Designed by Ferdinand Porsche
, the Mercedes SSK is regarded
by most as the finest pre-war sports built.
The three letters in its name stand for "Super Sport Kurz",
the German word Kurz is equivalent to "short".
Obviously, the SSK was the final evolution of the S and
SS models. Its shorter wheelbase enabled Mercedes to
create a more lightweight vehicle than the 2.5 tons of
The 7-liter supercharged straight-6 with 225hp output
enabled a very impressive power-to-weight ratio for its
Although a test carried out by Motor magazine found a
disappointing top speed, its competition success in hillclimbing
events (such as Mille Miglia
) and many other events including
the 1930 Irish GP proved its real ability.
Perhaps too emphasised on power, its brakes were not quite
enough to stop the car effectively.
Possesing decent enough
handling for a 1920's sports car, it immediately fell from
favour when the lighter, smaller and more agile Alfa Romeo
8C 2300 arrived.