Mercedes-Benz 27/240/300 hp Type SSKL, 1931 - 1934

Mercedes-Benz 27/240/300 hp Type SSKL, 1931 - 1934
Lightest version of the big supercharged cars

The fourth and final S-series model was the SSKL (Super Sport Kurz Leicht - Super Sport Short Light), an outright competition vehicle, just a few units of which were built in 1931 and which was not included in the official sales programme. Weight-reducing perforations, some of which extended over the entire frame, were used to reduce the weight by 125 kg. Some SSK models may also have been converted subsequently to SSKL models.

Apart from the fact that conversions were not always systematically documented, the picture is further complicated by the additional fact that the model designation "SSKL" was not commonly used at the time. In the order books, SSKL vehicles built for works use were entered as "SSK, model 1931", and, in the official statistics for 1931/1932, the weight-reduced version was always referred to as "SSK". Some press reports from 1932, however, used the now generally customary designation "SSKL".

Driving an SSKL, Rudolf Caracciola was the first non-Italian to win the "Mille Miglia" as well as numerous other races, which helped him win the 1931 European Hillclimb Championship. Hans Stuck in an "SSKL" became the 1932 International Alpine Champion and Brazilian Hillclimb champion. And it was a special "SSKL" specifically fitted with a custom streamline body to which Manfred von Brauchitsch owed his victory in the Avus race of May 1932.

The "SSKL" was the glittering highlight of the legendary S‑S eries, which was to decisively shape the image of the Mercedes-Benz brand. In 1934, three years after the "SSKL" had made its debut, it was time for the product line-up at Daimler-Benz to be reshuffled. From now on, success on the race track was in the hands of the new Silver Arrows, which, of course, were not suitable for everyday motoring and remained beyond the reach of even well-heeled customers.