Reading is fun – Mercedes-Benz 320A

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Phillip Kerr was born in 1956 and has since died of cancer. He was the creator of 12 Bernie Gunther books. They take place between the XNUMXs and the XNUMXs. In Germany from the beginning of the Third Reich to the post-war events, where many ex-Nazis simply reintegrated into society and/or lived in South America.

The books are about 50 times more hard-boiled than Chandlers Marlowe's. Police officer Bernie Gunther has integrity and is brutally manipulated and mangled in the Nazi era. In the period after WWII, it is not much better for him. The Bernie Gunther series is historically mercilessly detailed. Recommended.

Of course, the books also feature cars. And the Nazis drive Mercedes

You can also say that the Nazis were and are reprehensible. But to condemn Mercedes because the Nazis drove it, that is of course going too far.

The Mercedes 320 A as they appear in the Bernie Gunther series would not have been as overwhelmingly warm red as the 1939 example that we saw at Gallery Aaldering. But the Benz was the fantastic representation of the one from the books. Funny: the childhood memory from another book series: the Bob Evers series by Willy van der Heide. He also turned out to have an erroneous war history. But cars also appeared in the adventure boys' book series. Like a Lincoln V12 side valve. And we recently saw just such a car at Albert Venema.

Go for quality

If you were successful in the 30s, you really only had one choice. You were looking for quality. Only the very best was good enough, or, as Mercedes-Benz puts it so beautifully: “Das beste, oder nichts.” The Mercedes-Benz 320A was a very progressive car positioned directly below the 500K and 540K Roadster. It was a somewhat more compact car and had a six-in-line engine instead of an eight-cylinder with Kompressor. The 'A' was the sportiest variant of the 320 series. Actually, it is a 'junior' version of the unattainable Mercedes-Benz 540K Roadster. The car is a real three-seater with two seats in the front and a transverse seat in the back. The car was built at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim that would later be destroyed during World War II.

Beautiful details

From the driver's seat you look at perhaps the coolest detail on the Mercedes-Benz 320A, the searchlight that also serves as a rear-view mirror. Everything shows that this is a car from the top segment. The finish, the quality of the materials used, the ergonomics, it is all of a rare high level. The car is powered by a 3.4 liter inline six petrol engine. The engine produces 77 hp, very appealing numbers for the time. The engine is coupled to a manual transmission with four gears and overdrive! The brakes are hydraulically assisted all around and are very pleasant to dose.

The car in Brummen has an asking price of over four tons.


Give a reaction
  1. Philipp Kerr and Bernie Gunther: Tiresome reading if you really want to soak it all in, but great protagonist with unprecedented cynicism in turbulent times. Should be required reading. In real life Bernie would not have lasted that long in what was then Germany. Too bad the series has come to an end due to Kerr's death. Kerr has also written other books that are set in the football world, but I think they are absolutely not up to the standard. Taste is of course personal.

  2. From my teenage years I remember the advertising slogan: “Rather naked than fake”. Didn't hit a Mercedes (car brand or girl's name), actually don't remember what the ad was for. They were exciting commercials.

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