Barker Mercedes-Benz SSK Roadster 1929

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Barker Mercedes-Benz SSK Roadster 1929

Mensagem por Daniel AMG em Dom 3 Abr 2011 - 13:55

Barker was one of England's most distinguished coachbuilders and dated back to 1710, when an officer of the Royal Guard founded a coachbuilding company in London. Barker had entered the automobile era as Barker & Co. Ltd. in 1900. Through the centuries, the company went on to curry the favour and patronage of the Royal household. This high level of visibility helped Barker become well known in the Arab world and the Far East.
With such distinguished history, it's no wonder Barker came to express its company's artfulness on Rolls-Royce chassis. In 1905, C.S. Rolls took a liking to their work and announced that "all his cars would be fitted with Barker bodywork". Thus Barker became (one of the) more-or-less "official" coachbuilders, although customers could send their chassis to any of the many other coachbuilders around if they wished.
In 1938 Barker went into receivership and was taken over by rival coachbuilder Hooper
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Barker Mercedes-Benz SSK Roadster
The Mercedes-Benz SSK was built between 1928 and 1932. SSK stands for Super Sport Kurz, with the last word being the German for "short", a reference to the fact that the car was based on the earlier Mercedes-Benz S, but with a 19 inches shortened chassis to make the car lighter and more agile for racing. It was the last and greatest car designed for the company by the brilliant engineer Ferdinand Porsche. It has a supercharged 6-cylinder 7-liter engine producing between 200 and 300 hp and as a result, the SSK was the fastest car of its day with a top speed of up to 120 miles per hour (190 km/h). Numerous competitive successes made it one of the most highly regarded sports cars of its era.

About 37 SSKs were built during its production span, of which about half were sold as 'Rennwagen'. Many were crashed while racing and subsequently cannibalized for parts, and as a result there are now almost 100 replicas using components donated from original vehicles.

This particular SSK, with coachwork by Barker of London, was first owned by Dorothy Paget, who was known for financing "Blower Bentley" team of Tim Birkin, in 1929. At this time Mrs. Paget herself drove this Mercedes SSK. It was later owned by Briggs Cunningham, who drove it with a different set of wings and running boards. Briggs sold it to Miles Collier in 1987 and now a set of original looking wings and running boards reappeared on the car.
Daniel AMG
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