DER FRÜHE MERCEDES 170V (1936-1938)
The numberplate light / das Rücklicht
below: factory photo of a later car with rear bumper and (still) the three-eyed backlight


Ersatzteilliste A, B and C all illustrate a single central back light (Part nr 13690 180). This part incorporated five lamps of which the central one was a stoplight (which according to Edition C of the Spare Parts List used an orange celluloid filter) while the remaining were tail lamps (using red lateral celluloid filters) and number plate lights (using transparent down-casting celluloids). A car with this back light is illustrated in the early Owner's Handbook (Betriebsanleitung 6236- 1937?) for the model and a similarly fitted one in a contemporary Mercedes photo [1] - see below- that clearly shows the differently coloured celluloids..
The "three-eyed" backlight as illustrated in Edition A of the 170V Spare Parts List. The part used for this 1936 photo had only red cellulloids and the three "eyes" had the same width. In the later version far above, the orange central "eye" is smaller. See this early version in a 1936 car here.

The cars exported to Portugal in 1937/39 were not fitted with this light but rather with a left side plate holder and top light, as was usual in American cars of the 1920s and early to mid 1930s (see images below).


A contemporary factory photo of an export model illustrates a round back light (see picture below left). It seems likely that both the round light and the oval light were used for export models in 1937/39. Cars are known with two such lights (original?).

This round lamp, used by Mercedes in a different model at about the same time, seems the same as seen in the factory photo at left of an export 170V.

Below, a Swedish car with a double oval backlight. The second (right side) light may be factory original or not.

Joao-Manuel Mimoso
Index of Mercedes 170V pages