Mercedes continues its celebration of “125 Years of Motorsport” with a 300 SLR, W154, Sauber C9 and Penske IndyCar on display at Pebble Beach, as well as the first public road race for the SSKL in 1932
Rebuilt 1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL simplified racing car to be driven on public roads for the first time Photo: Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes hosts its final celebration of “125 Years of Motorsport” at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance later this month, with a streamlined, victorious 1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL to be driven on public roads for the first time time.
In addition, a range of iconic Mercedes racing cars will be on display, including the 300 SLR, W154, 1989 Group C Sauber C9 and 1994 Penske IndyCar.
The celebrations mark the 125th anniversary of the Paris-Rouen trial, which took place on July 22, 1894 and is considered the very first event of mass motorsport competition.
Mercedes honored the milestone at the recent Formula 1 German Grand Prix, where both of its cars raced in a special white livery as a nod to the – probably apocryphal – tale of how the colors of the “arrows” ‘money’ came into being, while team members dressed in 1930s’ period clothing.
More: Mercedes unveils special F1 white livery to commemorate 125 years of motorsport
The SSKL will be driving on public roads for the first time at the famous classic car event in Pebble Beach, Calif. On Thursday, August 15, as part of its Tour of Elegance. This is an exclusive ride for exceptional classic cars, which begins on Portola Road at Pebble Beach at 9 a.m. – vehicles lining up from 7 a.m. – and returns to Pebble Beach at around 2 p.m.
The route leads to Carmel-by-the-Sea and takes part of the famous 17 Mile Drive Coastal Drive along California’s Monterey Peninsula.
Aerodynamic pioneer Reinhard von Koenig-Fachsenfeld designed an avant-garde streamlined bodywork for the SSKL in 1932. On May 22 of the same year, Manfred von Brauchitsch entered the SSKL in the international AVUS race, and the shape of the car was unusual for onlookers at the time who quickly dubbed it the pickle ‘. Von Brauchitsch nevertheless won the race ahead of Rudolf Caracciola on Alfa Romeo.
The unusually shaped SSKL has been dubbed the ‘pickle’ by onlookers Photo: Mercedes-Benz
The SSKL is considered a “missing link” in Mercedes racing history, bridging the supercharged racing sports car era of the 1920s with the legendary Silver Arrows of the 1930s.
Mercedes-Benz Classic rebuilt the SSKL with the highest level of authenticity, which included the lightweight holes in the chassis, typical of the SSKL, built to the original drawings.
The SSKL will be joined on the Tour d’Elégance route by a Mercedes-Benz 320 N combined coupe, the W142, from 1938.
Additionally, visitors to Pebble Beach will be able to see a wide range of famous Mercedes cars on display in the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge.
SSKL joins an array of famous Mercedes racers at this year’s Pebble Beach event Photo: Mercedes-Benz
There will be a V-two-cylinder Daimler engine, representing the start of motorsport as well as the celebration of the 125th anniversary, as cars with engines of this type won the Paris-Rouen race in 1894.
There will also be a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 3.0-liter W154 racing car, a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR sports car – the W196 S – from 1955, a Sauber-Mercedes C9 Group C sports car from 1989 and the Penske- Mercedes PC -23 IndyCar from 1994.
The show will be open August 15-18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will trace the history of Mercedes dating back to 1886 and projecting into future models with a full presentation of the latest Mercedes-AMG high performance vehicles.