The Berlin Automobile Exhibition in 1936 was witness to a sensational new product: the 170 V model. The "V" stood for the engine mounted in the front – in contrast to the simultaneous presentation of the 170 H with the same four-cylinder in-line engine in the back.
With the taxi equipment of the model, good terms and short delivery times, Daimler-Benz was optimally prepared to accommodate the hoped-for rush of demand for the Mercedes Cab from the trade. The hope was not disappointed. The 170 V quickly became the preferred vehicle in the industry and a favorite of the public. It rose to become the most-frequently built Mercedes-Benz passenger car and the production star of the pre-war period.
Also successful beyond national borders
Internationally, word got around that Mercedes cars were increasingly seen at taxi stands in Germany. People were excited about their comfort, convenience and equipment and those who took the time to ask the drivers about their experiences would get answers like "low-cost maintenance, robust, small repairs, friendly workshops, and quality in every detail".
This positive feedback from operators and customers did not go unnoticed and Mercedes-Benz taxis were soon seen in growing numbers at taxi stands outside the country. The brand with the star had also become firmly established in this segment. As history shows, on a permanent basis.
1947: first direct predecessor of the E-Class!
In the aftermath of World War II, development of new models stopped for a time. When automobile production resumed in 1946, the Stuttgart brand fell back on its 170 V model (W136), which it had already built from 1936 to 1942. The new remake of the 170 V model was the first direct predecessor of the present-day E-Class. The series was replaced by the "Ponton" (W 120) in 1953, but production was only discontinued in 1955. Thus, the history of the modern-day upper medium-size class of Mercedes-Benz can be traced back to the year 1947 without interruption.