Mercedes Benz 1938

(W 28) 170H
(W 136) 170V
(W 143) 230
(W 138) 260D
(W 142) 320, 340
(W 08) 500N
(W 29) 540K
(W 07) 770 - end of prod. in October (1930-38 - 117 ex.)
(W 150 II) 770 - new model
(W 31) G4
(W 152) G5 - new model
(W 149 II) 200V - new model
(W 158) 170VX - prototype - 2 ex.
(W 147) 400V - prototype - 6 ex.
(W 160) 400VM - prototype - 4 ex.
(W 166) 290D - prototype - 18 ex.




(W 28) 170H (R4 cyl, 1697 ccm, 38 PS; wb: 2600 mm)

From 1938, the 170 H has double-acting shock absorbers and the instrument panel is provided with two dials, one for water temperature and the other for oil temperature.



(W 136) 170V (R4 cyl, 1697 ccm, 38 PS; wb: 2845 mm)
(W 136K) 170VK


230 and 260D

(W 143) 230 (R6 cyl, 2229 ccm, 55 PS; wb: 3050 mm)
  Radstand 2700 mm: - end of prod.
  2 Türen Innenlenker (5 Sitze)
  4 Türen Innenlenker (5 Sitze)
  2 Türen Cabriolet C (5 Sitze)
  2 Türen Cabriolet A (3 Sitze)
  Radstand 3050 mm :
  4 Türen Innenlenker (5 Sitze)
  4 Türen Pullman-Limousine (7 Sitze)
  4 Türen Landaulet (7 Sitze)
  2 Türen Cabriolet A (2-3 Sitze)
  2 Türen Cabriolet B (5 Sitze)
  4 Türen Cabriolet D (5 Sitze)
  4 Türen offener Tourenwagen (7 Sitze)
(W 138) 260D (R4 cyl, diesel, 2545 ccm, 45 PS; wb: 3050 mm)

In February the overdrive transmission was replaced by an all-synchromesh four-speed transmission with direct-drive fourth gear. At the same time the 260 D, like the 230, was provided with wider rims and tyres of size 6.00‑16, or 6.50‑16 (on the six-/seven‑seater versions). The rear axle is now fitted with double-acting hydraulic shock absorbers. Another important innovation is the electrically heated glow plug, which made it easier to start the engine from cold. Last but not least, the 1938 model year also saw the introduction of new, rugged-looking bumpers to replace the dainty design of 1936/37.

The short-wheelbase W 143 having failed to establish itself on the market as well as expected, production was end of prod. after just 12 months in December 1937. Nevertheless, the 230 N still featured in the price list of February 1938.

260 D Pullman-Limousine
(Motor und Sport, October 1938)

230 Cabriolet B

230 / 260 D Cabriolet B

230 / 260 D Cabriolet D


320 and 340

(W 142) 320 (R6 cyl, 3208 ccm, 78 PS; wb: 2880 mm)
  • Radstand 2880 mm:
  2 Türen Cabriolet A (2-3 Sitze)
  2 Türen Kombination-coupé (2-3 Sitze)
  • Radstand 3300 mm:
  4 Türen Innenlenker (5 Sitze)
  4 Türen Pullman-Limousine (7 Sitze)
  4 Türen Stromlinien-Innenlenker (5 Sitze)
  2 Türen Cabriolet A (2-3 Sitze)
  2 Türen Cabriolet B (5 Sitze)
  4 Türen Cabriolet D (5 Sitze)
  4 Türen Pullman-Cabriolet F (7 Sitze)
  4 Türen Universal-Cabriolet F (7 Sitze)
  Sport-Roadster (2 Haupt-, 2 Notsitze)
  4 Türen offener Tourenwagen (5 Sitze)
(W 142 IV) 340 (R6 cyl, 3405 ccm, 78 PS; wb: 2880 mm) - new model

320 Pullman-Limousine

320 Cabriolet D

320 Cabrolet A

320 Cabriolet B

320 Stromlinien-Innenlenker

320 Cabriolet D

320 Cabriolet D

320 n Kombinations-Coupé

320 Pullman_cabriolet F



(W 08) 500N (R8 cyl, 4918 ccm, 100 PS; wb: 3670 mm)



(W 29) 540K (R8 cyl, 5401 ccm, 115/180 PS; wb: 3290 mm)
(W 129) 540K kurz (R8 cyl, 5401 ccm, 115/180 PS; wb: 2980 mm)

In February the Convertible C was dropped. At the same time, the International Motor and Motorcycle Show in Berlin saw the launch of a modified variant of the Special Roadster based on the standard chassis with design modifications mainly to the front wings and rear section. From February 1938, the other two-/three-seater body versions ceased to be available on the chassis with rear-set engine.

(Motor und Sport, October 1938)

540 K Special Roadster
(Motor und Sport, October 1938)

540 K Sport-Roadster kurz



(W 07) 770 (R8 cyl, 7655 ccm, 150 PS; wb: 3750 mm) - 13 ex. - end of prod.
(W 150 II) 770 (R8 cyl, 7655 ccm, 155/230 PS; wb: 3880 mm) - new model - 13 ex.
  Cabriolet D
  Cabriolet F

The new, majestic "Grand Mercedes" was unvealed at the 1938 International Motor and Motorcycle Show in Berlin. Unlike its predecessor, the W 07 with its decidedly conservative chassis and suspension, the W 150 boasts every state-of-the-art advance that had been made in the field of automotive engineering. A box section frame of thin-walled oval tubes, provides high stiffness and low weight. The front suspension is independent on coil springs. The rear axle is a de Dion axle. The new "Grand Mercedes" offers excellent ride comfort together with outstanding handling.
In contrast to its predecessor, the W 07, the W 150 is available exclusively with the supercharged engine. The engine design of the predecessor is basically retained but with higher compression ratio and increased engine speed, the power output rises from 200 hp to 230 hp. Power transfer to the rear axle is by means of a five-speed transmission.
All W 150 bodies are custom-built at the Sindelfingen plant by the "special vehicle production facility", which is separate from the series production line. These bodies are manufactured to individual customer specification.

