Mercedes-Benz type 219, © Daimler AG
The first picture below shows you the customer card he got when he bought the car together with his brother, their address in Eskilstuna stamped. The card is barely used, they made almost all service by themselves. The pictures next to it are my gold mine, the service books. Here you can see almost everything that has been done to the car. It's six books covering the cars life on the roads from the first kilometers to the last things I did with it before starting the restoration. The first note is a fuel stop on 16 March 1957; the car had 131 km on the odometer and it was filled with 46 liter of gasoline for 32,66SEK at a pump in Eskilstuna. The next note is from 22 March, an oil change for 25,60SEK and a light bulb for 2,50SEK. The last note in book nr six is written 17 November 1990, 69924km on the odometer and 17 liter of gasoline for 121,00SEK... If I read the service books correctly the car has rolled close to 300.000km as of today.
Below you can see the 219 parked beside my mother's father's PV544 from 1961. Gunnar is standing between the cars, talking with my sister. My mother's mother, Edith, is standing in the open 219 door. Behind the cars are my father's parents. The reason for the high-spirited atmosphere is my second oldest sister's baptism in Skeppsholmskyrkan. The parish (Skeppsholms församling) consisted of naval personnel with families, hence we belong to it. Observe the big sticker to the right of the license plate. In Sweden it was mandatory to have reflexes facing backwards. Since my father didn't want to drill holes in the rear bumpers he bought sticker reflexes from Kungliga Automobilklubben, KAK, one on each side of the license plate. The plan is to reproduce these. We'll see how that goes.
Initially my father and the car lived at Surbrunnsgatan in Stockholm city. After my mother and father got married in September 1958 they moved to a newly built apartment on Porlabacken in Hagsätra, south of Stockholm. They later (1963?) shifted to a larger apartment and stayed there until 1966. I spent my first 1,5 years there. No memory of it though of course. They had the same garage during these eight years. During that time there were no dividing walls between the garages behind the double doors. Obviously my father was very annoyed with the owner of the other car; when he washed his car indoors he also [accidently I assume] sprayed the 219, giving an otherwise perfectly shining black paint, ugly dry water stains. I fully understand my father
Below is my mother, 4 o'clock in the morning, ready for a trip to Skåne, a landscape in southern Sweden. The purpose of the trip was to visit some of my dad's aunts in Magnarp and Malmö. My father behind the camera and my oldest sister, Gunilla, safe and probably sleeping in the car.
Note, you can see a new version of this picture, re-taken 60 years later, in the blog entry Re-taking a 60 years old picture
Below is a picture from a short brake during the Skåne-trip. On one of the few breaks during the trip, about 550km long, something ground breaking happened. Background information for this is:
- My dad did not appreciate breaks and would probably have liked to drive the whole trip in one go, if absolutely necessary only with a short break to refuel the car.
- With them on this trip was my oldest sister, Gunilla. My parents had not managed to get Gunilla to walk by herself despite the fact that the normal time for this had long since passed. Gunilla completely refused to walk, she just sat down. If she had to move, she did so by dragging herself forward on the buttocks!
So back to what happened. My father drove and lay kilometer after kilometer behind and my mother soon wondered when they would stop for a break. "Negative!" First somewhere in the landscape of Småland, approximately after a 350km drive, my father finally gave in and stopped. Obviously Gunilla was so tired of sitting in the car so she got out and started to walk around, totally by herself. My parents were more than delighted.
During the trip to Skåne, the car was hit by a tractor, resulting in the damage shown below. If I remember correctly, the tractor overtook (!) a car in the opposite driving lane, then touching my fathers "jewel". And, as you can see from the picture, Swedes drove to the left at that time, actually until 1967.
Another picnic during the Skåne-trip, the damage from the tractor still there.
Here is my oldest sister, Gunilla, with the car in the background.
And here is me polishing the car for my other sisters, Kristina, graduation from senior high school at Norra Latin in Stockholm (today a conference center). My father had to shorten the Swedish license plate to fit within the chrome frame (unfortunately I have masked it in the picture). I remember we got a couple of comments about that, including from the police. But it never got further than that. I have decided to keep it like that, I wont damage the chrome or have the license plate stick out... We'll see if I get problems by doing so :-).
From Swedish spring and graduation we turn to Swedish winter in Sätra, Stockholm. You don't see that much snow here today... They moved here, from the apartment in Hagsätra, December 1966, so this is where I grew up.
A Mercedes-Benz Ponton type 219 in a snowy Stockholm
And some pictures from some trips close to Stockholm, around 1990.
The following pictures are taken in the early 90ies, along the channel in Eskilstuna, Eskilstunaån. I hope I soon will be able to re-take them :)!
One winter evening 2007 I was out with a couple of colleagues for an after work. Since I bought a house 2003, and hence had been totally focused on its restoration, I almost hadn't spent a thought on the old lady in my garage. But that evening, in the bar, I got a veerrrry strong sense of the car's presence. I told my colleagues about it and realized that the car had its 50 years anniversary that year. I had however no idea when the birthday was, when the car rolled of the production line in Stuttgart. So, after a couple of more beers I went home and searched through my papers. Reading through them I realized it was the cars birthday that very exact day!! Celebrated with another whisky, posted the news on the Ponton list and got late to work the day after. But I really wonder where that feeling in the bar came from...
A Ponton on display
My project on display in the garden of Taxing slott
Sometime during the early 90ies (1993?) I had my project shown at Motorhistoriska Sällskapet's yearly gathering, this time on Taxinge slott west of Stockholm. If I remember correctly it was the club's Mercedes-Benz register who had an anniversary. And I was its president and of course I had to show my car. Despite its condition. All the other Benz'es, standing on the grass in front of the nice castle, was glimmering in the sun. One funny thing that happened was a visitor coming by and having a thorough look at the car. "A very nice 75" he said. Of course I said "No, it's a -57" since it is from 1957. He look strangely at me and said, "Oh, I see.... Well, I had one of these 75s and I really loved it and bla-bla-bla". Discussion continued but I soon noticed that something odd was going on. I thought it was one of those guys going to these types of events and knows "everything". It almost was but when I after a couple of minutes said something like "yes, Mercedes did...". He looked at me again and said "A Mercedes? Damn, I thought it was a Rover!". I've never seen someone disappearing from a conversation that quick... I hope you understood what happened there :-). It's not only today that all cars look the same.