Mercedes Rebuilt the 1932 SSKL Streamlined and It’s Ready to Drive in California

1932 1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL Streamlined 6 photos
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL Streamlined1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL Streamlined1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL Streamlined1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL Streamlined1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL Streamlined
On Thursday, August 15, the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance will see a host of classic cars depart from the Portola Road for a trip of several hours of motoring on the coast. Among the many cars taking part this year is a very special Mercedes-Benz.
Back in 1932, a Mercedes-Benz SSKL-based car was on the starting grid of the Grand Prix race on the Avus track in Berlin as a private entry.

Driven by German racing driver Manfred von Brauchitsch, the car was in the race without Mercedes’ backing, due to the company’s withdrawal from motor racing that year.

Even so, it managed to steal the win from Rudolf Caracciola and his Alfa Romeo, entering the history books.

As a side note, Caracciola had been Mercede’s factory driver right until Mercedes's 1932 withdrawal, moving to Alfa only to be beaten by a variant of the car he used to drive.

Nearly nine decades after that moment, the SSKL will get yet another chance at stardom on the streets of Monterey.

This is possible because Mercedes rebuilt the vehicle using original documents found in various archives.  The rebuild is so accurate that the car even features the holes in the chassis, drilled there as a means to save weight for the racer.

The car to be shown this week even wears the streamlined body used on Brauchitsch's car, designed by engineer Reinhard Koenig-Fachsenfeld. It is this body that is considered to have made a tremendous contribution to the SSKl’s aerodynamics.

For reference, the SSKL averaged a speed of 194.2 km/h on the track (120.6 mph) thanks to the fact that it had 25 percent less drag than an SSKL with the classic body.

Following the car’s ride on the 17-mile course in California, the SSKL will be on display in the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge on the ground’s of the Pebble Beach event.

Accompanying it will be two other historic Mercedes cars, the 1903 Mercedes-Simplex and 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 n combination coupé.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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