1. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  2. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  3. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  4. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  5. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  6. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  7. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  8. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  9. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  10. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  11. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  12. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  13. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  14. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  15. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  16. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  17. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  18. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  19. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  20. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  21. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  22. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  23. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  24. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  25. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  26. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  27. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  28. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  29. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

  30. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet

Lot Number
13
1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet
Scottsdale Auction

ESTIMATE: $500,000 - $600,000
CHASSIS NO: 191150
• Recently shown at top concours events including Amelia Island and Pinehurst
• One of the finest prewar Mercedes-Benz models
• Striking presentation, elegant color combination, and wonderful details
• Restored in Europe by specialists during the late 2000s
• Includes restored VDO instruments, period Philips Euro-band radio, dual spares

3,208 cc L-head inline six-cylinder engine, Solex two-barrel downdraft carburetor, 78 HP at 4,000 RPM, synchronized four-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 3,300 mm (130”)


World-renowned as an engineering juggernaut with top talent and the considerable might of the German government behind it, Mercedes-Benz produced a wide model range during the 1930s consisting of virtually every vehicle type, from taxi cabs and commercial trucks all the way up to ultra-luxurious touring sporting cars, designed and built to exceptional standards. In early 1937, Mercedes launched the 320 to succeed the 290 series, advertised by the factory as “Ein Spitzenerzeugnis seiner Klasse!” or “A Top Product in its Class!” Internally designated ‘W142’, the 320 featured an improved and enlarged 3,208 cc side valve inline ‘six’ producing approximately 80 HP, mated to a fully-synchronized four-speed manual gearbox – virtually unheard of at the time. The chassis was an improved development of the outgoing 290, featuring a rear swing axle and solid front axle, with stopping via modern hydraulic-type drum brakes all around. Engineering virtues aside, what truly set the new 320 apart was the new, beautifully styled bodywork, clearly echoing the coachwork of the stunning 500 and 540K, replete with sweeping front fenders and a raked radiator shell in the style of its larger sibling. While positioned below the 540 and ultra-exclusive 770, the 320 was nonetheless a highly prestigious and expensive motorcar preferred by businessmen and high-ranking government and military officials. Just 6,861 were produced 1937-1942.

This 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320, chassis number 191150, is a beautiful example of the celebrated W142 line, featuring a robust 3.2-litre powerplant and a sporting, yet dignified, two-door Cabriolet body with two front seats, an occasional third seat at the rear, and twin spare wheel-and-tire assemblies, stacked and neatly mounted atop the rear decklid. Stylish and imposing, the 320 and particularly its Cabriolet variants had few peers on either side of the Atlantic as one of the finest open touring cars of the immediate prewar era, affording their fortunate owners premium style and specifications with excellent value. Finished in excellent colors, this handsome 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320’s earliest history remains unknown, due to the devastation suffered by the company’s Mannheim works during wartime. According to prior published accounts, the Mercedes is understood to have been confiscated during or after WW II, presumably for military purposes. By the 1960s, it was with a private owner in the United States, and it is believed he eventually sold the vehicle to a European businessman during the mid-1980s. In 2007, it was returned to its native Germany and then given a high-quality, frame-off restoration by Mercedes-Benz specialist with particular attention paid the chassis, body, and underlying wood framing. Accents include striking restored brightwork and new grey leather upholstery, fitted to the highest standards. In addition, the engine was refurbished, as was the electrical system, which was completely restored including new cables and connectors. The interior compartment is simply a visual delight, featuring a Philips European-band radio, restored VDO instruments, a beautiful mother-of-pearl inlaid instrument panel, highly polished dashboard wood, and restored door caps. An East Coast collector specializing in fine European cars acquired the car in 2014 and subsequently showed it on the concours lawn at Amelia Island and Pinehurst. Offered in wonderful condition, this 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet restored example of one of the best prewar open cars from Mercedes-Benz.

1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet
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