Mercedes-Benz 380 (1933)

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Mercedes-Benz W22
1934 Mercedes-Benz 380K, 140hp 3800cc 155kmh photo-3.JPG
Mercedes-Benz 380 "Cabriolet C" (1934)
Overview
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Also called Mercedes-Benz Typ 380
Mercedes-Benz 15/90 PS
Mercedes-Benz 15/120 PS
Mercedes-Benz 15/140 PS
Production 1933–1934
154 units
Assembly Stuttgart, Germany
Body and chassis
Class Large luxury car
Body style Torpedo bodied 2 door “Tourenwagen”
4 door "Limousine" (sedan/saloon)
Roadster
2 door Cabriolets (various)
Also listed in bare chassis form
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine 3,820cc Inline-eight engine
without or with "Kompressor" (Supercharger)
90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp), 120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) or 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp)
Dimensions
Wheelbase 3,140 mm (124 in)
Length 4,690 mm (185 in)
Width 1,730 mm (68 in)
Height 1,620 mm (64 in)

The Mercedes-Benz Typ 380 is an eight cylinder powered automobile introduced by the German manufacturer Mercedes-Benz at the Berlin Motor Show in February 1933.[1] It was withdrawn from production during 1934.[2] Several models with similar names were produced by Mercedes-Benz during the 1930s (and again in the 1980s), so that in retrospect the car is frequently identified using the manufacturer's Works Number as the Mercedes-Benz W22. (The car is sometimes referred to as the Mercedes-Benz Typ 380 K, presumably because of the "Kompressor" (Supercharger) fitted on the faster cars, but this designation was never officially used by the manufacturer.[3])

In 1933, the Mercedes-Benz 380 sports tourer was one of the most advanced cars on the market, and was duly admired although in the end, with only 154 produced over two years, it proved in some respects a resounding failure.[4]

Engines[edit]

The engines started out as the 3,820cc straight-eight from the car's predecessor, but the side-valves in the earlier car were now replaced by overhead valves. A new "Mercedes-Benz twin carburetor" was also fitted. More newsworthy was the availability of a "Kompressor" (Supercharger) which instantly established the car's credentials as technologically advanced and which with the benefit of hindsight applied an approach which became mainstream in the auto-industry only half a century later.[5]

The least powerful version carried the engine code "M22". It came without a compressor and provided a listed maximum output of 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) at 3,200 rpm. This supported a claimed top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph).[6]

Adding a "Kompressor" raised the maximum output to 120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) at 3,400 rpm. The listed top speed with this engine was 130 km/h (81 mph).[7]

The car was also available with an "Integrated Kompressor" (mit integriertem Kompressor) which changed the engine code to "M22K" and further raised the maximum power to 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp), now at at 3,600 rpm. Top speed was 135 km/h (84 mph) or 145 km/h (90 mph) according to the final drive ratio fitted.

There is also mention of a version with total cylinder capacity bored out to 4019cc and maximum output raised, using an "integrated Kompressor", to 144 PS (106 kW; 142 hp), with performance further enhanced.

Running gear[edit]

This was the first Mercedes-Benz to use an independent suspension setup, with a double wishbone front axle, double-joint swing axle at the rear, and separate wheel location, coil springs and damping.[8]

The W22 series had a four-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh on the top two ratios.[9] The brakes operated on all four wheels via a hydraulic control mechanism.[10] The headlights were manufactured by Carl Zeiss and sit each side of the radiator grille, set behind the chrome Rudge Whitworth wire wheels.

Bodies[edit]

In bare chassis form the listed price of the W22 was 13,000 Marks and many buyers will have chosen to buy a car body separately from a bespoke coach builder. Cars using any one of the six standard Mercedes-Benz bodies were all listed at 19,500 Marks. A four door "Limousine" (sedan/saloon) body was offered along with a traditional Torpedo bodied 2 door “Tourenwagen”. There was a "Sport-Roadster" and three different cabriolet bodied cars, designated the "Cabriolet A", the "Cabriolet B" and the "Cabriolet C". The principal differences involved the number of seats (2 or 4) and the number of side windows (2 or 4).[11]

Commercial[edit]

The Mercedes-Benz W22 was widely admired for its advanced high performance engine, for its sophisticated independent suspension and for the stylish elegance of the bodies. Its handling characteristics were infinitely superior to those of high powered cars from competitor manufacturers who were still using rigid axle based suspension configurations. However, this led to calls for still more raw speed, and in 1934 the Typ 380/W22 was replaced by the Typ 500K/W29 a slightly larger car with a significantly larger engine and, where a "Kompressor" was specified, 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) of power.[12] After less than two years, production of the Typ 380 ceased, with 154 built.[13][14] Just seven were lightweight, open, two-seat sporting roadsters bodied by Mercedes-Benz’s own Sindelfingen coachworks.

Models[edit]

  • 380
  • 380S
  • 380SS
  • 380SSK
  • 380SSKL
  • 380K "Kompressor"
  • 380 Roadster

References[edit]

  • Werner Oswald: Mercedes-Benz Personenwagen 1886–1986, Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3613011336
  • Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1920-1945, Band (vol) 2 (in German). Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02170-6. 
  1. ^ Oswald, p 246
  2. ^ Oswald, pp 246 & 247
  3. ^ Oswald, pp 246 & 247
  4. ^ Oswald, p 246: "Auf der Berliner Automobil-Ausstellung im Februar gab dann Daimler den Typ 380 der allgemeinen Bewunderung preis. Er wurde auch gebührend bestaunt, erwies sich aber schließlich als ein eklatanter Mißerfolg."
  5. ^ Oswald, pp 246 & 247
  6. ^ Oswald, p 247
  7. ^ Oswald, p 247
  8. ^ "Mercedes-Benz 380 K, 500 K & 540 K". Seriouswheels.com. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  9. ^ Oswald, p 247
  10. ^ Oswald, p 247
  11. ^ Oswald, pp 246 & 247
  12. ^ Oswald, pp 246 & 266
  13. ^ Oswald, pp 246 & 247
  14. ^ "Gunter Sachs Mercedes-Benz 380 Roadster On Sale". Driving Dutchman. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2011-09-18.