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710 SSK 27/240/300 hp Trossi Roadster
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  Mercedes-Benz 710 SSK 27/240/300 hp Trossi Roadster
 

  Article Image gallery (29) 36038 Specifications User Comments (1)  
Click here to open the Mercedes-Benz 710 SSK 27/240/300 hp Trossi Roadster  gallery   
Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:1931
Numbers built:1 (33 SSKs in total)
Designed by:Count Carlo Felici Trossi / Willie White
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 26, 2007
Download: All images
Chassis: 36038
Surprisingly at least one of the SSK chassis built in the winter of 1928 had remained unsold. To make it more appealing, it was fitted with the biggest Supercharger, which helped deliver in excess of 300 bhp. The 18-louvre 'kompressor' was of the hillclimb specification and as such was constantly engaged. The chassis with serial number 36038 was shipped to Japan in the spring of 1930, most likely to showcase Mercedes-Benz' engineering capabilities. It returned to Europe a few months later and was sold through the Italian agent in Rome to the car's first customer. Still without a body, the SSK was shortly after purchased by the Count Carlo Felice Trossi.

The young Count was the heir to a large Textile empire and had a wide range of hobbies including ornithology, racing boats, airplanes and racing cars. Shortly before purchasing his SSK, he was appointed president of the recently formed Scuderia Ferrari. His tasks were not restricted to executive duties, but he was also a very quick racing driver. He had his new Mercedes-Benz shipped to the little known British coachbuilder Willy White to have it fitted with a lavish two-seater roadster body. To this day it is unclear who actually penned its design, but it has gone into history as one of the finest. The long fenders added a touch of elegant to the large Mercedes as did the pointy tail. In contrast to the bright white racers, Trossi had his SSK painted a very shiny black. Needless to say the Count loved his SSK and used it both for cruising around the town and in hillclimbs. He sold the car and bought it back twice and then held onto it until his untimely death in 1949.

The 'Trossi Roadster' was sold by the Count's family to a wealthy Argentinian. He tried to import the car to his native country, but due to political problems he failed to do so. The car was then sold to the United States were it ended up with Carter S. Schaub, a great Mercedes-Benz enthusiast. He wrote a multi-page article for Road and Track magazine about his pride and joy. Schaub sold the black beast to replica builder Ray Jones. He planned to produce a replica of the Trossi Roadster and had created many of the necessary body panels before he had to flee to Europe. He took the car with him and it was hidden in the South of France. It was subsequently sold to England and superficially restored. In 1983, it joined the impressive Tom Perkins collection.

Some five years later Perkins sold the Trossi Roadster to fashion designer Ralph Lauren along with his Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic and Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Touring Spider. Lauren delivered both the Bugatti and the Mercedes to master restorer Paul Russell for a ground-up restoration. His meticulous work resulted in the much coveted 'Best of Show' at Pebble Beach for both cars; for the Atlantic in 1990 and the Trossi Roadster in 1993. Since then, the SSK has only rarely been seen, not in the least because it is quite a challenge to drive. In 2007 it returned to Italy for the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. It was hardly a surprise when it was announced that the Trossi Roadster had been awarded to Trofeo BMW Group for the Best in Show by jury vote.


Chassis details
Last known location Ralph Lauren Collection
Appearances

2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

  Article Image gallery (29) 36038 Specifications User Comments (1)