Mercedes-Benz “Super-Sport” (SS)

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupés (W 198) commemorate the great success of 1955

In the “Super-Sport” (W 06) of the Maharajah of Kashmir in Caracciola’s footsteps

Mercedes-Benz 220 “Ponton” (W 180) in the tradition of the class victory of 1956

Also for customer vehicles: Top-level technical and organisational support from the

experts at the Mercedes-Benz Classic C

The Mercedes-Benz Classic works team will take part in the 1000 Miglia 2024 in Italy with ten vehicles. The regularity race for historic automobiles takes place on the route of the legendary road race from Brescia to Rome and back. One highlight is the start of eight Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwings” (W 198) in the works team.

Six private customers are taking advantage of a very special customer package by Mercedes-Benz Classic with their super sports car from the 1950s. In addition, the participating customer vehicles will be prepared by the experts from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center and provided with technical support during the event.

A Mercedes-Benz “Super-Sport” sports four-seater (W 06) from the Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicle collection will also be at the start. The vehicle was built in 1930 and originally delivered to the Maharaja of Kashmir. The supercharged sports car of the famous S series is reminiscent of Rudolf Caracciola’s victory in the Mille Miglia in 1931 with a Mercedes-Benz SSKL.

A Mercedes-Benz 220 “Ponton” saloon (W 180) from the tradition of the S-Class also competes in the works team. It stands for the class victory in the 1956 Mille Miglia that was achieved by a car of this type.

“With its history, its route and its starting field, the 1000 Miglia is one of the most fascinating events in classic automobile racing. We are happy to be there this year with such a strong factory team. Private customers benefit from the unique competence and extensive experience of the team at our Classic Center. In this way, they become part of the legendary history of the Mille Miglia. Our brand has contributed to this special history with great moments.” – Marcus Breitschwerdt, CEO Mercedes-Benz Heritage

Legendary thousand miles through Italy

This year’s 1000 Miglia will take place from 11 to 15 June. Its circuit runs counterclockwise in five stages from Brescia to Rome and back. Only classic cars whose models took part in the original Mille Miglia road race between 1927 and 1957 are allowed to start. After starting in Brescia on the first day, the route leads through Bergamo, Novara and Vercelli to Turin.

On the route of the second stage are Acqui Terme and, for the first time, Genoa. Along the Tyrrhenian coast we go to Viareggio. The third day is dedicated to Rome: Via Lucca, Castiglione della Pescaia, Marta, Viterbo and Ronciglione, the peloton enters the Italian capital and reaches its finish in Via Veneto.

The fourth stage goes back north via Orvieto, Solomeo, Siena and Prato as well as the Futa and Raticosa passes to San Lazzaro di Savena near Bologna. On the last day, the route leads through Ferrara, Bovolone and Villafranca, along Lake Garda with Valtenesi and Salò to the finish in Viale Venezia in Brescia.

Mercedes-Benz and the Mille Miglia

Highlights in Mercedes-Benz’s 130-year motorsport history were the Mille Miglia in 1931 and 1955. At the fifth Mille Miglia on 12 and 13 April 1931, Rudolf Caracciola achieved a surprise victory in the Mercedes-Benz SSKL with co-driver Wilhelm Sebastian. In the powerful supercharged racing touring car, he became the first winner of the road race who does not come from Italy.

In 1955, Stirling Moss and his co-driver Denis Jenkinson won the Mille Miglia from 30 April to 1 May 1955 in 10:07:48 hours in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR racing sports car (W 196 S). This was the fastest time ever achieved in the race and thus a record for eternity. Second place in the overall standings went to his teammate Juan Manuel Fangio, also in a 300 SLR.

The standard Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupés (W 198), which were optimised for racing, also caused a sensation at the time: the “Gullwings” achieved a triple class victory, led by John Cooper Fitch and his co-driver Kurt Gessl in the No. 417 300 SL. The number stands for the start time at 4:17 a.m. in the morning.

The grey 300 SL Coupé with the legendary sequence of numbers is now one of the crowd favourites in the 1000 Miglia. In 1956, Erwin Bauer and Erwin Grupp won the class of special touring cars with a displacement of over two litres in a Mercedes-Benz 220 “Ponton” (W 180).

