Mercedes-Benz 320 (W 142, 1937 bis 1942). Im Bild eine Pullman-Limousine aus dem Jahr 1939.

In February 1937, the International Motor and Motorcycle Show witnessed the launch of the 320, the successor to the 290. At the Berlin show, predecessor and successor stood side-by-side in harmony.

Mercedes-Benz 320 (W 142, 1937 bis 1942). Im Bild eine Pullman-Limousine aus dem Jahr 1939.

The 290 was still in production, at least in the long version, and was still included in the price list. In May 1937, one month after production of the 320 had started, the 290 long was finally phased out.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 Stromlinien-Limousine, "Autobahnkurier", 1938

Its successor was given an enthusiastic reception by customers, mainly on account of its higher power output – even over 60 years ago, the 290’s 68 hp was not found to be wildly excessive.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 Stromlinien-Limousine, "Autobahnkurier", 1938

The 320’s extra 10 hp and 10% greater displacement rebalanced the relationship between power and weight, something that had been lacking in the otherwise extremely harmonious predecessor model.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 Stromlinien-Limousine, "Autobahnkurier", 1938

Increasing the power output to 78 hp had called for extensive modifications to the 2.9-litre engine. While the stroke remained unchanged, the bore was widened from 78 mm to 82.5 mm, which increased the displacement to 3208 cc.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Pullman-Limousine, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

Cylinder heads with different compressions were available, depending on whether the engine ran on petrol only or a petrol/benzole mixture.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320n, 78 PS, Kombinations-Coupe, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1938.

The crankshaft was provided with 12 counterweights in an effort to improve the refinement of the engine. Mixture preparation was by means of a Solex dual downdraft carburettor, which replaced the updraft carburettor in the predecessor model.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320n, 78 PS, Kombinations-Coupe, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1938.

The new 3.2‑litre six-cylinder engine was given the in-house design code M 142. Instead of its predecessor’s overdrive transmission, the 320 came with a normal four-speed transmission with direct-drive fourth gear.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320n, 78 PS, Kombinations-Coupe, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1938.

The chassis and suspension were broadly the same as in the 290. Consequently, the 320, too, was available in a choice of two different wheelbases.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320n, 78 PS, Kombinations-Coupe, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1938.

Just as with the 200 and 230 mid-size models, Mercedes-Benz’s luxury-class offering also experienced a discernible shift of customer interest from short to long-wheelbase variants.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 Pullman-Limousine ( ohne Außenkoffer ) aus dem Jahre 1937.

This trend was reflected in how the two variants were named. As already with the 230, the long version of the 320 was given the simple model designation without an additional letter, while the shorter-wheelbase variants of both models were distinguished by an appended “N” in upper or lower case.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Pullman-Cabriolet F, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

The main externally visible differences between the 320 and the broadly similar 290 were the slightly less weighty bumpers, which now sported horns, and the modified look of the radiator.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Cabriolet D, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

Somewhat smaller in diameter, the headlamps were enclosed inside more spherical housings, which were attached directly to the wing on cast legs. This dispensed with the need for the striking, chrome-plated transverse rod in front of the radiator.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Cabriolet D, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

With its abundant choice of bodies, the 320 (with 3300 mm wheelbase) was every bit the equal of its predecessor.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Cabriolet D, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

The line-up comprised the five-seater saloon and seven-seater pullman saloon, both optionally available with sliding roof, the saloon with streamlined body, Convertibles A, B, D and F, the open tourer, the two-/three‑s eater roadster and, last but not least, the chassis-only version.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Cabriolet D, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

The Convertible A came with three wipers on account of its wide, flat windscreen. A special feature common to both the convertible B and the saloon with streamlined body was their split, wedge-shaped windscreen.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Cabriolet D, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

The range of bodies for the 320 N was significantly reduced in comparison with the predecessor model: apart from the chassis-only version, the choice now included just a two-/three-seater convertible A and an extremely similar, likewise two-/three-seater combination coupé, which, in today’s terms, was nothing other than a convertible with removable hardtop.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 Pullman-Limousine mit Außenkoffer, 1939

This meant that the short version became the sporty-elegant variant of the model series, similar to the Mannheim 370 S six years previously.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Limousine, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

Despite the highly pleasing lines of its bodies, the 320 N apparently failed to live up to expectations and was no longer included in the price list of February 1939.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Cabriolet B, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

In early 1939, the variants with the 3300 mm wheelbase underwent modification. The engine displacement was increased to 3405 cc by adding 2.5 mm to the bore, mainly to avoid having to reduce the power output in view of a deterioration in petrol quality.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Cabriolet B, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

Notwithstanding these changes, the model designation 320 as well as the design codes W 142 and M 142 were retained. In view of the growing use of autobahns, the 320 was provided as standard with an additional ZF cruising gear.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Cabriolet B, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

This consisted of a planetary gear behind the normal four-speed transmission, which reduced the engine speed by 25%. This autobahn cruising gear was engaged using a separate lever.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Cabriolet B, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

At the same time, a cooling water remote thermometer was added to the standard equipment package. There were also innovations on the body front: the saloon with streamlined body was dropped, and the pullman saloon was provided with a so-called “add-on trunk” instead of the integrated luggage rack.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 n Kombinations-Coupé und Mercedes-Benz Typ CLK 230 Kompressor.

The add-on trunk was a permanently mounted luggage compartment organically joined to the rear wall of the body. The Convertible D featured a slightly revised design with a wedge-shaped, split windscreen.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 n Kombinations-Coupé der Baureihe 142, Mercedes-Benz Typ CLK 230 Kompressor der Baureihe 208

From 1938, the 320 was also available in the form of a bucket seat Kübelwagen for the Wehrmacht, initially – like its predecessor – with a short wheelbase and later with the long 3300 mm wheelbase.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 n Kombinations-Coupé der Baureihe 142

Also after 1938, the Kübelwagen came with the standard four-speed transmission without cruising gear. Owing to the particular area of application of this variant and to compensate for the 20‑inch wheels with off-road tyres, the first two gears and the final drive were significantly lower-geared than on the standard production vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 n Kombinations-Coupé der Baureihe 142

Some of the last engines to be installed in Kübelwagen had a specified power output of 80 hp.

Despite growing competition between 1937 and 1940, the 320 was able to maintain its position in the market segment for large comfortable touring cars.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 n Kombinations-Coupé der Baureihe 142

It was only the war that prevented further sales successes and higher production volumes. The 320 was produced at the Daimler-Benz parent plants in Mannheim and Untertürkheim.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 280 SE 3,5 Coupe, W111 E35 I, Mercedes-Benz Typ 300 Sc Coupe, W188, Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 n Kombi- Coupe, W142-I

The last 320 vehicles rolled off the assembly line in Mannheim in September 1939, while production in Untertürkheim continued until November 1942. A total of 6861 vehicles were built, 1764 of them being in the form of Kübelwagen.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Pullman-Cabriolet F, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 n Kombinations-Coupè,1937

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320n, 78 PS, Kombinations-Coupe, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1938.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320n, 78 PS, Kombinationswagen, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1938.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320n, 78 PS, Kombinationswagen, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1938.

Merdeces-Benz Typ 320, 1937

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 Offener Tourenwagen, 1937

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320, 78 PS, Cabriolet D, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1942.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320n, 78 PS, Kombinations-Coupe, Bauzeit: 1937 bis 1938.

Mercedes-Benz Typ 320 Pullman-Limousine, 1938

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