Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet Type 380 from 1933, eight cylinders, 3822 cc, 140 HP, 130 km/h

The Mercedes-Benz 380 (Type W22) is an eight-cylinder powered automobile introduced by the German manufacturer Mercedes-Benz at the Berlin Motor Show in February 1933. It was withdrawn from production during 1934.

Several models with similar names were produced by Mercedes-Benz during the 1930s (and again in the 1980s), so that in retrospect the car is frequently identified using the manufacturer’s Works Number as the W22. (The car is sometimes referred to as the 380 K, presumably because of the Kompressor (supercharger) fitted on the faster cars, but this designation was never officially used by the manufacturer)

In 1933, the 380 sports tourer was one of the most advanced cars on the market, and was duly admired although in the end, with only 154 produced over two years, it proved in some respects a resounding failure.

The engines started out as the 3,820 cc (233 cu in) straight-eight from the car’s predecessor, but the side-valves in the earlier car were now replaced by overhead valves. A new two-barrel carburetor was also fitted. More newsworthy was the availability of a Kompressor, which instantly established the car’s credentials as technologically advanced, in common with other luxury cars of the period, such as the Duesenberg SJ.

The least powerful version carried the engine code “M22”. It came without a compressor and provided a listed maximum output of 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) at 3,200 rpm. This supported a claimed top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph).

Adding a supercharger raised the maximum output to 120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) at 3,400 rpm and top speed to 130 km/h (81 mph).

The car was also available with an “Integrated Kompressor” (mit integriertem Kompressor) which changed the engine code to “M22K” and further raised the maximum power to 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp), now at 3,600 rpm. Top speed was 135 km/h (84 mph) or 145 km/h (90 mph), depending on the final drive ratio fitted.

Read more: Technologies, transport and equipment ...