Please note that the cars or exhibit items shown in this database are part of our collection but may not be on display when you visit.
One of the most famous names in automotive history, Daimler-Benz (“Mercedes” was only a Benz model name in 1901; the company became known as Mercedes-Benz in 1926) can trace its roots back to 1889 and the first motorcar, Karl Benz’s PatentMotorwagen. By the 1930s, America was the largest export market for Mercedes cars as they were favored by many high-society millionaires.
Like other forward-thinking European luxury automotive manufacturers, the company focused on the idea of a “people’s car” during the years after World War I. The 130H was Daimler-Benz’s first attempt at a production rear-engine car. The “H” is for “heck”, the German word for rear.
This two-door car was offered as a hardtop, open hardtop (seen here) or cabriolet. With a shape inspired by Rumpler’s Tropfen-Auto, the frame is a forked backbone design (a la Ledwinka’s Tatras), and the usual Mercedes swing-axle suspension was used. While it was not a commercial success, its ideas were later seen in other cars, such as the Volkswagen Beetle.
Manufacturer: Daimler-Benz AG
Country of Origin: Germany
Drivetrain Configuration: Rear engine, rear wheel drive
Engine: Water-cooled, 4-cylinder, 1308cc, 26bhp
Transmission: 4 speed manual
Top Speed: 56 miles per hour
Years of Production: 1933-35
Number Produced: 4,298