Mercedes SSK SSKL (WS 06)
|Production||1929 to 1930|
|Body and chassis|
Mercedes SSK SSKL WS 06, built from 1928 to 1932 Manufactured by Daimler-Benz AG, Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, Germany.
The Daimler company introduced its first supercharged car at the Berlin Automobile Exhibition as early as 1921. It was the 6/25/40. The long-stroke engine with bore and stroke of 68-108mm gave a capacity of 1570 cc. The camshaft was fitted in the cylinder head. The Roots supercharger was brought into operation by a special clutch when the accelerator pedal was depressed smartly.
The SSK appeared on the market in 1929. Initially it was fitted with the same engine as the SS, with a capacity of 7065 cc and bore and stroke of 100-150mm. The production versions developed 125kW (170hp) at 2900 rpm or 166kW (225hp) at 3300 rpm respectively.
At that time the production cars could be entered for Grand Prix competitions. The SSK started its series of victories in a hill climb. For this model the wheelbase of the SS chassis was shortened from 3.4m (llft 2in) to 2930mm (9ft 8in). The shorter version was designated SSK, the abbreviation standing for Super Sport Kurz (Super Sports Short).
The performance of this sports and racing car was increased. The engine, with the same capacity, was rated at 133kW (180hp) at 2900 rpm or at 184kW (250hp) at 3300 rpm with a supercharger. The car could reach 200km/h (125mph). Various body types, among them roadsters, cabriolets, tourers and racers, were fitted to the chassis.
The racing versions called for the lowest weight possible. Therefore a light Mercedes racing two-seater version was built, the SSKL. The simplest way to cut down the weight was to drill holes in the frame macking it 200 kg lighter. Only 42 of the SSKL and SSK cars were made.
In 1930 Hans Nibel, who designed these successful models, again increased the output of his engines to 200kW (300hp) at 3400 rpm with a supercharger. The era of the Mercedes racers had started. There were only a few drivers capable of handling these giants, which did not have power steering. The difficult gear shifting and insensitive brakes on the one hand, and the responsive supercharger on the other, gave the drivers a hard time. Among those who had mastered these cars were Rudolf Caracciola, Manfred von Brauchitsch, and Hans Stuck