SOLD – 1935 Mercedes-Benz 290 Short Wheel Base Sindelfingen Cabriolet A
Road Scholars is excited about the opportunity to restore this significant Pre-War Mercedes Benz and will be updating the website as this exciting project moves along.
A new Mercedes-Benz series, internally coded W 18, entered production in 1933 as a replacement for the type 350/370 Mannheim series. These cars, more commonly referred to as the Type 290, would be an evolutionary model. Incorporating advanced designs such as hydraulic brakes, dropped-box section frame, a transverse leaf-spring/coil spring front suspension, a coil-sprung floating rear axle, four speed manual gearbox (Maybach Schnellgang transmission) and a 60 horsepower side-valve six-cylinder engine. Body styles included a four-door touring car, a four-door sedan and four two-door convertibles or cabriolets (A,B,C,D).
The 290 was manufactured from 1933 to 1937 with a total of 8,214 models produced. Most 290 bodies were traditional and rather ordinary. The few exceptions were the stream lined Saloon, Roadster, and Cabriolet. One book on Mercedes-Benz catalogs 25 different body styles on the 290’s 2,880-millimeter (113 inch) short chassis and 3,300-millimeter (130-inch) long chassis. While nearly all of the 290s built were assembled at the Mannheim Werk and bore the Mannheim emblem just forward of the driver door, a handful of special orders were bodied by Sindelfingen.
It’s estimated that 19 short wheel base cabriolet 290’s were produced in 1935-36. This short wheel base Cabriolet A (VIN#201729), was the only example built at Sindelfingen in 1935.
“A handful of special orders were bodied by Sindelfingen-1935 Cabriolet A , a 1936 Roadster, and certain long-wheel base versions of the 1934-1937 Cabriolet B and Cabriolet D. The average price of a luxury 290 model was exactly half that of a 540 K.” -Dennis Adler, Daimler & Benz: The Complete History
VIN#201729 features deep front fenders that differ from any known 290 A Cabriolet produced. Aside from a handful of one off customers, the Sindelfingen Werk designed and produced nearly all the coachwork for the 500 K and 540 K series. In Werner Oswald’s “Mercedes-Benz Personenwagen 1886-1986,” He indicates that VIN 201729 was also the last 290 built in 1935 by its motor number 122450.
The 290/320 models listed from 4 to 6k in the U.S. The 500k/540k started around 10,000 and went up to 14,000k for the Special Roadster.
Today it’s easy to think of German cars in terms of the Autobahn, but the 290 model would have been well suited to narrow, twisting roads where handling trumps horsepower. That is why a particular gentleman ordered this special bodied short wheel base Cabriolet for his winery in France.
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