Ponton (automobile)

Ponton (automobile)

Ponton, which in French and German means "pontoon", can also refer to a certain slab-sided style of car bodywork. [cite book
last = Haajanen
first = Lennart W.
last2 = Ludvigsen
first2 = Karl
last3 = Nyden
first3 = Bertil
title = Illustrated Dictionary of Automobile Body Styles
publisher = McFarland & Co.
date = 2002
location =
pages = 109
isbn = 9780786412761

Cars in this rounded, slab-sided style were produced by numerous manufacturers in Europe and the U.S.

In the 1960s, according to Jeff Miller, Germans used the term for "all vehicles of standard size, with front engines and rear trunks". He said it was unclear why "this former general expression" came to be used "exclusively by Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts" to designate the 1953-1962 models "(see below)".

Origin of the body style

Pinin Farina designed a flowing ponton-style body for the Lancia Aprilia "berlinetta aerodynamica" coupé that made its debut in 1937, [ [http://www.pininfarina.com/index/storiaModelli/modelli.html?scheda.php?id=62&cmp=anno&ord=desc&sl=0&ids=a2b136ece7c4528a8ef7ba5e63579766 "Lancia Aprilia Coupé Introduced 1937", "Pininfarina website"] . Retrieved on August 10 2008.] and also the open body on the 1940 Lancia Aprilia Cabriolet. [ [http://www.infocoches.com/fotos/lancia/1940-Aprilia-Cabriolet/2/54918/ "Fotos: Lancia Aprilia Cabriolet", "www.infocoches.com"] . Retrieved on August 10 2008.]

The 1946 Cisitalia 202 coupé, which Farina designed from sketches by Cisitalia’s Giovanni Savonuzzi, was the car that "transformed postwar automobile design" according to New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). MoMA acquired an example for its permanent collection in 1951, noting that the car’s "hood, body, fenders, and headlights are integral to the continuously flowing surface, rather than added on. Before the Cisitalia, the prevailing approach followed by automobile designers when defining a volume and shaping the shell of an automobile was to treat each part of the body as a separate, distinct element." [ [http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2002/autobodies/cisitalia.html "Cisitalia. '202' GT Car. 1946." "Museum Of Modern Art"’ exhibit description] . Retrieved on August 10 2008.] Also introduced in 1947, the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 [ [http://auto.howstuffworks.com/alfa-romeo-sports-cars.htm "Alfa Romeo 6C 2500", undated article by the editors of "Consumer Guide"] , retrieved on August 10 2008.] was another ponton-style Farina design which, together with those by Touring and others on the same chassis, has also been credited with setting the trend for post-war automotive design. [Braden, Pat. "1947 6C 2500 SS", "Sports Car Market" magazine, May 2001.] Rounded, flowing forms, with unbroken horizontal lines between the fenders—the style that Paolo Tumminelli calls "Ponton Side Design"—became "the new fashion in Europe", where Alfa-Romeo, Fiat and Rover were among the first to offer it. Citation
last = Tumminelli
first = Paolo
title = Car Design By
place =
publisher = teNeues Publishing Company
year = 2006
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=Plwd2uG8ZAQC&pg=PA30&lpg=PA30&dq=Ponton+design+auto&source=web&ots=IQvqHdoxOI&sig=TmtSFvH8Rx7pIVipguJKbwR-Abk&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=20&ct=result
page = 30
isbn = 9783823845614

An inspiration to American and Japanese manufacturers as well as to Europeans, Farina’s "ponton line" would be copied round the world. [Jour mondial d l’urbanisme (1963). "Architecture: formes et fonction". A Krafft, p.87.] One of the first American cars to adopt it was the 1947 Studebaker Champion, designed by Virgil Exner and Roy Cole [ [http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1950-1951-studebaker.htm "1950-1951 Studebaker" by the auto editors of "Consumer Guide"] . Undated article retrieved on August 8, 2008.] but sometimes erroneously attributed to Raymond Loewy. Another, the Howard "Dutch" Darrin-designed 1947-1950 Kaiser-Frazer, was said to have been the inspiration for the 1949 Borgward Hansa 1500, Germany's first sedan in the ponton style. [Eckermann, Erik, and Albrecht, Peter L. (2001). "World History of the Automobile", pp. 163-164. SAE International. ISBN: 076800800X./]

In the Soviet Union the GAZ-M20 Pobeda was introduced in 1946, and in Britain the Standard Vanguard went on sale the following year.

Ford and General Motors followed the trend with their own designs in 1949.

Origin of calling the style "ponton"

In Germany, the term "Pontonkarrosserie" (pontoon body) was used to describe European cars of the post-World War II period. They included Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Auto Union (inc. DKW) and Borgward (inc. Hansa) models. [cite book | last = Braess | first = Hans-Hermann | last2 = Seiffert | first2 = Ulrich| title = Automobildesign und Technik: Formgebung, Funktionalität, Technik | publisher = Vieweg+Teubner Verlag | date = 2007 | pages = page 248 | isbn = 978-3-8348-0177-7 ]

It may be that when in the early 1950s Mercedes-Benz integrated their cars' headlight into the fenders and blended the fenders into the body the new shape resembled a pontoon to people accustomed to the free-standing headlights and separate fenders of the previous models. [http://www.mbzponton.org/valueadded/other/whyponton.htm Miller, Jeff. "Why are they called Pontons?" "Mercedes-Benz Pontons (1952-1962)" "www.mbzponton.org" July 13, 2001] . Retrieved on August 07 2008.]

Another theory is that a journalist likened the sub-frame of the 1953 Mercedes-Benz's novel unitary construction—in which a sub-frame holds the engine, transmission, suspension and steering, and the body is a stressed shell—to a pontoon bridge.

