As with its twin the 170S, the 170D was the first
serious production Mercedes saloon to appear after the
The 170D naturally shared its body with the 170S, but
with the implementation of a diesel
motor the car was
able to offer the motoring public a much more economically
viable method of transport at a time when economic hardship
In fact, it was the experience gained in 1936 with the 2.6 liter diesel
engined passenger cars that Mercedes had been manufacturing prior to the war that allowed the rapid development of a post-war diesel
Using a 'pre-combusion chamber' system the engine was
able to develop 38bhp at 3200rpm, with a torque curve
steady over a wide range of engine speeds.
For a diesel
powered Mercedes to be successful, the
engineers needed to create a car that would perform
as well if not better than its petrol cousin. And,
as always, the Mercedes engineers succeeded.
There was no other difference to the 170D over its gasoline powered stablemate, so it was natural that the change over in the two models coincided.
The 170Da production began in May 1950, when the 170D model was discontinued, this iteration running until April 1952. Then the 170Db model was born, it lasting until October 1953.
The 170DS was built from January 1952 until August 1953 and the 170S-D from July 1953 until September 1955. All iterations were incredibly robust, reliable and solid.
They would set the benchmark in diesel
powered car design, and pave the way for a Mercedes tradition in diesel
manufacture for decades to come.