The Private Collection

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1950 Mercedes-Benz 170 S Cabriolet A

1950 Mercedes-Benz 170 S Cabriolet

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Part of our private collection

Chassis No. 136.042.06092

Body No. 181.130.0153

Following the devastation of WWII, Daimler-Benz was a mere shadow of its former operation. The company was initially permitted to build only such vehicles as might be of direct benefit to the nation’s social and economic recovery. Private cars did not fit into that category, and thus its first post-war models were delivery vans, pickup trucks and ambulances based on the pre-war 170V. By May 1947, Daimler-Benz was once again permitted to build cars, most of which were ordinary 170V saloons. 1949 saw the introduction of the 170S which was which longer and wider than the lesser model from which it was derived.

The added luxury meant additional weight so M-B upsized and modified the engine to 1767cc and 52hp, a 37% increase in power. The chassis, too, was revised to include wider tires on smaller 15-inch wheels and a front suspension that now included wishbones and coil springs similar in design to the 1937-39 Grand Prix cars. The swing-axle rear suspension was fitted with angled telescopic shock absorbers and the track widened. Beginning in 1949, coupe and cabriolet versions of the 170S were introduced including the 4/5-passenger Cabriolet B, and the smaller and much prettier Cabriolet A, which used chrome to brighten its appearance. At more than one and one-half times the price of the 170S saloon, the Cabriolet A found few buyers. Both it and the Cabriolet B were withdrawn from production late in 1951.

170S Cabriolets such as this example are rarely seen. In both Cabriolet A and Cabriolet B configurations, just 2,433 were produced over three years, including 1,686 in 1950. These models set the standard for Mercedes-Benz renowned interior comfort and equipped with a synchromesh 4-speed manual gearbox, they are both easy and fun to drive. The handsome automobile has prominent front-end styling with a nod to pre-war design in its tall grille and free-standing headlights; yet the remainder of the car presages the forthcoming 300S Cabriolet. This resemblance to the 300, albeit in scaled-down form, is what prompted legendary collector, the late-Paul Andrews, at one time to include this car in his collection.

Finished in a classic combination of Black with a black cabriolet roof over a red leather interior, this lovely Cabriolet A is believed to have been restored with the last decade. The restoration exhibits high quality in both its fit and finish and the chassis number and adjacent chassis tag are both clearly visible. The engine bay is clean, well-presented and nicely detailed. Inside you’ll find clear, crips gauges, a Becker radio, and lovely wood details with chrome accents appropriate for an up-level German car of this vintage. The trunk, too, is nicely finished and supplied with matching fitted three-piece luggage. A correct full-size spare tire and car cover are also included.

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Vehicle Highlights

  • Formerly owned by legendary collector Paul Andrews of Texas
  • One of only 1,686 Cabriolet A and B models produced for 1950
  • A wonderful counterpoint to its big brother, the 300S
  • Black cabriolet roof over red leather
  • Includes three-piece matching and fitted luggage

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