1937 Mercedes-Benz Type 320 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Chassis Num: 172263
Engine Num: 172263
Sold for $260,000 at 2008 Bonhams
The Mercedes-Benz Type 320 was available in three Cabriolet versions, designated by code letters. The racy and relatively expensive sports version was the Cabriolet A. The Cabriolet B was a two-door, 4-window style that front and rear seating. The third type was the Cabriolet D, a four-door, four-window style that was a true Roadster Model.
This 1937 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet B was shipped to Japan when new, where it was assigned to the German Embassy. It was retained by the Embassy for many years. In the 1990s, it was obtained by a private and prestigious motor museum in Japan. It was retained by the museum for many years. In 2008, it was offered for sale at the 'Quail Lodge, A Sale of Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia', marking its first appearance to North America.
It is in original condition and has been very well preserved. At auction, the car was sold for $260,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2008
Chassis Num: 172436
Sold for $1,045,000 at 2015 Barrett-Jackson
This Mercedes-Benz 320B Cabriolet is a late-production example that is powered by an enlarged and more powerful 3.4-liter motor equipped on later 320 examples. It is also fitted with the concurrent overdrive that allowed for low RPM cruising.
During the severe Allied bombing of World War II, Manheim chassis records were largely burned. The chassis numbers demonstrates that the car is a long-wheelbase Cabriolet B. Several rare late-production features, such as the foot warmers in the back seat, the signal indicator lamps on the fender tops and the rear back-up light, suggest the car may have been produced as late as 1939.
This car was acquired after the war by an American Air Force officer in Germany. It was imported to the United States in early 1954, with an authentic import tag showing that the car cleared customs on April 4, 1954. By the 1980s, the car was being offered by Samuel P.A. Gast of Gas Motor Cars in New Holland, PA. In early December 1982, the unrestored car was purchased by Dr. James W. Delevan of Grand Rapids, MI. At the time, the car had 64,061 kilometers on its odometer.By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2015
The Mercedes-Benz Type 320 was the replacement for the 290. Also available at this time was the Type 260D, the world's first Diesel-powered production car. Perhaps one of the most desirable cars in the world at this time, was the Mercedes-Benz 540 K with its 5.4-liter supercharged engine. Above that was the Type 770K Grosser or 'Grand' Mercedes. This had a 7.7-liter supercharged straight-eight. At the other end of the spectrum was the lowest-priced Mercedes-Benz, the Type 170. The Type 170 H was fitted with a rear-mounted engine, while the Type 170 V had its power source in the front. Both had four-cylinders.
The Mercedes-Benz Type 320 was introduced in mid-1937 and initially available in two wheelbase lengths. It was a very comfortable car that was lower priced than the firm's higher-end models, yet offered the same general appearance. All of the 320 models were powered by a six-cylinder engine. The original version displaced 3.2-liters. Later, in 1938, it was enlarged to 3.4-liters and would remain the power-plant throughout the existence of the series, coming to an end in 1942. The engine was rated at 78bhp and provided a top speed near 80 mph, when equipped with the optional ZF overdrive transmission.
The Type 320 was given an independent front and rear suspension, with coil springs at all four corners. This gave the car impressive road manners while keeping the passengers comfortable. Hydraulic brakes could also be found at all four corners and provided excellent stopping power.
There were several bodystyles available, such as a Roadster and a Cabriolet D. The Cabriolet d was a true 4-door, 4-window style that had a low and distinctive split-vee windscreen. There were panes which could be tilted for ventilation.
The 320 was quickly recognized for the robustness of its chassis and was ordered in quantity by the German Wehrmacht, typically for use by high-ranking officers. The model was produced into 1942, with most of the later examples certainly destined for military use.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2008
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