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Gary_Ash

1929 Mercedes SSK in hotel lobby, Sydney, Australia

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As we checked in at the Novotel Hotel in Brighton-le-Sands (Sydney), Australia, my attention was caught by a fully restored 1929 Mercedes SSK roadster on display in the lobby. I’m not sure why it’s there, but I’ll ask. Wikipedia tells me only 40 of these were made, only 5 remain, and it’s worth a few million dollars (US or Aus). Supercharged 7 liter engine, 120 mph capable, sounds like fun. I was hoping it would be my rental car...

 

 

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If it was real it would be a lot more than a few million.  In fact, it would be measured in 10s of millions.

 

Many a SS got the "SSK" treatment in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

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Wasn't there an SSKL (Licht) ? or did the rong synaps fire ?

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The taillights tell a story.

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Doesn’t look like the “real” one that was in the states in the 80’s and is now back in Europe. That was an assembled car from factory floor sweepings. This car looks way too small, and most of the details are way off........the story board is nothing but misdirection.

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2 hours ago, padgett said:

Wasn't there an SSKL (Licht) ? or did the rong synaps fire ?

 

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Authenticity is certainly not what the subject car is all about. Someone just did what he could with skill and resources at hand, and had to take liberties. The white car pictured here is a proper 1927 S. "Merely" a 36/220. The frontal pic is of a 1930 SS38/250. Subject car deviates in ways, regarding braking, for example, which would need research. The SS38/250 has had quite a number of "personal bling touches" inflicted on it, (where in the world did that grille come from ?). Most of you know of my familiarity with the original unrestored car going back almost 60 years. I wish I could see it one more time. That is not likely, but there might be a possibility of learning the story of this Australian ?. I wonder how much of the mechanicals have survived. Yes, I would like to know more about it. Also, I wonder if our library has the articles from which one page each is shown here. I believe I have a little research time on the clock.      -     Carl 

 

 

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G'day Gary,

 

Welcome to the land down-under. Enjoy your stay and safe driving on the right(left) side of the road.😀

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Is the 38/250 the taxable hp/actual hp ?

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Like that, the 250 with supercharger engaged. That was for the touring road cars. I don't remember exactly, but I believe the race prepared competition cars had something like 275-300, partially depending on the supercharger used.  These obviously were fast cars for their time. Brutal and obviously ready for "business", they were also often exquisitely beautiful. Not as "refined" as the swing axle rocker box straight eights that followed. But I have been told by guys who have driven both and pushed them hard, that the older race bread cars handle better when close to the limit. Makes sense to me, as I am not wild about swing axles in general. I sure wish I could give first hand testimony !   -    Carl 

 

 

 

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I'll probably get stepped on.........but having run a J and a 1929 Blowen Mercedes side by side on the open road...........at high speeds...........the J smokes the Mercedes..........

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Ed,  this was done in period in the famous Muroc lake match race.   Although I believe it  was an "S" against a "J" and not an "SS" and certainly not an "SSK" which is basically a purpose race car.   An SSK against a SSJ would be really interesting.

 

The Mercedes got out to a lead on the first lap and then overused the Blower,  the Duesenberg came lopping along and passed it and that was it.

 

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Edited by alsancle (see edit history)

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I'd like to be sitting in the lobby with Ken Purdy and Brooks Stevens looking that car over. They may have been involved.

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Interesting that the ad says in part "This is no kit car, nor is it the original. Chassis: Minerva AG 1925, Motor: Mercedes Benz 1969 280s, Gearbox: 4 speed manual with electric overdrive" And it's now at Brighton-le-Sands about 1,000kms south of Caloundra where it was advertised for sale.

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Yes, that is the car I saw. I kind of wondered about some of the details.  It doesn’t look ”coachbuilt” when you are looking at it critically. The ends of the front shock links have Heim joints, the shocks appear to be large Houdaille units with finned aluminum covers to make them look like friction shocks, etc. It is apparently owned by the hotel owner. 

 

At the current exchange rate, a price of AUS $85,000 = US $58,000. Should I bring it back to the U.S. for someone?

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A '69 Mercedes engine? Personally, I would rather have a put-together model T speedster using era correct parts. But that is me.

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9 hours ago, Gary_Ash said:

Yes, that is the car I saw. I kind of wondered about some of the details.  It doesn’t look ”coachbuilt” when you are looking at it critically. The ends of the front shock links have Heim joints, the shocks appear to be large Houdaille units with finned aluminum covers to make them look like friction shocks, etc. It is apparently owned by the hotel owner. 

 

At the current exchange rate, a price of AUS $85,000 = US $58,000. Should I bring it back to the U.S. for someone?

 

Generally,  I'm a snobby elitist about replicas and kits,  but as a "speedster" build that is pretty cool and not too much money.   But  you need to take away all the fake Mercedes badging.

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I mentioned Purdy and Stevens. I have most of Ken Purdy's books and have read quite a bit about Stevens and the Excalibur cars. They were leaders in the neoclassic movement through the 1960's. Purdy books are readable online. Don't follow up on my suggestion to read and look. That car will being following you home. Since this post came up my cursor accidentally fell of the Excalibur  ads.

 

I'm not a snobby elitist, but under the right circumstances my imitation can be very convincing, and can make people use bad language.

Bernie

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I like the Excalibur and the Stutz (of the 70s variety) for what they are.   They aren't trying to pretend to be something else.

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The ad from car-from-uk.com says the basis for the SSK replica started as a1925 Minerva.  I don’t remember ever seeing a Minerva in the U.S., but maybe an original Minerva roadster is more interesting than the SSK replica.

 

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I sure agree 100% with you about the Minerva, Gary. A very lovable piece of machinery. I highly doubt the builder of the ? car would have destroyed a restorable 1925 Minerva roadster. We just don't know what he had on hand to work with. Creative and unique, certainly a fun toy. Here is the instrument panel of a real 38/250.   -   Carl 

 

 

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Both cars sold in the last two years at Pebble were the AM models (Six).   The big boy is the AL (Eight).  Here is the Minerva from this year:

 

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And the one from last year:

 

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