Mercedes-Benz 220 “Ponton” (W 180)

The vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz Classic works team at the 1000 Miglia 2024

Mercedes-Benz type “Super-Sport” sports four-seater (W 06), 1930

The high-performance Mercedes-Benz “Super-Sport” (SS) was primarily intended as a “Gran Turismo”, as a sporty, exclusive touring car. From 1930 onwards, its in-line six-cylinder engine produced 118 kW (160 hp) from a displacement of 7.1 litres and up to 147 kW (200 hp) with a supercharger. The SS model followed the S (“Sport”) in the W 06 series. Later, SSK (“Super-Sport-Kurz”) and in 1931 the SSKL (“Super-Sport-Kurz-Leicht”), which was reserved for racing, were added.

The SS made its debut as a racing car with up to 184 kW (250 hp) in June 1928 with Rudolf Caracciola winning the hill climb on the Bühler Höhe at the Baden-Baden Motor Tournament from 27 June to 1 July 1927. A total of 111 units of the Mercedes-Benz SS were built from 1928 to 1933. This Mercedes-Benz SS sports four-seater was fitted with a highly elegant and highly detailed body in 1930 for the Maharajah of Kashmir.

Technical data Mercedes-Benz model “Super-Sport” (W 06)
Production period: 1928 to 1933
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Cubic capacity: 7,065 cc
Output (from 1930): 118 kW (160 hp), with compressor 147 kW (200 hp) at 3,300 rpm
Maximum speed: 185 km/h

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé (W 198)

In February 1954, the 300 SL production sports car (W 198) had its world premiere at the International Motor Sports Show in New York. The coupé is also known as the “Gullwing” or “Papillon” because of its characteristic doors hinged on the roof. However, the door construction was not an aesthetic end in itself, but a technical necessity. This is because the tubular space frame is so high on the sides that conventional solutions could not be implemented.

The high-performance sports car was based on the legendary 300 SL racing sports car (W 194) of the 1952 season. The further developed W 198 was the world’s first production passenger car with a four-stroke engine and petrol direct injection. With an engine output of 158 kW (215 hp) – a good 25 per cent more than in the carburettor racing version of 1952 – and a top speed of up to 250 km/h, the W 198 was at the top of the range of production sports cars of its time.

This also predestined it for sports operations. The triple class victory of the 300 SL “Gullwing” at the Mille Miglia in 1955 is legendary. From 1954 to 1957, a total of 1,400 vehicles of the 300 SL Coupé were built, 29 of them with an aluminium body.

Technical data Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé (W 198), standard version
Production period: 1954 to 1957
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Cubic capacity: 2,996 cc
Output: 158 kW (215 hp) at 5,800 rpm
Maximum speed: Up to 250 km/h

Mercedes-Benz 220 “Ponton” (W 180), 1955

Introduced in the spring of 1954, the 220 (W 180), also known internally as the 220 a, was the first Mercedes-Benz six-cylinder model in a self-supporting design. Its modern and spacious “Ponton” body, which Mercedes-Benz had presented six months earlier in the mid-range model 180 (W 120), offered a previously unknown level of spaciousness.

The single-joint swing axle, which was introduced into series automobile production with the type 220, guaranteed safe driving characteristics. At the 1956 Mille Miglia, several Mercedes-Benz 220s competed in the class of standard special touring cars. In this class, the chassis and engines of the vehicles could be modified.

The driver team Erwin Bauer and Erwin Grupp won their class at the legendary Italian road race with a special 220: in the sports department headed by Karl Kling, three vehicles had been specially prepared for use in the Mille Miglia. They already had the twin-carburettor system of the successor type 220 S, with which the engine produced around 85 kW (115 hp).

For the sporty ride, shorter and harder springs and modified shock absorbers were mounted. In addition, drivers could change gears via the centre shift as in the 190 SL – instead of the steering wheel gearshift otherwise installed.

Technical data Mercedes-Benz 220 (W 180), production version
Production period: 1954 to 1956
Cylinders: 6/in-line
Cubic capacity: 2,195 cc
Output: 63 kW (85 hp)
Maximum speed: 150 km/h

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