Mecedes Benz W136 170V Convertible B

Car producer : 

Mecedes Benz

Model:

W136 170V Convertible B

Year:

1936-1942

Type:

Cabriolet



The Mercedes-Benz W136 was Mercedes-Benz's line of inline-four cylinder automobiles from the mid-1930s into the 1950s. The model 170 V made its public debut as successor to the W15 Typ 170 in February 1936. Between 1936 and 1939 it was Mercedes' top selling model.

Between 1936 and 1942 over 75,000 were built making it by far the most popular Mercedes-Benz model up till that point.

Enough of the W136's tooling survived Allied bombing during World War II (or could be recreated post-war) for it to serve as the foundation upon which the company could rebuild. By 1947 the model 170 V had resumed its place as Mercedes' top-seller, a position it held until 1953.

The "V" in the 170 V's was an abbreviation of "Vorn" (front), added to differentiate it from the contemporary rear-engined Mercedes-Benz 170H (W28) ("H" for "Heck", rear) which used the same four cylinder 1697cc engine, but positioned at the back of the car.

The 1.7 liter four cylinder rear wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz 170 V (W136) was introduced in 1936 to replace the 1.7 liter six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz 170 (W15). Despite their similar engine capacities, the new car's side-valve M136 was more powerful. The manual transmission was four speed synchromesh (having been upgraded from syncromesh in only the top two ratios in 1940). Claimed maximum power was 38 PS (28 kW; 37hp) at 3,400 RPM at an initial compression ratio of 6:1. Mileage was 10 litres per 100 kilometers (28 mpg-imp; 24 mpg-US). The engine was attached using just two mountings and set the standard for smoothness for four-cylinder motors.

Most of the cars produced, and an even higher proportion of those that survive, were two or four door "Limousine" (saloon/sedan bodied cars, but the range of different body types offered in the 1930s for the 170 V was unusually broad. A four-door "Cabrio-Limousine" combined the four doors of the four door "Limousine" with a full length foldaway canvas roof.

Both the four door bodies were also available adapted for taxi work, with large luggage racks at the back. There was a two door two seater "Cabriolet A" and a two door four seater "Cabriolet B" both with luggage storage behind the seats and beneath the storage location of the hood when folded (but without any external lid for accessing the luggage from outside the car). A common feature of the 170 V bodies was external storage of the spare wheel on the car's rear panel.

The two seater roadster featured a large flap behind the two seats with a thinly upholstered rear partition, and which could be used either as substantial luggage platform or as a very uncomfortable bench - the so-called mother-in-law's seat.

In addition to the wide range of passenger far bodied 170 Vs, a small commercial variant was offered, either as a flatbed truck or with a box-body on the back. Special versions of the 170 V were offered, adapted for use as ambulances or by the police, mountain rescue services and military.

During the war the Mercedes-Benz plant suffered very severe bomb damage, but the manufacturer nevertheless emerged from the trauma of war with a significant competitive advantage over many of its pre-war competitors. Manufacturers including Adler, BMW and Ford in Germany had been heavily dependent for the supply of steel car bodies on Ambi-Budd whose Berlin plant was destroyed by bombing in 1943: its site now ended up in the Soviet occupation zone (subsequently East Germany). The manufacturing plants of Horch, Wanderer and BMW were located in what in July 1945 became the Soviet controlled part of Germany. None of these manufacturers could resume volume production without first finding a way to obtain and fund a source of steel car bodies and access to a suitable plant for auto-assembly. Mercedes-Benz, however, retained ownership of and access to its car plant.

Production restarted in May 1946. The vehicles produced were versions of the 170 V, but in 1946 only 214 vehicles were produced and they were all light trucks or ambulances. Passenger car production resumed in July 1947, but volumes were still very low, with just 1,045 170 Vs produced that year. There was no return for the various open topped models from the 1930s. Customers for a Mercedes-Benz 170 V passenger car were restricted to the four door "Limousine" sedan/saloon bodied car.

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