Mercedes-Benz 130 is First Produced
The Mercedes-Benz 130 was presented in February 1934 at the Berlin Car Show.
The car was powered by a four-cylinder 1308 cm³ engine installed longitudinally in the rear compartment. The motor had a power of 26 PS (19 kW) and was able to propel the small two-door coach 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 two cross-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 a very awkward handling. Because of the low sales volume, the model was discontinued in 1936.
From 1931 to 1939, Daimler-Benz AG produced three cars (Mercedes-Benz 130, 150 and 170 H) with rear engine as well as a few prototypes. The production numbers remained quite low for each of these models, especially compared to the production of classical front-engine Mercedes cars.
At the beginning of the 1930s, inspired by the modern streamlined shape, there were attempts to move the engines from the forward compartment to the rear of the car. Such a move allows to decrease the volume of the front compartment. At the same time, the voluminous rear provides a lot of space above and behind the rear axle. Moreover, when fitted on the drive axle shaft were eliminated. The most famous such development was with the Tatra cars under the leadership of Hans Ledwinka.
In 1930, Daimler-Benz AG entrusted Hans Nibel with the development of a small rear engine car based on the same principles. In 1931 the type W17 or 120 was created, a four-seat, equipped with two doors, vertical front and rear wheels and a four-cylinder boxer engine in the rear, with a displacement of 1200 cc and a power of 25 hp (18.4 kW). There were also attempts to row across built four-cylinder engines. In 1933 Mercedes built a vehicle with a front similar to the VW Beetle later and a far extensive tail. The front wheel of the type W25 D or 175 is slanted or tilted backwards, in the middle of the tail fin attached hood divides the oval rear window, so it anticipated the small oval two piece rear window of the Beetles known as "pretzel form". The "D" referred to the three-cylinder diesel engine OM 134 with an output of 30 hp (22 kW), but due to high noise level, this vehicle was again rejected. From this type, 12 test cars were assembled