Examples of "ponton" in automotive contexts

The term is now commonly used in reference to Mercedes-Benz models from 1953-1962. For example a book about the marque refers to "the Ponton", the "Ponton saloon", "Ponton 220", "Ponton 220S and SE coupes and cabriolets", and "the Ponton models". [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=BbQZn8yxgN8C&pg=PA23&dq=mercedes+ponton&sig=ACfU3U3g4dpWXjm5THCiRlh1QR7znmCC1A#PPA24,M1 Slade, Tim. "Original Mercedes-Benz Coupes, Cabriolets and V8 Sedans, 1960-1972", Motor Books 2004, pp.17, 19, 23, 24, 24, 26. ISBN 0760319529] . Retrieved on August 14 2008.]

A General Motors document refers to the 1953 Olympia Rekord as "the first Opel with a full-width, or ponton, body shell". [ [http://media.gm.com/intl/opel/en/download/doc/history/opel_historie_all_wpics.doc General Motors, “Opel History: An overview of company milestones,” undated document for download] , retrieved on August 7, 2008.]

In a reference work on alternative-energy vehicles, electrical-engineering academics used the term as a generic for saloon cars with "three-box design" ; [cite book
last = Ehsani
first = Mehrdad
last2 = Gao
first2 = Yimin
last3 = Gay
first3 = Sebastien E.
last4 = Emadi
first4 = Ali
title = Modern Electric, Hybrid Electric, and Fuel Cell Vehicles
publisher = CRC Press
date = 2004
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=a76NLkq-QwIC&pg=PA26&dq=ponton+design+automobile&ei=g3ibSKsdhLiJAfyqoPoE&sig=ACfU3U3ZiIUG5K1oghquzq2UmaiDGDsS8g
pages = 26
isbn = 9780849331541
] also a 2007 German work on car design and technology mentions a "Rover-Ponton" (ponton-style Rover); [cite book
last = Braess
first = Hans-Hermann
last2 = Seiffert
first2 = Ulrich
title = Automobildesign und Technik: Formgebung, Funktionalität, Technik
publisher = Vieweg+Teubner Verlag
date = 2007
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=qDWlB7usQwcC&pg=PA20&dq=ponton+design+automobile&lr=&ei=inybSMfTAY6AjwGqprn7BA&sig=ACfU3U32MTkZYWspg1bhXHrwHi_2aD2Scg
pages = pages 20 and 228
isbn = 978-3-8348-0177-7
] and a French book on art and design also used the term in an automotive context in 1996. [cite book
last = Ed. Barré-Despond
first = Arlette
title = Dictionnaire international des arts appliqués et du design
publisher = Editions du Regard. p.18
date = 1996
isbn = 9782841050246

In Holland it is sometimes used to distinguish the Volkswagen Type 3 (1961-1974) 2-door notchback sedan from the fastback and wagon versions. [ [http://www.vwbusstop.demon.nl/vwnamepage/index.html The Volkswagen name page (in Dutch), undated] , retrieved on August 7, 2008.] [ [http://www.vwtype3.nl/ De Volkswagen Type 3: Ponton, TL, Variant. (in Dutch), undated] , retrieved on August 7, 2008.]

The 1948-1950 Packard had a "'Ponton'-style side section with the fenders running through from front to back", according to a blogger [ [http://cubancarlovers.blogspot.com/ Ralphee. “1948-1950 Packard Super Eight Sedan,” Cuban Car Lovers Blog, July 12, 2008] , retrieved on August 7, 2008.] who also describes the 1951 Packard Patrician as "one of the first cars that featured the new Ponton-style "(sic)" with integrated front-fenders "(sic)" at the same level with the hood and a curved onepiece-windscreen "(sic)".” [ [http://cubancarlovers.blogspot.com/ Ralphee. “1951 Packard Patrician,” Cuban Car Lovers Blog, June 19, 2006] , retrieved on August 7, 2008.]


At present, unlike the Mercedes-Benz Pontons, none of the "ponton"-bodied cars shown below take the "ponton" suffix (as per, for example, "Ford Ponton") among anglophones.

ee also

*Mercedes-Benz Ponton


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ponton (automobile) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Ponton (homonymie). Mercedes Benz ponton Ponton (de l’anglais pontoon) désigne un …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ponton — may refer to:*Ponton (automobile), a type of automobile body;Places *Great Ponton, a village in Lincolnshire, England *Little Ponton, a village in Lincolnshire, England *Ponton, Aruba, a town in Aruba;People *Alexander Ponton, founded the captive …   Wikipedia

  • Ponton (homonymie) — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom.  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Pontons.  Ponton est un nom commun qui peut désigner : Ponton, dans le domaine maritime ou fluvial, une… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Automobile Spitznamen — Wegen seines gläsernen Hecks erhielt er den Spitznamen „Schneewittchensarg“: der Volvo P 1800 ES Automobile Spitznamen[1][2][3] sind inoffizielle Bezeichnungen, Spott oder Kosenamen für bestimmte Automod …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mercedes-Benz Ponton — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Ponton (homonymie). Mercedes Benz type ponton Constructeur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mercedes-Benz ponton — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Ponton (homonymie). Mercedes Benz type ponton …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cadillac (Automobile) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cadillac. Logo de Cadillac Motorcar Division …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cadillac (automobile) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cadillac. Logo de Cadillac Motorcar Division …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Grand Prix automobile du Brésil 1995 — Grand Prix du Brésil 1995 Autodromo José Carlos Pace Nombre de tours 71 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Grand Prix automobile de Belgique 2011 — Grand Prix de Belgique 2011 Circuit de Spa Francorchamps Nombre de tours …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”