1936 Mercedes-Benz 230 Type 143 Cabriolet B Registration no. DLD 166 Chassis no. 139172 Engine no. 139172
With the market for its luxury models hard hit by the Depression, Mercedes-Benz sought to establish itself in the medium-priced family car market sector with a range of new models designed by one of the most gifted automobile engineers of his generation - Hans Nibel. Introduced in 1936, the Type 230 was fourth in this series of Nibel designs that would form the mainstay of Mercedes-Benz production in the difficult years of the mid-1930s. The first of this line - the Type 170 - had appeared in 1931. Although of conservative appearance, the revolutionary 170 embodied Nibel's advanced ideas on chassis design, featuring a box-section frame with independent suspension all round and four-wheel hydraulic brakes that set new standards of ride comfort and safety. It was also competitively priced for a six-cylinder car and suited the prevailing market conditions, being compact and economical yet constructed to Mercedes-Benz's traditionally high standard. The 170 was a huge success, spawning a family of larger-engined models including the 200 and 230, the latter being a modernised and restyled version powered by a 2.3-litre, 55bhp, sidevalve six. For 1937, the 200 and 230 (W21) were replaced by the 230 (W143) whose engine had already been used in the predecessor model. Two different chassis designs were employed; long-wheelbase tourers and limousines using a box-section frame while the short-chassis cars employed an oval-tube backbone. Production ceased in 1939 after 24,500 230s of all types had been built. This most handsome right-hand drive 230 Cabriolet B was supplied new to the UK in 1936 and sold to its first owner by Cresta Motors of Worthing. 'DLD 166' has had three previous owners since 1936, and during the 1970s and 1980s was kept in a museum. In 1989 the car was treated to a new hood, hood bag, side screens and carpets, while in 2001 the engine and gearbox were removed by Paul Gilmore of Bristol Mercedes Classics and totally rebuilt for the previous owner. At the same time all the brakes where renewed. Described as in 1st class order, looking superb and driving equally well, the car comes with a brand new and unused complete set of fitted luggage by Karl Baisch of Stuttgart, in black leather with studded tan binding and matching handles. The twin side-mounts are shod with brand new tyres and those on the car itself are virtually new. This most stylish pre-war Mercedes-Benz soft-top is offered with all original handbooks, workshop manuals and spares catalogues; its original buff logbook; all expired MoTs dating back to 1987; sundry old tax discs; extensive service history from 1985 (invoices total over £25,000); current road fund licence; MoT to June 2012; Swansea V5; and two sets of keys.