Chassis number SSK 36038, currently owned by Ralph Lauren, remained unsold by the Mercedes-Benz factory in 1928, but was then sent out to Japan in 1930, before being brought back to Milan where they put a spyder body on it and ran the Mille Miglia with it . Out of the 42 SSK’s built, this was the only one with that body.
This car was put together by the young British coach builder, Willy White, But up to this day it’s not clear who designed it. It could’ve been Count Trossi, as the name would suggest, but it could’ve also been an American designer.
“The Batmobile from the 30’s.”
The SSK, the archetypal Mercedes of the 1920s, built on a short chassis, is dominated by a colossal hood with a trio of exhaust pipes emerging from each side – a hood encompassing over half the car’s length with a radiator projecting out front as a windbreak. Its flamboyant rear end, dramatically tapered, adds a touch of civility to this extraordinary model, contrasting with the hieratic image of its front end. The supercharging gives the Mercedes SSK its fiery temperament, as well as the legendary noise of its seven litre straight 6 cylinder engine producing 300 CV and enabling a flat-out speed of 235kph!
As it currently belongs to the collection of Ralph Lauren, it’s not for sale and probably won’t be for a very long time. But if for some reason Mister Lauren would decide that he didn’t need the car anymore, it could easily bring in 40 Million Dollars or even more, since this is a legendary car out of a well-known collectors hand.