In 1936, Mercedes-Benz introduced the revolutionary 170 V, a four-cylinder, 1.7-litre model that became a landmark for the Stuttgart-based manufacturer. With state-of-the-art running gear, including an oval-tube backbone-type chassis, swing-axle independent rear suspension, transverse-leaf independent front suspension, and hydraulic brakes, it was ahead of its time.
After the war, the model made a comeback, initially focusing on commercial variants. However, in May 1949, an upgraded version emerged as the 170 S, equipped with a 1,767cc engine featuring an aluminum-alloy cylinder head, generating 52bhp – a remarkable 37% increase over the 170 V. The suspension underwent significant improvements too, adopting a modern double wishbone/coil spring design at the front and widening the rear track, along with fitting telescopic shock absorbers.
The new Mercedes-Benz 170 S impressed reviewers, offering a unique combination of soft suspension for a comfortable ride on rough roads, precise steering, minimal roll, and a racing car-like ability to follow a predetermined course accurately.
The 170 S line-up included two convertibles: cabriolet A and convertible saloon B. Production of the 170 S continued until 1955, but the convertibles were only manufactured from 1949 to 1951, with a limited production of 2,433 units compared to nearly 40,000 saloon models. Despite their rarity, these stylish soft-tops left a lasting impression in automotive history.