The 1000th car destined for Sweden leaving the production line in the Sindelfingen plant. Export sales at Daimler-Benz AG reach DM 66.6 million – more than ten times the figure of the previous year and 13.3 % of overall sales. Sweden is the biggest export country with a share of 28 %.
- 28 February: The 170 S is available ex factory with a car radio as an optional extra. From August this extra is also available for the 170 V and 170 D models.
- May : Start of production of the improved Mercedes-Benz 170 Va (W 136 VI) and 170 Da (W 136 VI D) cars.
- July 31: Mercedes-Benz Argentina S.A. is founded in Buenos Aires.
- August: All Mercedes-Benz passenger car models are available with reclining front seats as an optional extra.
- October: The 50,000th Mercedes-Benz car to be produced since the end of the war rolls off the Sindelfingen assembly line.
Produkcja zmodernizowanych modeli 170 Va i 170Da ruszyła w maju. Oprócz większych silników mają one powiększony rozstaw tylnych kół (od stycznia), teleskopowe amortyzatory, wzmocnione hamulce i otwieraną klapę bagażnika.
Improvements of the 170 Va and 170 Da includes more powerful engines, a more spacious body with a boot accessible from the outside, improved suspension (wider rear track, telescopic shock absorbers) and better brakes.
The Motor YEAR BOOK, 1951 AUTOMOBILE DEVELOPMENT ABROAD MERCEDES-BENZ 170 "S"
The Mercedes-Benz 170 "S" model is a development from the well-known pre-war 170 "V" type, but, although superficially resembling the older model, it may well be considered as an entirely new car. Nevertheless the design has been in existence for some considerable time and bears the works type number W 136, thus shortly following W 125, which, as many people know, was attached to the 1937 5.66-litre Grand Prix cars which were designed in 1936.
Experimental models have been running in the hands of directors and staff from just before the war, and, as will be seen from the notes which follow, the whole design is redolent of Mercedes-Benz theory and practice.
Dealing firstly with the engine design, this has been subject to a slight (4 per cent) enlargement of capacity obtained by increasing the cylinder bore from the 73.5 mm. used for the 170 "V" model to 75 mm. on the 170 "S", so that the latter engine has a net volume of 1,776.7 c.c. This slight change is, however, quite overshadowed by major differences in the characteristics of the power unit, the power output of which has been raised by no less than 37 per cent.
This excellent result has been obtained in part by raising the peak of the power curve from 3,200 r.p.m. to 4,000 r.p.m. (18 per cent), and also by improving the breathing of the engine so that with the same compression ratio the b.m.e.p. at the top of the horse-power curve has been raised from 85.5 lb. to 95.5 lb. In harmony with this change the peak of the torque curve has come up from 1,600 r.p.m. to 2,600 r.p.m.
A leading part in these developments has been played by a new carburetter and inlet manifold, the former now being a down-draught Solex with an accelerator pump. The temperature of the inlet manifold is also controlled by a thermostat, a matter of particular importance in continental motoring where prolonged full-throttle driving may be necessary with exceedingly high ambient temperatures.
To ensure that the increase in power has no adverse effect on the extreme length of life for which this particular model is renowned, lead bronze bearings are used for both main and big-end bearings, and a full-flow filter is mounted on the off side of the crankcase.
Cast in light alloy and holding 7 pints, the sump is deeply ribbed to keep oil temperature as low as possible, and the exhaust valves rest upon inserted seats of hardwearing material. Other engine details of interest are the use of ignition timing controlled by engine speed and manifold depression, the fitting, as standard, of suppressors on the high-tension leads and the enlargement of the bonded rubber engine mountings.
The single-plate clutch, four-speed gearbox and bevel box mounted on the rear frame have been improved in detail, the former is now "all synchro" and the pedal pressure has been lowered. At the back the principle of swing axle is retained, but the suspension itself has come in for a good deal of modification. The rear track has been increased by nearly five inches, and the coil springs are now controlled by telescopic dampers. Whereas, however, this represents merely a change in detail at the back end of the car, the front suspension arrangements have been entirely revised and the layout is now in principle identical with that used on the racing cars between 1937 and 1939.
To appreciate the scheme it is necessary to go back to the first years of the "Thirties" when some engineers endeavoured to secure the advantages of I.F.S. without departing from beam front axles by considerably increasing the permitted deflection of the front springs. This tended to cause front and "tramp", due to the gyroscopic forces set loose, but a partial solution to this problem was realised by Packard, who mounted the front axle on a pair of shackles on one side of the car alone, thus giving the front wheel fore and aft freedom, restrained by longitudinal springs fitted to one shackle. This arrangement was followed later by Wolseley, Daimler and Bugatti, but the first to use it in Europe was Mercedes-Benz on their 500 "K" model. They later took out a number of patents whereby this extra freedom could be used to suppress resonant periods which might occur with I.F.S. systems; and both on their 540 "K" sports car and on all the racing cars built between 1934 and 1939 one device or another was used to effect this end.
The layout used on the 170 "S" originated on the 540 "K" and consists in mounting both the top and bottom wishbones on a pivot which passes through the frame. The whole wheel and suspension assembly is thus enabled to swing about this pivot, movement being limited by an extension piece, such as that shown in the drawing, which is held between rubber stops. Apart from this unusual mounting there are other interesting details, notably the extreme length of the king-pin bearing (another direct derivation from racing practice) and the use of a telescopic damper mounted inside the coil spring.
Steering is by means of a three-piece track-rod, and all lubrication points are pressure lubricated, the oilways being larger than those used on the 170 "V" type. There is a flexible coupling between the steering-box and the column, and very great attention has been given to the general roadworthiness and handling of the car.
In common with the 170 "V", the "S" frame consists of a pair of deep oval tubes, but the new car is distinctive in having the 10½-gal. fuel tank mounted at the rear.
The primary objects in the chassis design have been to enhance the performance without loss of life, and at the same time to make it possible to fit larger bodywork. The new four-door saloon which is made in its entirety at Sindelfingen, follows closely upon the lines of the 2.3-litre car of 1939, and the fact that a number of the tools required for the production of this type survived the war considerably lessened the problems of producing a new car.
It is, however, the considered opinion of Mercedes-Benz that their clients will in many cases prefer a car of consciously traditional appearance, but having flowing lines where these are obviously appropriate.