Mercedes SSK Classic Car

Mercedes SSK in the Ralph Lauren Collection
Mercedes SSK in the Ralph Lauren Collection

Regarded by many as the finest pre-war sportscar ever built, the SSK was actually designed by Ferdinand Porsche and was the ultimate evolution of the 'S' model line launched two years earlier. The S was itself a lower chassis version of the ‘K’ series cars and used a supercharged 6.8-litre engine. In order to go Grand Prix racing Mercedes needed a smaller, lighter car so they chopped 19 inches out of the chassis to create the “Super Sport Kurz”, the last word being the German for short. Much lighter than its 2.5 ton predecessors the SSK was used to devastating effect by greats such as Rudolf Caracciola, winning numerous competition events including the 1930 Grand Prix, thanks to a 7.1-litre supercharged engine producing 225bhp. The final model actually produced 300bhp and had holes drilled in its chassis to lighten the car in an attempt to keep it competitive.

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