Mercedes Benz 500k was among the TYPE W29 models which were introduced in the 30’s. The variant W08 500 sedan was at that time already in the market claiming increased power and performance. The 500K variant on the other hand had a peculiar feature, that distinguished it from the 500 Sedan counterpart. ‘K’ stood for “Kompressor” [ Compressor ] which dealt with compressing the air in the engine input to increase the effective volume [ CC ] of the engine and subsequently overall performance. Other than having a supercharged engine, the variant was distinguished from its predecessor by having both a larger, powerful engine and more compelling coach-work for added comfort and leisure.
[ Image credits: Wikipedia ]
The period of 1930-1960 saw classic variants by the German Automobile Manufacturers. Top 3 brands in the competition were BMW, Mercedes-Benz and AUDI all of which are based in Germany and used for luxury automobiles, cars, buses coaches, trucks, etc. Mercedes-Benz being a multi-national division of the Daimler AG first appeared under the name Daimler-Benz. One can take a look at the Wikipedia entry of Mercedes Benz 500k Here.
- Engine Volume: 5 l
- Power: 160 HP @ 3400 RPM
- Fuel Type: Petrol
- Gearbox: Manual 5 Speed
Its predecessor Mercedes-Benz 380 was also an 8-Cylinder car introduced in 1933 but lacked in the looks that were greatly improved in the 500K model. The cars had the ‘K’ word added by mainstream group for the compressor was it wasn’t named in that manner by the company itself. The W series was used as the official, with 380 belonging to the W22 series while 500k belonging to the W29 series. The W22 was one of the first by Mercedes to have an independent suspension setup but had 4-speed manual gearbox setup, which was upgraded to 5-speed in W29.
During those times, all of the competitors were exploiting the rigid structure based suspension system, while the W22 was superior than any of the recent releases by competitors. The successor to W29 was 540K, which was one of the largest models of those times featuring a max roll capacity to hold 7 people with 3 chassis variants available as per the needs of consumers.
As seen in ‘The Great Gatsby’, these cars were offering top engine and ride quality, being a classic, the 500 Kompressor was often tagged as ‘King Of The Roads’. The variants were aggressively styled cars with huge engines. Mercedes had in those years [ 1930’s ] introduced efficient 8-Cylinder 5.0 L to 5.4 L petrol engines. A Special Edition of the roadster was also introduced that had increased power and top speed [ 170 km/h ].