CMC Mercedes-Benz SSK Argentinean autumn race 1931, #14 Zatuszek, red
Carlos Zatuszek competed in the 1931 Autumn Cup of Argentina with start number 14 and won the 400-kilometer race with a track record. After Berndt and Zatuszek sold their winning car in 1935, it was used in Argentina by other racers until the 1950s. After that, its traces were lost until it was rediscovered in Argentina. The car’s components were taken to Germany, where it was reconstructed and given back its original red livery. CMC had the opportunity to digitally measure the SSK during the restoration and can dedicate an absolutely authentic miniature to this unique prototype.
The SSK is considered the most sporty and exclusive version of the super-charged six-cylinder racing sports cars from Mercedes-Benz’ S series. Short for “Super-Sport Kurz” (meaning Short-wheelbase Super Sport), the SSK debuted on race tracks in 1928, only four weeks after the SS (Super-Sport) model was introduced. Among its major modifications was a wheelbase curtailed by 450 millimeters to highlight its uncompromising nifty characteristics. This made the SSK an ideal choice for hillclimb racing.
Part of the legend of the SSK is that it was both a factory racing car and a customer vehicle. Some racing specifications, such as a more powerful compressor or a racing camshaft, were also available to private customers, while others were reserved for factory racing cars. It was common for private owners of an SSK to take part in races at weekends and use their two-seaters on weekdays as a means of transport in everyday life. Undoubtedly, the SSK was the ultimate supercar of its time.
The Mercedes-Benz compressor sports cars were initially developed under the leadership of Ferdinand Porsche. They first took the shape of a touring car in 1926, featuring increased engine power and a shortened wheelbase, and known as the Model K. The letter did stand for “Kurz” (short), namely, the shortened design for racing operations. K was preceded by the type designation S (Sport) in 1927 and SS in 1928. In mid-1928, Mercedes-Benz engineers shortened the Type S chassis to a wheelbase of 2950 millimeters and equipped the chassis with the new 7.1-litre SS compressor engine. This created the Type SSK (Super-Sport-Short), whose powerplant coupled with the compressor generated 200 hp. After Rudolf Caracciola won several important hillclimb races in the 1928 season, the factory decided to produce a small series of the SSK, which was initially meant to be a factory racing car only. From October 1928 it was included in the official sales program. By 1929, the power had been increased to 250 hp, whereas the racing touring cars of the factory team provided up to 300 hp with a larger compressor. In total, fewer than 30 customer SSKs were produced, and it was one of the most exclusive Mercedes-Benz ever.
This CMC model embodies a special piece of racing history. Built in 1929 and finished in red, this SSK was piloted victoriously by Carlos Zatuszek at a series of long-distance races in Argentina. A household name in South America today, Carlos Zatuszak, however, was born in 1897 as Karol Zatuszek in what is now Ukraine. He attempted his first car race in 1927. Two years later, his brother-in-law Julio Berndt acquired the SSK, with which Zatuszek scored victory after victory in the following years. With starting number 14, he competed at the Autumn Prize of Argentina 1931 and won the 400-kilometer race by setting up a new track record. After Berndt and Zatuszek sold the car in 1935, it continued to be raced by others until the 1950s. Then it fell into oblivion for many years, but its remains were eventually rediscovered. They were shipped to Germany where the car was restored. CMC had the opportunity to scan the car before it was re-painted in the original red. This SSK is held to have one of the most interesting histories – reason enough for CMC to dedicate a faithful miniature to it.
- Hand-crafted metal precision model built from more than 1,700 parts
- Authentically formed and true-to-scale car body
- Faithfully reproduced steel frame
- Sophisticated grille and rock guards made of fine metals
- Mid-hinged split bonnet with leather belt and buckle
- Rear bonnet with a metal lock
- Inline six-cylinder engine replica complete with all ancillaries, piping and cabling
- Exhaust pipes with metal snake conduit casing
- Perfectly-crafted wheels with alloy rims and stainless-steel spokes wired by hand with nipples
- Removable central knock-off spinners
- Two detachable spare wheels fastened with a handle
- Hand-made metal leaf springs for the front and rear axles
- Flip-open fuel filler made of stainless steel
- Throttle-/ignition lever mounted at the steering wheel
- Authentic replication of the cockpit and its gauges
- Both seats covered in real leather
- Adjustable windscreens for both driver and co-driver
- Brake drums in the authentic copper design with cooling fins
TECHNICAL DATA (ORIGINAL VEHICLE)
6-cylinder in-line engine with overhead camshaft and vertical shaft drive
Compressor that can be switched on briefly (roots blower)
Max. output without supercharger 170 HP at 3.300 /min Max. output supercharged 225 HP at 3.300 /min Capacity: 7.065 ccm Max. speed: 192 km/h Wheelbase: 2.950 mm Overall length: 4.250 mm Track front: 1.425 mm Track rear: 1.425 mm
The use of manufacturers’ names, symbols, type designations, and/or descriptions is solely for reference purposes. It does not imply that the CMC scale model is a product of any of these manufacturers.
The use of racing term and/or driver names, symbols, starting numbers, and/or descriptions is solely for reference purposes. Unless otherwise stated, it does not imply that the CMC scale model is a product of any of these racing teams/drivers or endorsed by any of them.
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