90 Years of Mercedes-Benz 770

With the W 07 series, Mercedes-Benz expanded its model portfolio into the luxury class at the Paris Motor Show in 1930. This new model had previously been developed over a period of two years. The trade name was 770 ‘Großer Mercedes’ (Big Mercedes). Today these vehicles are traded as forerunners of the luxury brand Mercedes-Maybach. In contrast to these modern model series, customers at that time had the option of having independent bodyworks screwed onto the chassis of the 770. Usually, the bodies extended over a total length of 5.6 meters. Even the chassis with engine, transmission and radiator cost the then almost unbelievable sum of 29,500 Reichsmark. With the Pullman body offered ex works the basic price rose to 38,000 Reichsmark and with one of the various available Cabriolet bodies even up to 44,500 Reichsmark. For comparison: The price list for the somewhat smaller Mercedes-Benz Nürburg 460 (W 08) started at the same time at 15,000 Reichsmark, that of the 170 (W 15) at 4,400 Reichsmark.

Customers also had the choice between a version without and one with supercharging of the 7.7-liter inline eight-cylinder engine. The latter cost 3,100 Reichsmark extra. Without forced induction, 110 kW/150 hp were available. With the blower switched on when the accelerator pedal was fully pressed down, the value briefly climbed to 147 kW/200 hp. The topspeed was indicated as 150 and 160 kph respectively (93 or 99 mph). Power was transmitted to the rear axle by a manual three-speed transmission with an additional high-speed gearbox (overdrive) that could be engaged in any gear. Mercedes-Benz used rigid axles at the front and rear, which were mounted on semi-elliptical leaf springs on the ladder frame. Depending on the selected body style and the desired equipment, the unladen weight was at least 2.7 tons.

By 1938 only 117 units of the Mercedes-Benz 770 (W 07) had been built. A special production based on the Cabriolet F with the Hohenzollern crest instead of the typical star on top of the radiator grille went to the German Emperor Wilhelm II in his Dutch exile in 1931. This car is now part of the collection of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, together with another 770, which was delivered to the Japanese Emperor Hirohito as an armored Pullman sedan in 1935. Both cars are among the rare examples without supercharging – only 13 of the less powerful version had been built. The Mercedes collection also includes a third 770 with an Open Touring Car body.

In 1938, a new 770 ‘Großer Mercedes’ made its debut under the internal code W 150. As the Second World War began during this time and fewer private customers were able to acquire such a vehicle, the majority of the 88 cars produced until 1943 went to departments of the German Reich, especially for representative purposes. A completely newly developed chassis made of oval tubes with pressed steel parts instead of U-profiles provided the basis for the big limousines. Compared to the W 07, the wheelbase increased by 13 and the overall length by about 40 centimeters. At the same time, the front rigid axle was replaced by independent suspensions with double wishbones and the rear one by a De-Dion axle, which for licensing reasons was called a ‘parallel wheel axle’. Since the version without supercharger was so rarely chosen with the W 07, it was dropped in the W 150, but instead the power was increased to 169 kW/230 hp.

Images: Mercedes-Benz