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11
Mercedes-Benz Model 170

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This was one of the most eye catching vehicles at the 2013 WWII Weekend in Reading PA; painted in gloss black and chrome, and it really shined in the sunlight.

I talked with a member of the re-enactment group that knew the cars history. I quote, "This car was started in or around 1942 and was on the factory floor when the factory was bombed and destroyed. After WWII It was one of many cars salvaged and finished using parts found in the factory, for use in the reconstruction of Germany. This car spent many years in service as a police car. Then it was in private hands when it was eventually restored and painted to represent a German Staff Car. There are supposed to be less than 100 of these cars left."

From my own research I have discovered that this was most likely a version of the Mercedes-Benz 170 Da OTP (Open Tourer Police) built as a special model from 1951 to 1952. A photo of which I have added into the Walk Around at the end. If so its Model designation would have been Model 170 S Police Patrol Car, and its internal factory designation would have been W 136 IV.

After WWII the post war circumstances were so bad it was impossible even to consider the development of new models. So when automobile production resumed in 1946 the Stuttgart brand fell back on the 170 V (W 136), a vehicle it had built from 1936 to 1942. The first vehicles to come off the assembly line were delivery vehicles, along with ambulances and police patrol cars. These vehicles were urgently needed for Germany's reconstruction effort.

In May 1946 the first vehicle, a pickup truck, left final assembly, In June the first panel van followed, and in September and October Mercedes-Benz introduced an ambulance and a police patrol car based on the 170 V model. The bodies of these model variants were still relatively simple constructions owing to difficult production circumstances during the post-war period. In total, the first year of production saw assembly of 214 vehicles; by 1947 this figure had risen to 1,045.

My reason for considering that this had to be a later production car is from a bit of information I found on the net. "As early as May 1950, Mercedes-Benz updated the design of the 170 V and 170 D models. Both got uprated engines through enlargement of the displacement to just under 1.8 litres. Telescopic shock absorbers, an enlarged rear axle track width and more powerful brakes improved handling. And both models were given larger seats, a wider passenger compartment and a boot that could be accessed from outside."

In researching Photos of Model 170's built before 1945 I can see no hinges or latches on the rear bonnet of these cars. On the photos of the rear of this car you can clearly see the hinges on the bottom and latches at the top. So in conclusion, although this car is nearly identical to a WWII version, and looks great in Black and Chrome, I am pretty sure it was one of the post war cars built between 1949 and 1952. In 1952 the Model change gave the 170 a steering column gearshift, and the boot lid hinges had been moved under the skin.

Part of this report comes from the person I spoke to and a lot from my own Internet research, (from various antique and history automotive websites. If anything is wrong or inaccurate, feel free to offer up new information.
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About the Author

About Delbert (Delbert)
FROM: PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES

I'm 47. I've been model building since Dec 2001 and I build everything from wingy things to ground hugger's. esp WWII era. also built a car or two. Some people think my stuff isn't too bad.


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