1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL

Mercedes quickly established a reputation for its racing prowess by winning the French Grand Prix in 1914 followed by another victory at the Indianapolis 500 a year later. During World War I, they learned about and perfected the use of forced induction through the production of airplane engines. By the early 1920s the Roots-Type Supercharger was being used on all of their racing cars.

Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft introduced the world's first supercharged production cars at the 1921 Berlin Auto Show, the 6/25/40hp and 10/40/65hp four-cylinder models. After Austrian designer Ferdinand Porsche arrived at the company in early 1923, he worked to further develop the blown four and eight-cylinder racers designed by Paul Daimler, and the 15/70/100hp and 24/100/140hp supercharged, six-cylinder production models that would debut at the Berlin Automobile Show in 1924. The company's efforts were rewarded with a victory at the Targa Florio in 1924. It was won a two-liter Grand Prix car with a twin-cam eight cylinder engine. After rule changes for the 1925 season, it became ineligible for competition.

Daimler and Benz merged in 1926 followed by a reclassification of the cars to Types 400 and 630, powered by 4 and 6.3-liter six-cylinder engines (respectively). Both engines were fitted with a Supercharger which became engaged when the accelerator pedal was fully pushed into the floor. A completely new chassis was soon developed that took advantage of the potent powerplants. They were lower than the original K (for Kurz or Short) chassis and these cars became known as the S for Sport. An increase in displacement followed, to 6.7 liters. Horsepower rose to 225 bhp. In this guise, Rudolph Caracciola drove an example to victory at the Nurbrugring in 1927.

The engine grew larger for the 1928 season, reaching a displacement size of 7096cc and receiving the 'ss' name. As like the cars that came before it, it was available for either the road or the track. A racing version driven by Caracciola won at the German Grand Prix.

Late in 1928, a shorter version was introduced for hillclimb races, called the ssK. Both the SS and ssK would race over the years that followed with considerable success, including a victory by Caracciola at the 1931 Mille Miglia. The fourth and finale S-series Mercedes was the SSKL (Super-Sport-Kurz-Leicht). This was a purpose built race cars powered by a 7.1 liter, six-cylinder engine that had a chassis that was drilled to reduce weight. A few examples were built in 1931 and at the end of the season, Mercedes-Benz was forced to withdraw from competition due to the economic crisis that plagued the world. It is estimated that 33 ssks were built and only a few ssKLs. Several of the cars were destroyed in period, due to accidents.


by Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2019
1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL vehicle information

Avus Race Car
Coachwork: Walter Vetter Karosserie
Designer: Baron Koenig-Fachsenfeld

The fourth and final S-Series Mercedes-Benz was this shorter and lighter SSKL (Super-Sport-Kurz-Leicht). The 7.1-liter, 6-cylinder SSKL, unlike the earlier models of the late 1920s, was an outright competition car with its entire frame drilled to red....[continue reading]

Avus Race Car by Walter Vetter Karosserie
 

Related Reading : Mercedes-Benz SSK History

In 1928 the Mercedes SSK was introduced and commonly referred to as The Mighty Mercedes and The Fastest Sports Car in the World. The name SSK stands for Super Sport Kurz, German meaning short. The naming convention for the SSK typically has numbers associated with them, such as 700 and 710. This represents the engine capacity, 7.0 liter and 7.1 liter respectively. It used a modified version of....
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The Mercedes Benz S Class: automobile comfort of the highest standard

The history of the Mercedes Benz S Class shows that automobile comfort is far more than just a luxurious ambiance, size and performance. In fact it is far more the intelligent support of the driver and passengers through innovative technical solutions providing answers to current questions and requirements which contribute to the holistic comfort of a vehicle. Added to that is the highest quality....
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Concepts by Mercedes-Benz

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