Lot 152

London 2013

1934 Mercedes-Benz 290 Cabriolet A

Mercedes Collection


£277,200 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom | London, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.

60 hp, 2867 cc side-valve inline six-cylinder engine, manual four-speed gearbox, leaf- and coil-spring front suspension, floating rear axle with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,870 mm

A new Mercedes-Benz series, factory coded W18, began production in 1933 and replaced the Type 350/370 Mannheim series. The fresh motor car, more commonly known as the Type 290, heralded a number of advanced engineering features, among them were hydraulic brakes, a transverse leaf-spring/coil-spring front suspension, a coil-spring floating rear axle, and a 60 horsepower, 2,867-cubic centimetre, side-valve inline six-cylinder engine. In addition to the bare chassis for custom coach builders, six factory-built body styles and a Kuebelwagen (military) variant were available. The factory designs included a four-door touring car, a four-door saloon, and four 2-door convertibles or cabriolets (A, B, C, and D) with various seating configurations.

Mercedes-Benz produced 7,495 W18 passenger cars, of which 3,566 sat on a shorter chassis, whilst 3,929 used a longer chassis. The shorter cars’ bodies, which were on 2,870-millimetre chassis, reflected the design seen on the Type 200 (W21) models of the time, but the 290 bodies were actually a bit longer. The least expensive of the offered bodies was, ironically, a six-seat light limousine, listed at 7,950 Marks. A pricier saloon with a torpedo body, which was called a Tourenwagen, offered a more elegant option. Three convertible bodies were additionally offered and designated as Cabriolet B, Cabriolet C, and Cabriolet D. These were offered in two- or four-door configurations, with two for four-passenger seating. One more convertible was offered with a much sportier look, the Cabriolet A. It had a body that sat 190 millimetres lower than the other soft-topped versions, and it was amongst the most expensive, with it priced at 13,000 Marks.

Elegantly exhibiting a more streamlined appearance, this special W18 Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen was delivered new through Berlin in November 1934. It is arguably one of the most well-proportioned and sporting designs of the day, and it was certainly destined for an astute connoisseur who could appreciate the illusion of width and length, which was created by the low profile of the body and greatly enhanced by the presence of the dual rear-mounted spare tyres. The overall presentation of this Type 290 is very good, as it is showing minimal wear for an older restoration. This is a left-hand drive example that has a single bench seat that folds forward to reveal a tidy package area and red leather upholstery, which gives a hint of being driven enough to break in the material, creating a warm, inviting appearance. The wonderful, vintage VDO gauges are exquisitely trimmed in chrome and mounted on a single fascia, which in turn rests upon the red leather-trimmed dashboard. The odometer shows 6,427 kilometres registered, presumably since restoration.

The engine compartment shares a quality similar to the passenger area: it is very proper and stock looking, yet it shows signs of being enjoyed on the road with light soiling. The chassis and underside have been painted gloss black and still show well. A faint metallic can be seen in the black paint that covers the majority of the body, while the side panels have a metallic silver finish; the painted surfaces are overall quite nice, with only minimal blistering from age. Dual trafficators have been added, and a radio antenna and driver’s side spotlight are nice additions to an otherwise fine automobile, which is completed by Firestone Deluxe Champion tyres that have been fitted on the silver wire wheels. This Cabriolet is not only a rare and highly attractive specimen, but it is also a fine example of a nicely patinated vintage Mercedes-Benz.