1942 Mercedes 320 Cabriolet B: Iconic Elegance Reborn

1942 Mercedes 320 Cabriolet B: Iconic Elegance Reborn

Engine Inline-6Horsepower 80 hpTorque 150 lb-ft Engine LocationFrontDrive Type RWDRWDWeight 1,800 kg | 3,968 lbsTransmission 4-speed manual

In the late 1930s, a time when elegance and power seamlessly merged, automobiles emerged as symbols of sophistication and style. Amidst this era, the Mercedes 320 Cabriolet B shone as a true masterpiece, leaving an indelible mark on the illustrious journey of the renowned brand. This car held immense significance for the brand, as it represented a pivotal juncture. The brand harbored ambitions of solidifying its position among the automotive elite. In this pursuit, the model served as a guiding light, propelling the brand toward a realm of extraordinary accomplishments.

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In 1937, additionally, as Mercedes-Benz bid farewell to the aging 290 model, a new era was ushered in with the introduction of the more powerful and versatile 320th. This welcomed change brought forth a range of exciting possibilities for customers, offering enhanced performance and an expanded selection of body styles. Furthermore, staying true to its predecessor, the 320 came in two-wheelbase options and boasted a variety of shapes to cater to individual preferences. For those seeking the bespoke touch, Mercedes-Benz provided the option of purchasing the car as a chassis, allowing custom coach-builders to work their magic. Moreover, among the impressive lineup of in-house creations, the Cabriolet B emerged as one of the standout convertible versions. However, even though the 320 maintained the lineage, there were significant improvements. For instance, the car featured advanced engineering that set it apart from the older model. On the other hand, while it embraced modernity, it didn’t compromise on the brand’s heritage of luxury. In comparison, the 320 shared some similarities with its predecessor. Likewise, it continued the tradition of offering diverse options for customers to personalize their cars. Similarly, it incorporated cutting-edge technologies, yet it didn’t forsake the elegance and attention to detail that was integral to the brand’s ethos. Consequently, the 320 Cabriolet B stood as a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation and refinement. Therefore, it holds a special place in the history of automobiles, ultimately contributing to Mercedes-Benz’s lasting legacy.

The origins

Source: www.rmw.lv

The brand introduced the W 142 series in 1937 to address the gap in the upper-middle-class segment. It competed with vehicles like the Opel Admiral and Ford’s 3.6-liter V8. The 320 came with two wheelbase options: short and regular. The short version offered a bare chassis, Cabriolet, or Combination coupé, while the long-wheelbase variant included cabriolets and saloons with various body styles. To enhance performance, significant modifications were made to the 320 compared to its predecessor, the 290. The engine underwent an upgrade to a 3.2-liter inline-six with a larger bore and a dual downdraught carburetor, resulting in a 10-horsepower increase. The suspension also received a revamp, delivering improved driving comfort and handling.

In 1939, the 320 saw a revised version, featuring a 3.4-liter engine adapted for lower-quality fuel due to Germany’s shift to coal liquefaction, which had lower octane ratings. The model served the German Army during World War II as a “Wehrmachtskübelwagen,” manufactured between 1937 and 1942. Throughout its production years, the W 142 series displayed its versatility and adaptability through various body styles, making its mark in automotive history. Production of the car concluded in 1942, yielding a total of 6,861 vehicles manufactured, including 1,764 for the German Army.

The 1942 model year

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The iconic luxury convertible concluded its production with the 1942 version due to the ongoing global conflict. Although it shared numerous similarities with its predecessor, the 1942 edition showcased various significant changes and distinctions. The exterior maintained the elegant and graceful design of the Mercedes 320 Cabriolet B, featuring the characteristic 3.3-meter (130-inch) long wheelbase. The beautifully arched fenders seamlessly flowed from the long hood, which was adorned with side-mounted spare wheels, emanating a sense of sophistication and timeless charm. The headlights resided between the fenders and the engine compartment, eliminating the need for a front grille bar seen in prior models. At the back, the locking trunk offered practicality and security for safely stowing belongings during journeys.

Inside the cabin, the 1942 version continued to provide a luxurious and comfortable driving experience. The front seats accommodated two occupants, while the rear had a bench seat for additional passengers. The instrument panel maintained its coolant temperature gauge, with the three dials remaining centrally positioned on the dashboard for easy monitoring and control. The cabin exuded refinement, showcasing high-quality materials, meticulous craftsmanship, and attention to detail. Enhancing the overall luxurious ambiance was the large, four-spoke steering wheel.

In terms of technical specifications, the 1942 edition featured a robust inline-six engine. However, due to challenging circumstances at the time, resource availability and fuel constraints influenced the vehicle’s technical aspects. The exact engine specifications for the 1942 model year might have varied, with adjustments made to suit changing conditions. These adjustments could encompass alterations to displacement, power output, or fuel efficiency. The transmission remained a 4-speed manual, ensuring smooth and precise gear shifts.

While the 1942 model shared many resemblances with its predecessor, it likely differed subtly to adapt to challenges posed by the ongoing conflict. These differences might encompass modifications to enhance fuel-efficiency, adjustments to adhere to evolving regulations, or changes in available features and options. The 1942 edition marked the pinnacle of a remarkable lineage, uniting luxurious aesthetics, refined interior craftsmanship, and commendable performance. Despite limitations imposed by tumultuous times, this final iteration continued to embody automotive excellence, leaving an indelible mark on the brand’s heritage.

Did you know?

Source: Automotive Heritage

Like many other civilian vehicles of that time, some 1942 editions of the model were requisitioned for military use during the war. These vehicles were often modified and adapted for military purposes, serving as staff cars or command vehicles for high-ranking officers.

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1942 Mercedes 320 Cabriolet B: Iconic Elegance Reborn

Engine Inline-6Horsepower 80 hpTorque 150 lb-ft Engine LocationFrontDrive Type RWDRWDWeight 1,800 kg | 3,968 lbsTransmission 4-speed manual

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