Mercedes-Benz W18 – Typ 290 Origin
The Mercedes-Benz W18 was a six-cylinder vehicle that debuted in 1933 as the Mercedes-Benz Typ 290. It was the smaller-engine replacement for the company’s Typ 350 / 370 Mannheim model. The German auto industry of the 1930s occupied a market presence nearly comparable to that of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in the final decades of the 20th century. In 1937, the W18 was replaced by the company’s W142 (Typ 320).
Mercedes-Benz produced so many different models with labels that included the number “290” during the 1930s. Hence, the car is more often recognized using the manufacturer’s Work Number as the Mercedes-Benz W18 to prevent confusion. It was mostly assembled in Stuttgart, Germany.
Mercedes-Benz W18 – Typ 290 Overview
This vehicle was available in two different models. They are the Mercedes-Benz Typ 290 (short chassis) and the Mercedes-Benz Typ 290 (long chassis)
Mercedes-Benz Typ 290 (short chassis) 1933–1937
The shorter cars had a wheelbase of 2,880 mm (113 in). The bodies were similar to those used on the Typ 200 (W21) models of that time, though the bodies used on the Typ 290s were slightly larger. The manufacturer labeled it a car equipped with the least expensive of the standard W18 bodies, which was a 4-seat six-light “Limousine” (sedan/saloon), at 7,950 Marks.
A four-door Torpedo-bodied “Tourenwagen” cost 9,500 Marks, and there were three separate regular cabriolet bodies with two or four doors and also between two and four seats, known as the “Cabriolet B,” “Cabriolet C,” and “Cabriolet D” from the start. In 1936, the sportier “Cabriolet A,” which was 190 mm (7.5 in) lower than the other standard-bodied cars, joined this exciting lineup.
The W18 was also available as a bare chassis for consumers who wanted to commission a custom-designed body from an independent coachbuilder. In addition, a huge proportion of quasi-Jeep military Kübelwagens were built on the same chassis and mechanical components as the Jeeps.
Mercedes-Benz Typ 290 (long chassis) 1934–1937
A longer 3,300 mm (130 in) wheelbase became available within a year after the shorter-bodied car debuted. All of the body styles available for the shorter car were now available for the lengthier one. There was also a six-seater “Pullman-Limousine” and a roadster model of the six-seater-bodied car known as the “Cabriolet F.” In 1936, a “Roadster” cabriolet was added.
Long chassis cars had different transmission ratios, with the 1:1 ratio matching the fourth gear and thus no overdrive. For the longer cars, the final drive ratio was also increased.
Mercedes-Benz W18 – Typ 290 Production
Mercedes-Benz built 7,495 W18 passenger cars, with 3,566 using the shorter chassis and 3,929 using the longer chassis. In the mid-1930s, the German auto market absorbed approximately 200,000 passenger cars per year. During its peak years (1934 and 1935), the W18 sold approximately 2,000 vehicles per year, implying a market share of less than 1%. Aside from those cars, 719 quasi-Jeep military W18 Kübelwagen were also built.
Mercedes-Benz W18 – Typ 290 Price
If you guessed at this point that these bad boys don’t come cheap, then you’re absolutely right. These classic vehicles will cost you an arm and a leg as they are available at prices ranging from $117,600 to as high as $362,300, with an average price of $244,192.
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