alluring value of the imagery, or because the color film available at the time was not as saturated as desired?


US Forces in Germany
Courtesy: Jim Portteus / September 20, 2003

A practical approach to selling product to US armed forces personnel while stationed in Germany. "Since you are already here, why not take home a useful souvenir?"


Mercedes-Benz Type 220S cabriolet


Mercedes-Benz Type 220S coupé

Courtesy: Dave Sandlin / February 22, 2003: A two-sided brochure of the Type 220S cabriolet and coupé utilizing black and white photography, technical specifications, marketing copy, and a hand illustration of the open cabriolet interior. Click on the images to enjoy the text. It makes reference to "Mercedes-Benz Sales, Inc. / South Bend 27 Indiana" and is stamped "November 13, 1959." This may have been after the time Studebaker-Packard went out of business and left Mercedes-Benz to fend for itself in the USA. Note the two tone paint job on the cabriolet. The small chrome separator sometimes found on the front fender which serves mainly to prevent the lower color from carrying over to the area below the headlight is absent from this car. Compare this to the painted illustration of the two tone Type 220S coupé above. Thanks to Dave Sandlin for providing this excellent example.


Mercedes-Benz Type 190


Mercedes-Benz Type 180Db / 190Db

Some brochures and pamphlets used photography that was modified to a lesser degree than other examples. This gave the appearance of a spontaneous snapshot. A close inspection of the cover of the Spanish language version of the Type 180Db / 190Db pamphlet (above, right) reveals that the fog lamps may have received a little help from the artist's hand. The English version of the same pamphlet (click on the image) does not seem to show the same treatment. The fog lamps seems to be enhanced on the Spanish version.


Mercedes-Benz Type 180D

Through the course of experimenting with different styles of displaying the product, this particular unembellished approach was to gain in popularity until it was the only one to survive the Ponton era.


Mercedes-Benz Type 180b


Mercedes-Benz Type 190b


Mercedes-Benz Type 180Db


Mercedes-Benz Type 190Db

The Ponton sedans above were obviously prepared for sale in North America. Note the turn indicators (US specification) below the headlamps and also the wide white wall tires. The building may be a Howard Johnson's restaurant (famous for its orange tiled roof). Finally, the USA map at the bottom of the brochure leaves no doubt as to where the economical Mercedes-Benz diesels would be driven.


Mercedes-Benz Type 190Db


Mercedes-Benz Type 190Db

The two postcards above show the prosperous, yet economically minded father showing off his pride and joy (the Mercedes-Benz Ponton diesel). Aside from the image background, which has obviously been edited, the color in these photos do not appear to be overly enhanced. The Type 190Db was produced from 6/1959 to 9/1961.


Postcard with Type 180b/190b Ponton sedan
Artist: Hans Liska


Postcard with Type 180b/190b Ponton sedan
Artist: Hans Liska

 

Tire Specifications for Passenger Cars

October 1960 [2]

 

Full Line

1961

Here is a fold-out brochure (dated: 8/1961) that shows the full line of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, which includes five new models. It is interesting to see the transitional nature of the models offered at this point in time. The 180Dc Ponton sedan, the 300d "Adenauer" sedan, 300SL roadster and the 190SL roadster were on their way out, while the Heckflosse models were giving a fresh new look to the line-up. Courtesy: Jeff Miller / December 4, 2004.


Odd & Intriguing Facts about 
Mercedes-Benz Automobiles

1961

Click cover (above) for printable .pdf
Courtesy: Matas A. Bombal and Paul DeLucchi / December 21, 2012

 



Mercedes-Benz Type 220b

This photograph, taken from a folding pamphlet (dated: 12/1961) for the Type 220b sedan, is rich in symbolism. The dark Pontons are heading into the past, while you travel to a brighter future in a Type 220b Heckflosse sedan! Certain Ponton sedans (Type W120 180c / W120 180Dc) were produced until 10/1962.


Footnotes

[1] Ahr and Company was one of the more successful import car dealers in Buffalo, New York. Kenny Ahr started the dealership with the financial backing of a Mr. Jones (Jones Lumber Co.) in 1952 or 1953 at 1509 Hertel Avenue (at Sterling Avenue) in north Buffalo. Later, they moved to Main Street. Kenny died somewhat young, and Mr. Jones retained the original company name. Then, Rochford Harmon, a recent college graduate, was asked to run the business, which he did until 1962. They sold Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Porsche, Daimler, AC ("AC Cars Limited", previously "Autocarriers") and several other marques. When Mercedes-Benz merged with Studebaker-Packard, Ahr lost the Mercedes-Benz franchise. Eventually, Ahr and Company went out of business around 1963. Courtesy: Jay Locrow (MGCCWNYC) / Hamburg, NY.

[2] Tire specification chart courtesy Scott Gordon / January 31, 2003. Posted here December 18, 2008.


Created: February 15, 2002 / Jeff Miller
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