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Old 9th April 2012, 15:29   #1
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Default My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

Dear All

Very recently I have procured a very rare 1955, 180 Ponton with a side valve engine.

The vehicle is in a bad shape but am quite positive that will the help and support of all the people and their contacts on this forum I will be able to restore it to glory.

The car was dismantled 12 years ago and never put back together. The engine came to me in a gunny sack.

It was only when all the contents of the gunny sack were opened at Mr. Tutu Dhawan's workshop and spread out that we realised that the car was a very very rare side-valve Ponton! In fact of the some many Pontons I have come across to date I have never ever seen one with a Side Valve engine in India. It was only after proper verification that it was indeed established that this car IS a genuine side valve Ponton.

The first thing was to put together the engine parts and see if it was basically complete which we figured out that it was. Then we wanted to get new pistons and rings. A search on the net took us nowhere. But a couple of quick phone calls to Mr. Dhawan's "old contacts" got us two sets of brand new Mahle genuine pistons and rings. With that the work on the block started and in the mean time the lathe shop also arranged the main big end bearings as well. Imagine all of that done locally at probably half the price or maybe even less!

The engine block has been re-built now and it now needs to go in for a complete clean up. GOt new valves locally and the guides too.

The head is now being sand-blasted and cleaned up and post that the water pump will be rebuilt. The other accessory parts too are being cleaned up for the years of rust build up.

I will keep you posted on the developments in subsequent posts.

Thanks Prithvi for your guidance - I will need a lot more of it going forward.

Cheers!
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Old 9th April 2012, 16:16   #2
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

Wow Saurav, you are on a roll. How graceful she looks even in this condition. Anyways I am confident you will get her back in showroom condition in no time. My car is also from early 1956 though the engine is late 55 but a diesel. The tailights on this car are very very rare and expensive so do take care of them when you restore. All the best regards Amol
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Old 9th April 2012, 16:32   #3
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by SA7VA5 View Post
Dear All

Very recently I have procured a very rare 1955, 180 Ponton with a side valve engine.

The vehicle is in a bad shape but am quite positive that will the help and support of all the people and their contacts on this forum I will be able to restore it to glory.
Hi Saurabh,

Nice to hear from you again- wow, this is one VERY rough Merc. you've got there! Not many would brave a restoration like this one is going to be! But I guess, considering the rarity of the car as a side-valve Ponton, it'd turn out to be worth it.

Looking forward to see another machine brought back to glory in your hands- and I know this is going to be a QUALITY resto again!

PS: How's your Lambretta? Are you done with it now?
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Old 9th April 2012, 17:18   #4
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

Congrats on your aquisition.
What is standing behind the Ponton? Looks like another old car

Cheers harit
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Old 9th April 2012, 17:37   #5
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

Thanks everyone!

Here are some pics of the engine as it has come back from the lathe shop! You can see the new sleeves, new pistons, etc.

Harit - I really have no clue as to what is standing behind the Ponton as that is from the original place where the car was found! :=))

Cheers!
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My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project-img2012040700155.jpg  

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Old 9th April 2012, 17:44   #6
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by SA7VA5 View Post
Dear All

Very recently I have procured a very rare 1955, 180 Ponton with a side valve engine.

The vehicle is in a bad shape but am quite positive that will the help and support of all the people and their contacts on this forum I will be able to restore it to glory.

Thanks Prithvi for your guidance - I will need a lot more of it going forward.

Cheers!
Most welcome and congratulations to you, always good to know of another Pontoner.

As Amol has said, these early Pontons have the smaller tail lamps. And if you want the full new assembly then they are outrageously expensive, quite a bit more than the already expensive one's for my '58 Ponton.

If I remember correctly, these lamps were missing on the car itself-did they come with the car separately? And Ponton head lamps don't come cheap either, had to settle for a second hand pair, but am ordering new reflectors so that should do it.

Also, the door lower panels towards the foot boards on this car are original and unpatched, so please retain them or if they need replacement, use them as samples-they are difficult to replicate.

Some of the external chrome work on the earlier cars were superior than on the later cars. Case in point are the more solid chrome beading that run at the lower edge of the front fender and the doors. When you take these off, do so carefully, they are rare. And you will notice that the 3 chrome vent slats on either side of the grill are thicker and heavier than on the later cars. MB started to cut costs on these trims by the time the OHC 180 (180a, like mine) came into production!

It's amazing that you got this particular car. I've been after this car for nearly 10 years, only to be refused every time by the garage owner with some nonsense story.

Congrats again.

mbz180

P.S. Just saw the tail lamps are there. That's a big saving! And Haritji, when I last saw the car, there was a Morris Minor, an Austin Ruby, and 2 Morris 8's I think.

Last edited by mbz180 : 9th April 2012 at 17:54.
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Old 9th April 2012, 18:08   #7
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

Congratulations on the acquisition of this car.

