Everything about this car is original, which is remarkable. It could even be described as the most original Mercedes-Benz SSK, a model which car enthusiasts consider the most famous Mercedes of all time.
Only thirty were produced, predominantly for racing, hence the reason why few SSKs survive in completely original condition.
This was a privately owned car, delivered in 1929 to a British Army major. The car had multiple owners before being acquired in 1941 by car enthusiast George Milligen, who put the Mercedes on blocks during the war because he did not want to be seen driving a German car in England. After the war he used the car extensively and kept it until his death in 2004, when it was acquired by the Louwman Museum.
During an overhaul it emerged that all the part numbers were original, with the exception of the crankcase. The original had been fitted to another car, which Milligen sold to Mercedes-Benz. Research confirmed that Mercedes-Benz still possessed the original crankcase and following further liaison with the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center, it was refitted to this SSK so that the car is now entirely in its original state.
SSK stands for ‘Super Sport Kurz’. It was a car based on the S, but with a shortened chassis for improved road holding and handling. The SSK has a seven-litre, six-cylinder engine, producing 140 hp without and 200 hp with the compressor. The car could reach a top speed of almost 200 km/h. It was one of the most exciting and powerful sports cars of its time.
It was the last car that Ferdinand Porsche designed for Mercedes-Benz, before starting his own company. The SSK triumphed in many races, including the 1929 and 1930 Spanish Grands Prix, the 1931 Argentinian and German Grands Prix as well as the Mille Miglia of that year. In 2010 the car was an entrant in the historic Mille Miglia and finished the race without any technical problems.