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Mercedes-Benz SSK - Classic Car Review-

4:30 PM


The Mercedes-Benz SSK is a roadster built by German automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz between 1928 and 1932. Its name is an abbreviation of Super Sport Kurz, German for "Super Sport Short", as it was a short wheelbase development of the earlier Mercedes-Benz S. The SSK's extreme performance and numerous competitive successes made it one of the most highly regarded sports cars of its era.


The SSK was the last car designed for Mercedes-Benz by the engineer Ferdinand Porsche before he left to found his own company. The SSK was based on the earlier Mercedes-Benz S, but with the chassis shortened by 19 inches (480 mm) to make the car lighter and more agile for racing, especially short races and hillclimbs.


The SSK was driven to victory in numerous races, including in 1929 the 500 Miles of Argentina, the 1929 and 1930 Cordoba Grands Prix, the 1931 Argentine Grand Prix, and, in the hands of legendary Grand Prix racing driver Rudolf Caracciola, the 1929 British Tourist Trophy race, the 1930 Irish Grand Prix, the 1931 German Grand Prix, and the 1931 Mille Miglia.



Fewer than 40 SSKs were built during its production span, of which about half were sold as Rennwagen (racing cars). Many were crashed while racing and subsequently cannibalised for parts. Only four or five entirely original models remain, and their scarcity and rich heritage make them among the most sought after cars in the world; a 1929 model was auctioned at Bonhams in Chichester in September 2004 for £4.17 million (US$7.4 million), making it the second most expensive automobile ever sold at that time.

            

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