MERCEDES BENZ Typ 130, 150 and 170 H

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MERCEDES BENZ Typ 130, 150 and 170 H Typ 170 H W28
MERCEDES BENZ Typ 130, 150 and 170 H Typ 170 H W28 1936 1939
1936 1939

In 1936, Mercedes-Benz showed a compact car designed for the masses: the 170 H.
It was part of the new trend among the ambitious automotive designers to move away from the rigid rear axle toward an independent suspension, rear- or mid-engine and a streamlined body.

The new trend was set by pioneers such as Edmund Rumpler, Hans Ledwink, Gustav Rohr and Joseph Ganz, the editor in chief of the “Motor Kritik” magazine. The latter was a strong advocate for streamlined cars. These engineers played a major role in the development of the 130H, a car that featured full carpeting inside, instead of the regular rubber mats and other amenities inspired by the luxury department.

The 130 H failed to convince the buyers but, in February 1936, the 170 H (W28) made its debut at the International Motor and Motorcycle Show in Berlin along with its sister model, the 170 V. The “H” letter stood for “Heck motor” meaning the car was equipped with a rear-engine, while the “V’ letter was used for front-engine versions.

The 170 H and 170 V had originally been designed with a 1.6-liter engine. Based on the 1.3-liter engine, this power unit, under development since 1933, had originally been intended to power the rear-engined model from as early as 1935. The increased displacement, achieved by increasing the bore and stroke, was performed to increase the torque. The body of the 170 H, had harmonious and balanced lines than its predecessor, the 130H, and received the general approval.

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MERCEDES BENZ Typ 130, 150 and 170 H Typ 130 W23
MERCEDES BENZ Typ 130, 150 and 170 H Typ 130 W23 1934 1936
1934 1936

Designed by Ferdinand Porsche during his days at Daimler-Benz AG, this small buggy was he first Beetle prototype.
Unveiled at the Berlin Car Show in February 1934, this small car was quick at making an impression but failed to register high sales due its rear engine layout which made it highly unbalanced with 75% of its mass supported by the rear axle. The uneven weight distribution combined with a rear-wheel drive made the car particularly difficult to handle. Despite this setback, the small coupe was powerful enough for a car in its class thanks to its straight 4-cylinder 1.3L petrol unit capable of 26 hp and a top speed of 57 mph (92 kmh).

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MERCEDES BENZ Typ 130, 150 and 170 H Typ 150 Sport Roadster W30
MERCEDES BENZ Typ 130, 150 and 170 H Typ 150 Sport Roadster W30 1934 1936
1934 1936

In the late ’20s, new ideas emerged for automotive design.
Three of them were more important than the others: independent rear suspension, mid-engine cars, and streamlined bodies.

The 150 (W30) was developed as a sport-coupe for racing. But the standard names for that era was “sports saloon”. Its closed body was somehow weird looking for the era, with two headlights and one, middle, projector. The sloped rear end had a special purpose: it hosted the engine. Unlike other cars from its era, the 150 used a mid-engine concept, with the engine and transmission fore and aft of the rear axle, respectively.

The engine was based on a 1.3-liter air-cooled unit, but with an increased displacement up to 1.5-liter. It delivered 55 hp, which was a lot for that era. To gain that output, a double-barrel carburetor was installed and it had overhead camshafts. All of these technological updates paid-off when the 150 sports saloon won four gold medals at the 2000-kilometer (1200 miles) endurance race across Germany in July 1934. The greatest sports saloon’s triumph was achieved at the end of 1934 when it led the race between Rome and Pisa on the famous Liege-Rome-Liege Rally.

At the end of 1934, the competition vehicle served as the basis for developing the 150 sports roadster (W 130), but the atypical styling for a Mercedes-Benz vehicle did not make it into production.

Full Description and Technical Specifications

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