8-9 September 2013

Mercedes Collection

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Lot 104

1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet B

  • Chassis no. 408185

Sold for £87,360

78 hp, 3,208 cc, L-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,300 mm

Although Mercedes’ 170-series W136 cars were the most popular in the years leading up to World War II, a larger six-cylinder companion, designated W142, was launched in 1937. As a successor to the W18 Type 290 cars from 1933–1937, it shared the earlier car’s 2,880-millimetre wheelbase in its standard version, but longer overhang, both in the front and rear, gave it substantially greater overall length. Both two- and three-passenger cabriolet A and coupé bodies were offered.

The engine was enlarged to a 3,208-cubic centimetre side-valve six and teamed with an all-synchro four-speed gearbox, which was unusual for its time. The suspension, carried over from the W18, was independent on all wheels, and it utilised a transverse leaf in the front, which was augmented by coils at the wheels, and swing axles in the rear. A longer, 3,300-millimetre wheelbase was available as the W142/II, and it offered additional body styles, including limousines in several configurations, a 2+2 roadster, and cabriolets B and D, which were four-seaters with two and four doors, respectively.

This handsome Cabriolet B presents well in beige and brown, although close inspection shows some stress cracking to the paint from age. The brown leather interior, however, is like new and shows no wear. It is nicely set off by tan carpeting with brown piping, and the wood instrument panel and window mouldings are lacquered to a high gloss. The boot is unfinished, although brackets have been installed for shelving to better accommodate rectangular luggage. The hood is tan canvas, which exhibits light soiling in places, but the top boots, of both leather and canvas, are also included with the car. Dual side-mount spares rest in the wings and are fitted with mirrors. Trafficators have been installed on the forward door posts, and a central driving light is flanked by dual horns.

The engine compartment and undercarriage are both fully functional, but they are of driver quality and have not been detailed. Similarly, the tyres are older and their whitewalls have yellowed. With the correct vision and a modest amount of detailing, this example will be a stunning asset in any collection.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more