Mercedes-Benz Classic makes the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (15 to 18 August 2019) a highlight in the “125 Years of Motorsport” anniversary year: the reconstructed Mercedes-Benz SSKL streamlined racing car from 1932 can be experienced at the top-class classic car event in California for the first time on the road.
The Classic department has spared no expense in having the vehicle reconstructed for the “125 Years of Motorsport” anniversary. Alongside the unique SSKL, an elegant Mercedes-Benz 320 n combination coupé (W 142) from 1938 will be taking part in the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance.
A dream car on a dream road: at 7 a.m., the participating vehicles line up on the Portola Road in Pebble Beach. From 9 a.m., the exclusive drive begins, leading to Carmel-by-the-Sea. The tour will arrive back at Pebble Beach by around 2 p.m. The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance partially follows the legendary 17 Mile Drive coastal route of the Californian peninsula of Monterey.
Tradition of luxurious sportiness
With the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge, the brand is presenting the topics of origin, luxury and “125 Years of Motorsport” at Pebble Beach from 15 to 18 August 2019, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The sportiness in the history of the oldest luxury car brand in the world is brought to life, from 1886 right into the future.
The central “Origins” exhibition area shows an authentic replica of the Benz Patent-Motorwagen – it stands for the birth of the car in 1886 from the spirit of innovation. The Mercedes-Simplex 40 hp from 1903 is a representative of the family of the first modern car in the world and a high-performance vehicle of its time. The current Mercedes-Benz EQC Edition 1886 (combined electrical consumption: 20.8 – 19.7 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km*) – much like the Mercedes-Simplex almost 120 years before it – symbolises the beginning of a new era of mobility and carries the values and strengths of Mercedes-Benz on into the future.
The “Luxury” area stands for the tradition of the highest standards in equipment, comfort, performance and design. Here, the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge bridges the gap from the current Mercedes-Maybach luxury top models to the Maybach DS 8 Cabriolet from 1932. The topic of automotive luxury as a theme of the Mercedes-Benz brand history reflects the spirit of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and its supporting programme over the entire Automotive Week.
“125 Years of Motorsport” anniversary year
The focus of the presence at Pebble Beach is the “125 Years of Motorsport” anniversary. One of the stars is, of course, the Mercedes-Benz SSKL streamlined racing car. On 15 August, spectators will experience its premiere on a public road. As an exhibition in the Star Lounge, the aerodynamically encased racing car also meets a Daimler two-cylinder V-engine, which represents the beginning of motorsport. Vehicles equipped with engines of this type won in the first car competition in history 125 years ago – the race from Paris to Rouen on 22 July 1894.
Further automotive contemporary witnesses from 125 Years of Motorsport in the Star Lounge include a Mercedes-Benz 3-litre W 154 Formula racing car from 1939, a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR racing sports car (W 196 S) from 1955, a Sauber-Mercedes C 9 Group-C racing sports car from 1989 and the Penske-Mercedes PC-23 IndyCar from 1994. A comprehensive presentation of the latest high-performance vehicles by Mercedes-AMG perfectly rounds off the topic of sportiness.
Magic moments in California
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is one of the outstanding dates on the worldwide calendar of automotive classics. This competition for automotive elegance has been held since 1950 – back then with new vehicles and in association with the Pebble Beach Road Race. Since 1955, collector’s cars have been the focus of the Concours d’Elegance.
Today, the Concours, in which around 200 exquisite cars from all around the world take part, is the conclusion and highlight of the Pebble Beach Automotive Week with its comprehensive programme. The actual competition with the presentation at the 18th hole of the Pebble Beach Golf Links takes place on Sunday 18 August 2019, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Spectacular “missing link”
The top-class classic car event is an impressive stage for the driving premiere of the Mercedes-Benz SSKL Avus racing car at the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance. This spectacular vehicle, which will be subsequently presented in the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge, connects the era of the mighty compressor racing sports cars of the 1920s and the epoch of the legendary Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows of the 1930s.
The aerodynamics pioneer Reinhard von Koenig-Fachsenfeld (1899 to 1992) designed a trailblazing streamlined body for the powerful Mercedes-Benz SSKL compressor racing car in 1932. On 22 May 1932, Manfred von Brauchitsch entered the important international Avus race in Berlin with this vehicle which was unusual to spectators of the time (the public promptly dubbed it “gherkin”) and won ahead of Rudolf Caracciola in an Alfa Romeo.
Mercedes-Benz Classic has reconstructed the innovative “silver arrow”, as it was described in a radio report at the time, from 1932, with the highest level of authenticity. This includes the lightening holes in the chassis, typical of the SSKL, which were undertaken according to the original drawings. In total, the racing car weighs 125 kilograms less than the Mercedes-Benz SSK, which served as its basis. The complete reconstruction of the streamlined body according to historical documents was particularly laborious. For this purpose, the experts researched the archives of Mercedes-Benz Classic and those at Schloss Fachsenfeld, which the engineer and inventor Reinhard von Koenig-Fachsenfeld transferred to a foundation in 1982.
The victory of the Avus racing car in 1932 is one of the milestones in 125 Years of Motorsport at Mercedes-Benz. It was back then that the aerodynamic optimisation was established in motorsport. The brand is commemorating this at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with the driving premiere and presentation.
Source: Mercedes-Benz Classic