Mercedes-Benz W23 Type 130 H. Production: 1931-1939, engine: four cylinders, 1300 cc
The Aguinaga Museum of Mercedes-Benz
The Mercedes-Benz 130H was a low-production automobile built in Germany in the 1930s. It was presented in February 1934 at the Berlin Car Show.
Conceived by Hans Nibel, chief engineer of Mercedes Benz, the 130H was inspired by Edmund Rumpler’s Tropfenwagen. It followed on the Rumpler-chassis Tropfenwagen racers, which ran between 1923 and 1926.
Created in 1931 by Nibel, it had the 1.3 liter sidevalve four-cylinder engine mounted at the back, hence the “H”, from German heck (rear), With the fan between the rear coil springs, it drove a transmission with three forward speeds, plus a semi-automatic overdrive which did not require the use of a clutch. (A similar idea was adopted by Cord for the abortive 810 in 1935.)
The backbone chassis owed something to Hans Ledwinka, and suspension was independent at all four corners. Daimler-Benz put the 130H in production in 1934. Due to its suspension, handling proved poor, although perfectly adequate on German roads at the time, while its ride quality was superior to anything in Germany.
The motor had a power of 26 PS (19 kW) and was able to propel the small two-door sedan at a speed of 92 km/h. The synchronised four-speed gearbox (which would be called later 3 + E by VW) is accommodated in front of the rear axle, the balance being provided by coil springs. The front axle was equipped with two transverse leaf springs.
The car was sold as a sedan, an open-top sedan or a convertible (with and without cabrio cover and without side windows), each being fitted with two doors. Due to its extreme unbalance (⅔ of the mass on the rear axle), the car had very awkward handling. Because of the low sales volume, the model was discontinued in 1936.
Nibel followed the 130H with a more powerful 150H, with chassis designed by Daimler’s Max Wagner.