I remmeber a few years back, Mr. Dhawan had bought a 180 Side valve engine from my father. This car was being scrapped in Calcutta. Prithvi picked up bits of that car and my dad picked up that engine and it was sent to Delhi to Mr. Dhawan. Is that engine going to be used in this car or was that for another car ?

Isn't this a Calcutta car ? This car was offered for sale to me in August 2010. I had asked my dad to follow up on it. After showing him the pics, we decided against it. Hence didn't follow up.

Last edited by IndrojitSircar : 9th April 2012 at 18:29.
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Old 9th April 2012, 20:06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbz180

Most welcome and congratulations to you, always good to know of another Pontoner.

As Amol has said, these early Pontons have the smaller tail lamps. And if you want the full new assembly then they are outrageously expensive, quite a bit more than the already expensive one's for my '58 Ponton.

If I remember correctly, these lamps were missing on the car itself-did they come with the car separately? And Ponton head lamps don't come cheap either, had to settle for a second hand pair, but am ordering new reflectors so that should do it.

Also, the door lower panels towards the foot boards on this car are original and unpatched, so please retain them or if they need replacement, use them as samples-they are difficult to replicate.

Some of the external chrome work on the earlier cars were superior than on the later cars. Case in point are the more solid chrome beading that run at the lower edge of the front fender and the doors. When you take these off, do so carefully, they are rare. And you will notice that the 3 chrome vent slats on either side of the grill are thicker and heavier than on the later cars. MB started to cut costs on these trims by the time the OHC 180 (180a, like mine) came into production!

It's amazing that you got this particular car. I've been after this car for nearly 10 years, only to be refused every time by the garage owner with some nonsense story.

Congrats again.

mbz180

P.S. Just saw the tail lamps are there. That's a big saving! And Haritji, when I last saw the car, there was a Morris Minor, an Austin Ruby, and 2 Morris 8's I think.
MBZ180, was this the car lying in Middleton Street?

Cheers
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Old 9th April 2012, 20:08   #9
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

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MBZ180, was this the car lying in Middleton Street?

Cheers
This was in Shyam Bazar. The Middleton street car is a 190B, White in colour RHD.
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Old 9th April 2012, 22:03   #10
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

Looks like the same car . These were forwarded a while back to me . Said Howrah.

Cheers
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Old 9th April 2012, 23:08   #11
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by harit View Post
Congrats on your aquisition.
What is standing behind the Ponton? Looks like another old car

Cheers harit
Thats an Austin 8 of the 1940's.These were so very popular in Kolkata along with the Morris 8.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SA7VA5 View Post
Dear All

Very recently I have procured a very rare 1955, 180 Ponton with a side valve engine.

The vehicle is in a bad shape but am quite positive that will the help and support of all the people and their contacts on this forum I will be able to restore it to glory.
Cheers!
Congratulations for the new, rare addition - will be a challenging job to get it back on the four wheels in ship shape. But you have technical and logistic help and support coming from stalwarts in the arena.
Mr Tutu Dhawan and Mr Prithvi have very freshly restored Pontons.
The OHV technology was quite popular by 1955, but the Ponton was still powered by a side valve. Even the Dodge Kingsway and Suburban, Desoto Diplomat and Plymouth Savoy of 1954-55 were powered by the straight six, side valve.
The Landmaster's side valve (though the Oxford Series III had the new 1489 cc OHV engine) was due to technological compulsions and was not an option for Hindustan Motors, as Morris did not part with its OHV technology so easily. But for these premium cars like Mercs and those from Chrysler even though OHV technology could have been available, the side valve lugged on for some more time as a choice, I believe of the manufacturer.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 9th April 2012 at 23:10.
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Old 10th April 2012, 08:48   #12
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

Congratulations on the acquisition !! looks like a massive job, but the day she would be back on the road , it would be inspiration for everyone !!
cheers
Kartik
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Old 10th April 2012, 09:47   #13
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

Congrats SA7VA5 on the wonderful acquisition!!!!

Watching this thread keenly to see the transformation!!!!

Its really been an eyeopener for people like me to see such dilapidated junk buckets being transformed into absolute beauties.

Do post pictures as the restoration progresses.
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Old 10th April 2012, 12:39   #14
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

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Looks like the same car . These were forwarded a while back to me . Said Howrah.

Cheers
Not Howrah but Shyambazar. Maybe the actual owner lived in Howrah. Shyambazar is a 10-15 min. drive from where I live and is on the way to the machine shop I use so I used to drop in to see this car.

mbz180
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Old 10th April 2012, 12:59   #15
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Default Re: My Very Rare Side Valve Ponton 180 1955 - Restoration Project

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Not Howrah but Shyambazar. Maybe the actual owner lived in Howrah. Shyambazar is a 10-15 min. drive from where I live and is on the way to the machine shop I use so I used to drop in to see this car.

mbz180
Hi Prithvi, can you refresh my memory, from which year onwards did Pontons have quarter glasses, I always thought they had quarter glasses from 1956 onwards, but now i see this car.

Last edited by the mole : 10th April 2012 at 13:01.
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