The Mercedes-Benz Typ 170 was a ground-breaking new model for Mercedes-Benz, launching it into the compact sector of the automobile market at its launch in 1931. The new model was available in limousine, roadster, and touring styles, in addition to four-seat cabriolets in three different variations as per the larger supercharged 500 and 540 ’K’ models of the era. The Typ 170 was a technologically advanced wheeled diorama sporting a straight 6-cylinder petrol unit.
With a power output of 32bhp, the car may not have been very fast but it was certainly a usable car that set itself apart through its choice of suspension and braking systems. Having made use of the latest in automotive technology, the 170 was launched with an independent rear suspension comprising a swing axle mated to coil springs. Four wheel hydraulic brakes swiftly brought the car to a stop while central lubrication kept the chassis in excellent condition.
The Roadster, perhaps the most endearing of all 170 body styles, was styled in a similar manner to that of the factory roadster bodies found on some Type 40 and Type 44 Bugatti’s. The Mercedes-Benz 170 is not generally regarded as a sports model, however these delightful roadsters imbue a sporty feel good factor which is hard to match.
Manufactured in 1934, incredibly this is one of three such vehicles, and the only known surviving example. Hidden away during the European conflict of the 1940’s, after the end of the Second World War the Mercedes-Benz was acquired by a US army captain named Jack Preston stationed in Western Germany. He later shipped the Roadster back to Texas upon his return to the United States where he kept the little Mercedes for a number of years. In 2007 the car returned to Europe and was restored to truly concours standard by a specialist Mercedes restorer. Since completion the 170V travelled back to the US, this time under the illustrious guise of the annual Pebble Beach Concours. Our Roadster was invited and subsequently placed a very credible 3rd in class, a fine achievement given its illustrious competition on the day.
Now offered from its European owner, the 170V is offered with interesting artifacts such as older period family photos from before Captain Preston’s ownership in the 1950’s, older German registration documents and period sales orders. All in all a fascinating little car with an interesting history and impeccable credentials.
Estimate: Refer Department
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