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Spectacular luxury sports car.

One does not have to look very far to find commonalities with the spectacular Mercedes-Benz 500 K / 540 K luxury sports car. The little brother Mercedes-Benz 320 n is one for the connoisseurs – particularly as an especially rare combination coupé.

The design of the Mercedes-Benz 320 n combination coupé – with its softly curved shapes and the sweeping front wings it is a true eye-catcher and has a particularly impressive red and black paint finish. 

In terms of design, the Mercedes-Benz 320 n combination coupé can easily compete with its big brothers 500 K and 540 K.

In terms of design, the Mercedes-Benz 320 n combination coupé can easily compete with its big brothers 500 K and 540 K. 

Even if the Mercedes-Benz 320 n combination coupé looks elegant and sporty, it cannot compete with the powerful Kompressor Mercedes-Benz 500 K / 540 K.

Even if the Mercedes-Benz 320 n combination coupé looks elegant and sporty, it cannot compete with the powerful Kompressor Mercedes-Benz 500 K / 540 K.

A real beauty.

The fact that it looks significantly more dynamic than its Mercedes-Benz 290 predecessor and most of the competitors from the 1930s is ensured, not least, by the tapered tip radiator grill, which is angled slightly backwards in a streamlined fashion. Alongside the two free-standing main headlamps, the rear of the exterior mirror also features a manually operated auxiliary headlamp. “We completely restored the exclusive combination coupé 30 years ago, but despite its attractive design, it was only rarely used,” explains project manager Michael Plag of Mercedes-Benz Classic, “now the time had come again. A real beauty from a unique era of automotive design.”

Elegance before sportiness.

But as sportily elegant as its appearance is, the Mercedes-Benz 320 n was not a true sports car even as the combination coupé. For while its big brothers 500 K and 540 K were able to use compressor technology to attain the highest level of performance at the end of the 1930s, the open 2+1-seater with its 3.2 litre in-line six cylinder M 142 had to get by without turbocharging.

With the available 57 kW/78 PS the top speed of 130 km/h was pretty straightforward. The chassis technology with leaf and coil springs at the front and a floating axle at the rear largely corresponded to its predecessor model the Mercedes-Benz 290 (W 18). 

Only around a dozen vehicles of the rare combination coupé of the Mercedes-Benz 320 n, W 142 model series, were ever built.

Only around a dozen vehicles of the rare combination coupé of the Mercedes-Benz 320 n, W 142 model series, were ever built.

Comfort taken seriously.

The Mercedes-Benz 320 n is a cruiser, a casual glider, and is considered as one of the most elegant vehicles of its time. Gears are changed with the fully synchronised four-speed gearbox and gears two and three need to be taken to the limit in order to reach the motorway speed as quickly as desired. Thanks to the maximum torque of 220 Nm at a low 1,700 rpm the luxury model can, when required, also move at particularly low speeds. The comfort level of the Mercedes-Benz 320 n is also more than impressive by today’s standards.

The 4.70 metre Swabian casually springs back over bumps, whilst the driver at the steering wheel makes an impression that is almost as elegant as its wheels. On the inside there is a comfortable leather bench for two occupants, whilst in the rear a transversely fitted emergency seat is installed for an extra passenger. Hidden under the softly spilling out rear is the storage section and the 72-litre fuel tank.

Cabriolet and coupé in one.

With a few movements, the smart, two-colour coupé is turned into a superb cabriolet. This gave it the official designation of combination coupé. As with the two SL models of the 1950s to the 1990s, the coupé hardtop is completely detached, and the driver and their passengers can enjoy the freedom of driving with an open top. Thanks to the full-fledged cabriolet soft top they are perfectly protected against the elements with the roof removed.

The Mercedes-Benz 320 n combination coupé was unveiled in the spring of 1937 at the International Car and Motorbike Exhibition in Berlin. With a price of more than 12,000 Reichsmarks, the combination of a cabriolet and coupé was significantly more expensive than other body variants such as the saloon, the Pullman saloon or the B and D cabriolet versions. 

The free-standing headlamps and the radiator grill inclined backwards slightly dominate the front of the sportily elegant vehicle.

The free-standing headlamps and the radiator grill inclined backwards slightly dominate the front of the sportily elegant vehicle.

The Mercedes-Benz 320 celebrated its world premiere at the 1937 International Car and Motorbike Exhibition in Berlin.

The Mercedes-Benz 320 celebrated its world premiere at the 1937 International Car and Motorbike Exhibition in Berlin.

Premiere at the 1937 IAMA.

This meant it was very exclusive right from the start: in the 320 n model with a short wheelbase, not even two dozen vehicles of the 3.2-litre model were produced in 1937 and 1938, which were still divided into the two cabriolet and combination coupé versions. In contrast, more than 2,800 vehicles of the simply named Mercedes-Benz 320 version with a long wheelbase were produced over the same time period, until there were a total of more than 5,000 units by the end of production in 1942. 

The 320 n, in which the n stands for “normal” wheelbase, i.e. not extended, was removed from production again in 1938 – one of the reasons why, despite its beauty, it was a real rarity right from the start. 

Image gallery.

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 08.10.2019.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

7 Angaben zu Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe der UN/ECE-Regelung Nr. 101 ermittelt. Die EG-Typgenehmigung und eine Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.