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Chassis no. 36045 - Engine no. 76110
Coachbuilder: Carlton Carriage Company
Categories: C- One-off models; F- Cars owned by the famous; L- Limited edition cars (no. 30 manufactured)
Owner: Louwman Museum (Netherlands)
The most original SSK for more than 60 years with the same owner.
The SSK (model series W 06) is the most exclusive and fascinating of the six-cylinder supercharged sports cars belonging to the Mercedes-Benz S-Series. The model designation stands for Super Sport Kurz (super-sports-short in English), alluding to both the car’s particularly sporty character and its shortened wheelbase.
The SSK was designed for maximum manoeuvrability, with a shorter wheelbase than the SS (2950 millimetres rather than 3400 millimetres), and a correspondingly shorter chassis.
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.
The SSK has a seven-litre, six-cylinder engine, producing 140 hp without and 225 hp and later 250 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.
The final series was the SSKL. By drilling holes in the chassis, the weight of the vehicle was decreased even further, although weakened the frame causing many to break. The engine became more powerful, now producing 300 horsepower.
It was the last car that Ferdinand Porsche designed for Mercedes-Benz, before starting his own company. There was room for a driver and passenger, spare tires, and tools.
The bodywork was mostly handled by the factory but often outfitted by European and American coachbuilders.
Only 33 Mercedes-Benz SSKs were ever built between 1928 and 1932 (including SSKL) with around half being factory-designated Rennwagens, or race cars.
In 1928 the Mercedes SSK was introduced and commonly referred to as 'The Mighty Mercedes'. It was also known as 'White Elephant'.
In the summer of 1928, works racing driver Rudolf Caracciola won the Gabelbach, Schauinsland and Mont Ventoux races in the brand-new SSK at the first attempt. In 1930 and 1931, he won the European Hillclimbing Championship at the wheel of the SSK. The lighter and yet more powerful version from 1931, which was also known as the SSKL, also scored some spectacular victories, one of the most outstanding being in the legendary Mille Miglia race: The arduous road race from Brescia to Rome and back was won by Rudolf Caracciola driving an SSKL in April 1931. He thus became the first non-Italian driver ever to win the race.
The SSK triumphed in many races, including the 1929 and 1930 Spanish Grands Prix, the 1931 Argentinian and German Grands Prix.

The chassis 36045 was a privately owned car delivered in 1929 unbodied to its first owner, Major John Coates, who added a body built by the Carlton Carriage Company in London.
The car had multiple owners before being acquired in 1941 for 400 British Pounds by car enthusiast and farmer 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.
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.
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.
documents & certificates
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history - owners & events
Monte Carlo Rally Historic
| Monte Carlo | Monaco
16th August 2009
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
| Carmel | United States - California
driver: Evert Louwman
7th April 2010 - 11th April 2010
Techno Classica Essen
| Essen | Germany
20th April 2010
Mercedes-Benz Super Sports Car special exhibition
| Stuttgart | Germany
driver: Roland Asch
co-driver: Nick Lars Heidfeld
6th May 2010 - 9th May 2010
Mille Miglia
| Brescia-Roma-Brescia | Italy
driver: Evert Louwman
co-driver: Barones Josine Van Dorth tot Medler
entry number: 32
12th May 2011 - 15th May 2011
Mille Miglia
| Brescia-Roma-Brescia | Italy
driver: Evert Louwman
co-driver: Barones Josine Van Dorth tot Medler
entry number: 44
17th May 2012 - 20th May 2012
Mille Miglia
| Brescia-Roma-Brescia | Italy
driver: Evert Louwman
co-driver: William Peter Westermann
entry number: 45
15th May 2013 - 19th May 2013
Mille Miglia
| Brescia-Roma-Brescia | Italy
driver: Evert Louwman
co-driver: William Peter Westermann
entry number: 54
15th May 2014 - 18th May 2014
Mille Miglia
| Brescia-Roma-Brescia | Italy
driver: Evert Louwman
co-driver: William Peter Westermann
entry number: 59
12th May 2015 - 17th May 2015
Mille Miglia
| Brescia-Roma-Brescia | Italy
driver: Evert Louwman
co-driver: Quirina Louwman
entry number: 49

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