Read everything else we have to say about Monterey Car Week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The year’s most glaring illustration of the class divide is upon us. While gearheads around the Midwest converge on 10 miles of Woodward Avenue in Detroit for the Dream Cruise, the entire rest of the world descends on California’s Monterey Peninsula for competitive displays of wealth.
Actually, “competition of elegance” is the literal translation of “concours d’elegance,” but the competition has morphed and grown to such a degree that the two anchor events, the concours on Sunday and the historic races at Laguna Seca the preceding days, now support a bevy of satellite events, from the Legends of the Autobahn German-car show and Concorso Italia (we’ll let you figure that one out) to the inevitable contrarian show, the always hilarious Concours d’LeMons.
There’s so much money and there are so many great cars on the peninsula this weekend that even parking lots can look like spectacular car shows. We are on the ground and will be bringing you live updates from the week’s events. Stay tuned! –Jared Gall
Mercedes-Benz SSKL, a.k.a. The Cucumber
Heresy and Brutality Are Always a Compelling Duo: 1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL Re-Creation
This is a re-creation of the 1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL that Manfred von Brauchitsch took to 225 kph (140 mph) at AVUS. Having just ridden in it at speeds not exceeding 40 mph, and suffering several mild cardiac events in the process, I can only surmise that ol’ Manfred was out of his damn kopf. It’s loud, brutal, and you can actually discern the firing order of the 325-hp 7.1-liter supercharged straight-six-cylinder. The original car was lost to time, but Mercedes re-created it in the guise of this one, taking an SSK chassis and drilling holes in it to achieve Leicht, or lightweight, spec. Mike Kunz, director of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in California, claims that many of his colleagues thought the process heretical. But that process is what brought this car—technically the first Silver Arrow, predating the W25—to life. –Eddie Alterman