The "Big Mercedes" is equipped with a 7.6-liter engine that delivers 230 hp. This is the open touring car.
(Motor und Sport, October 1938)

770 Tourenwagen

770 Pullman-Limousine

770 Cabriolet D


170 V Kübelwagen

(W 136K) 170VK (R4 cyl, 1697 ccm, 38 PS; wb: 2845 mm)

Kübelwagen version for the Wehrmacht, which is built from November in three body variants: "Kfz 1" (four-seater, four-door Kübelwagen), "Kfz 2" (three-seater, three-door Kübelwagen as radio car) and "Kfz 3" (four-seater, four-door Kübelwagen with rear insert case).

Kfz. 2


320 Kübelwagen

(W 142 III) 320 Kübelsitzer - end of prod.
(W 142 V) 340 Kübelsitzer - new model

From 1938, the 320 is also built 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.



(W 31) G4 (R8 cyl, 5019 ccm, 100 PS; 3100+950 mm)
(W 131) G4



(W 152) G5 (R4 cyl, 2006 ccm, 45 PS; wb: 2530 mm) - new model



(W 158) 170VX - prototype - 2 ex.
(W 147) 400V (V8 80° cyl, 4003 ccv, 105 PS; wb: 3300 mm) - prototype - 6 ex.
(W 160) 400VM - prototype - 4 ex.
(W 166) 290D - prototype - 18 ex.

400 V

400 V


W 125 (V8 cyl, 5663 ccm; wb: 2798 mm) - end of prod.
W 154 (V12 cyl, 2961 ccm; wb: 2730 mm) - new model
W 125 Rekordwagen (V 12 cyl, 5577 ccm; wb: 2725 mm)
(W 149 II) 200V (R4 cyl, 2007 ccm, 53 PS; wb: 2845 mm) - new model
  2 Türen Sport-Roadster
(W 153) 230SV - new model (1938-38 - 33 ex.)

European Championship Victories:

1st GP France (Von Brauchitsch)
2nd GP France (Caracciola)
3rd GP France (Lang)
1st GP Germany (Seaman)
2nd GP Germany (Caracciola/Lang)
1st GP Switzerland (Caracciola)
2nd GP Switzerland (Seaman)
3rd GP Switzerland (Von Brauchitsch)
3rd GP Italy (Caracciola/Von Brauchitsch)
1st European Championship (Rudolf Caracciola)
2nd European Championship (Manfred von Brauchitsch)
3rd European Championship (Hermann Lang)
4th European Championship (Richard Seaman)

Other Victories:

1st GP Tripoli (Lang)
2nd GP Tripoli (Von Brauchitsch)
3rd GP Tripoli (Caracciola)
1st Coppa Ciano (Lang)
1st Coppa Acerbo (Caracciola)
2nd GP United Kingdom (Lang)
3rd GP United Kingdom (Seaman)


European Championship Entries:

  GP France (03.07.1938)
#24 Rudolf Caracciola
#26 Manfred von Brauchitsch
#28 Hermann Lang
  GP Germany (24.07.1938)
#10 Rudolf Caracciola
#12 Manfred von Brauchitsch
#14 Hermann Lang
#16 Richard Seaman
Walter Bäumer
  GP Switzerland (21.08.1938)
#10 Manfred von Brauchitsch
#12 Rudolf Caracciola
#14 Hermann Lang
#16 Richard Seaman
Walter Bäumer
  GP Italy (11.09.1938)
#4 Manfred von Brauchitsch
#12 Rudolf Caracciola
#16 Richard Seaman
#26 Hermann Lang

W 165

W 154

Caracciola at the wheel of the W 154.

Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes-Benz W154 at French GP, Reims (2nd).

the competition vehicles based on the W 153. These were two-seater open sports cars with in-house designations 230 SV and 230 S. The 2700 mm wheelbase was the same as in for the short 230 N version of 1937. Bodies of magnesium alloy and wings of sheet aluminium made them extremely light. They were successfully used in 1938 and 1939 in the then highly popular off-road events. While 33 units of the 230 SV were produced in 1938, 21 units of the 230 S were built in the following year, of which 19 were roadsters and two were two-door fastback sports saloons. The difference between the two versions lay in the engines. Whereas the 230 SV still had the M 143 with 2229 ccm displacement, the 230 S was powered by the M 153, which had been rebored to 2289 ccm. Both engine variants had a higher compression than in the respective standard-production units and also a slightly higher power output of 58 hp.

During vehicle winter testing in February 1938, at the very start of the new season, Daimler-Benz unveiled the 170 VS, a newly developed two-seater off-road sports model with a host of modifications compared with its predecessor 170 VR. Apart from its newly designed, significantly lighter body of magnesium alloy and aluminium, the new off-road sports car boasts a 1.9-litre engine. The sports engine with design code M 149 has cylinder dimensions of 80 x 95 mm and thus a shorter stroke and wider bore than the underlying 1.7‑litre unit. It produce a power output of 50 hp, with a dual-carburettor version delivering as much as 60 hp.
The 170 VS provided the basis for two further off-road sports: the 170 SV and 200 V. Both vehicles are powered by a rebored 2.0-litre variant of the M 149, the single-carburettor version producing 53 hp, while its dual-carburettor counterpart delivers 64 hp. In addition to its higher displacement and increased power output, the 170 SV has a reinforced suspension and off-road tyres.