9. MERCEDES SS/SSK

Motor Sport News - - Le Mans Preview: Retro -

BEST RE­SULT: 2nd (1931) The ri­val ‘Blower Bent­ley’ is bet­ter known, but the 7.1-litre su­per­charged Mercedes is more wor­thy of this list.

Firstly, the solo 1930 en­try driven by Ru­dolf Carac­ci­ola and Chris­tian Werner put up a heroic fight against two teams (su­per­charged 4.5-litre cars and un­su­per­charged 6.6-litres) of Bent­leys be­fore ex­pir­ing with a flat bat­tery, leav­ing the Bri­tish firm to se­cure a one-two with its un­blown Speed Sixes.

“Such is the rep­u­ta­tion of the fa­mous Ger­man mar­que for speed and stamina that elab­o­rate team tac­tics were adopted by the two Bent­ley groups,” said Mo­tor’s 1930 race re­port. “They took it in turns in lur­ing the Ger­man on to un­wise speeds.”

Sec­ondly, un­like the fa­mous Bent­ley, the short­ened SSK re­turned to fin­ish sec­ond the fol­low­ing year, al­beit de­feated by the smaller (but le­gendary) Alfa Romeo 8C 2300.

in ’31... Run­ner-up spot came ...af­ter heroic fight against Bent­ley in 1930 event

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