Chassis n° 102202
Engine n° 105300
Amazing pre-war Mercedes
One of only 154 cars built
The Mercedes 380, unveiled at the Berlin Auto Show in February 1933, was an innovative car in several respects. Its engine evolved from that of the 380 S Mannheim but, instead of its predecessor's side-valve engine, it had a larger, eight-cylinder, 3.8-litre engine with overhead valves. It could also be equipped (as an option) with a supercharger to boost power: by delivering 120hp, this enabled the car to attain performances more in keeping with its imposing appearance. Numerous Mercedes models were commercially named 380, so this one is often designated W22 after its works number, to avoid confusion.
Innovations were not confined to the engine: the suspension was completely redesigned, with four independent wheels; double wishbones up front; and swing-axles linked to coil springs at the rear - very modern at the time, when rigid rear-axles were the rule. The 380 therefore offered above-average comfort and road-holding, with hydraulic brakes, four-speed gearbox and Rudge wire wheels. Several 'factory' body-styles were available, including three types of Cabriolet (A, B or C) - the difference depending on the number of seats and side-windows (two or four in each case). Thanks to its intelligent design, the 380 served as the basis for the top-of-the-range Mercedes that came afterwards: in 1934 it was superseded by the 500 K, which in turn preceded the famous 540 K.
We encountered this Mercedes 380K Sport Roadster about six years ago when it was part of an important Mercedes collection. The passionate collector purchased and maintained his cars with no expenses spared. The whole collection was sold at auction in 2013 during which the current owner acquired this 380K. When the car was registered in Portugal, the administration wrote by mistake a number reported on the German TÜV (TPBW311074) instead of the chassis number (102202) on the title. This 380K is magnificent in this two-seater Special Roaster body, which might be the work of German restorer Franz Prahl on a 380K chassis-engine base. A high quality and meticulous work was accomplished on this Roadster. The interior is exceptional with its tan leather upholstery and a very complete dashboard. This exclusive and sporty 380K is offered at a very attractive price, especially for an example with a supercharger. The future owner will surely be welcomed in the best events and Concours d'Elégance, hoping to win the most sought after prizes.