In February 1937 Mercedes Benz launched the first two, of an eventual four, variations of the W142 Typ 320, that replaced the W18 Typ 290, with either 2,880 mm / 113″ or 3300 mm / 130″ chassis both of which remained in production from 1937 to 1938.
The new models were powered by enlarged 77hp 3,208 cc / 195 cui six cylinder side-valve engines that were fitted with manual all synchromesh 4 speed gearboxes.
As with the W18’s W142 were fitted with numerous Cabriolet options the long wheel base chassis cabriolet options included 2 door 3seat Cabriolet A, 2 door 4 seat Cabriolet B as seen in these photographs, 4 door 4 seat Cabriolet D and four-door 6-seat with three rows of seats Pullman-Cabriolet F.
With a top speed of 81 mph the W142’s had hydraulic brakes on all four wheels to slow then down and made use of the same suspension as the W18, transverse leaf and coil springs on the front and swing axles at the back.
The third W142 variant manufactured from 1938 to 1940 was for military use with 4 front hinged door, a canvass roof and off road tyres that reduced the top speed of the vehicle to 73 mph.
The final variant of the W142 built from 1938 to 1942 was powered by a motor enlarged to 3,405 cc / 207 cui, the power output remained the same thanks to a reduced compression ratio in anticipation of the increased use of fuel synthesized from coal which had a lower octane rating than the fuel refined from oil.
The military W142/III was also fitted with the larger engine in 1939 but tuned to give 79hp in order that the top speed remained at 73 mph.
4,326 of the W142’s were built with the smaller engine and 885 with the larger engine, additionally 1,806 military variants were built.
My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing these photographs of the 1937 320 Cabriolet B belonging to Mercedes Benz Classic Center taken at Dana Point Concours d’Elegance a couple of years ago.
Thanks for joining me on this “2 Door 4 Seat” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a three seat Talbot. Don’t forget to come back now !