Classic Cars

1961 Mercedes Benz 190b


Make : Mercedes Benz
Model : 190b
Year : 1961

Owner : Farouk el Khalil
Country : Lebanon

Last GENERATION of the Ponton Style

When any auto connoisseurs talks about collectible vehicles, he cannot but refer to Mercedes Benz as the most reliable and most luxurious vehicles ever produced.

Collectors of classic cars tend to collect several brands; however, Mercedes Classics are probably among the dearest to their hearts.

For this issue of Arab Tuning Magazine, we chose a very special vehicle, the 1961 Mercedes Benz 190b, and we decided that the story of this vehicle in specific can not be told by anyone other than its owner, Mr. Farouk El Khalil.

The 1961 Mercedes Benz 190b car belongs to the Ponton family of Daimler-Benz, the first totally new series of passenger vehicles produced after the Second World War. Before the war, Mercedes Benz produced the Type 170,
which was later on replaced by the Ponton family, in July 1953. The Mercedes Ponton was produced up until the year 1961, and in 1962, very fewer units were produced.


The nickname Ponton comes from the German word for “pontoon” and refers to pontoon fenders; the term ponton-styling derived from the wartime practice in Germany which means adding full-length tread armor along each side of a tank.

The suffix “b” indicates the type of car variant; four types of Ponton cars were produced: the “D” designates a diesel engine, and the “b” and “c” are body variants introduced after mid 1959.

The Four-cylinder Sedans were produced as follows:

• 1953–1962 (Type W120) — 180, 180a, 180b, 180c, 180D, 180Db, 180Dc

• 1956–1961 (Type W121) — 190, 190b, 190d, 190Db

According to Farouk, the Mercedes Benz 190b, being a very economical 4-cylinder vehicle, is very safe, durable, and comfortable, and it has long-lasting mechanics, which is why it acquired rapid popularity in Lebanon, making it one of the most popular cars of that era. Today, it has gained its reputation as a taxi car, but back in the day, it was considered a luxury, middle-class vehicle.

There are only a few of these cars left and some of it are accredited to have covered more than a million Km!

“I bought this car in 1997 from its first and original German owner Hildegard Knod. Funny enough, we were both born in the same year and shared the same passion for this car.

Having run just under 16,000 Km, this Mercedes was a rare thing to find with such a low mileage, so I went for it. Everything in the car was and still is in its original and perfect condition. Minor maintenance work had to be done, common with its age, in order to it to bring it to show condition. It performs amazingly well”, says Farouk

“Since I’ve had the car, it has participated in many car exhibitions and starred in 2 films in Lebanon, “Taxi” and “Marcedes”. The last one talks about the history of this car in Lebanon, from a car’s point of view.”

“I love the smoothness and soft ride of this car. To me, it brings back great memories since I first learned how to drive on a similar car owned by my brother back in those days.”