The Mercedes 170 is a before and after war car of which three variants were made. It had to fill the gap in Mercedes' luxury segment for twenty-four years. The car was released in 1931 and was built in three versions, a saloon, a convertible, and a diesel version, which was groundbreaking for consumer cars. Production ended in 1955, and the successor was already in place, the W120 and W121.
In 1931, the first 170 model was introduced and named the W15. It was a luxurious passenger car that was equipped with hydraulic brakes, which was new at the time. In 1934, the second model in this 170 series was released. It had a rounder design, without being aerodynamic as this was not a thing yet. The typical early-1930s look was left behind.
In 1937, the W136 was introduced at the Berlin Motor Show. The W136 is the 170 model that will be in production for the longest time and will deliver the largest share of 170 models in various variants. The difference between the previous version was the power, the gearbox that now had four gears, and the solid rear axle was replaced by independent suspension. The W136 was equipped with a 1.7L or 1.8L four-cylinder engine with side valves that delivered 38 hp. Over the years, eight variants were designed, including a diesel engine variant. Which is remarkable as passenger cars, at that time, were only driven by gasoline. A convertible was also brought to the market.
The production ended in 1955 and approx. 230,000 W136 models were made in total. It can be regarded as the predecessor of the E-Class as we know it today.
Mercedes 170 DS
The Mercedes 170 DS was built for two years, from 1952 to 1953. DS stands for 'Diesel Sonderausführung', which is German for 'special diesel version'. Despite the name suggesting that this car is equipped with a diesel engine, it runs on gasoline, making it even more special.
The 170 DS is equipped with a 1.8-liter gasoline engine that produces 45 horsepower and a 4-speed manual gearbox. The interior is luxurious in a 1950s style, a classy wooden dashboard and seats offering a level of comfort that no modern car can match. This comfort is also projected in the exterior design, with the elegant bodywork featuring impressive fenders that are inseparable from the charming wheel covers and the playful design.
This car exudes prestige. For that reason and the fact that it serves as a precursor to the E-Class, it is a unique classic car that every collector covets.