Reincarnation Magazine

Reincarnation Magazine
Continuation, Reproduction and Replica Automobiles
Rein Car Nation Cover Winter 2020
						Excalibur Ssk 9
Brooks Stevens’ Pseudo Mercedes

1967 Excalibur SSK Series I

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

If you’ve ever ridden a Harley, posed with the Wienermobile, used grandpa’s fishing boat or drank a Miller beer, then there’s a good chance you’ve touched one of the designs of Brooks Stevens. Credited with everything from kitchen appliances and lawn mower engines, to Harley Electra-Glides, Studebakers, Jeeps and trains, Stevens had his hands in everything design back in the 1960s. But one of Stevens’ true passions was the 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK, to such an extent, that Stevens produced a line of re-creations under the name Excalibur.

For mechanicals, Stevens went with something he knew — 1960s Studebakers, as he’d done previous work for Studebaker on the ’62 Hawk Grand Turismo. But by the time the SSK production cars hit their stride, 300 hp Corvette drivelines were adopted, and Corvette rear independent suspension would come on later Excaliburs. Production cars also made the switch to fiberglass bodies with aluminum hoods, while early builds were all aluminum.

With that sort of power on tap and a finished weight of roughly 2,000 pounds, the Series I Excalibur SSK is a stout performer, capable of busting out 0 to 60 mph times of 5.4 seconds, and a top speed of over 130 mph. With these figures in mind, it’s easy to see the virtue in Stevens’ modernized version of the classic Mercedes. And what all that means is that the Series I SSK has real value with collectors, as the best Excaliburs can crest $45,000.

The Series I Excalibur seen here on BringaTrailer.com is a one-owner example said to be one of 38 constructed in 1967. Its 327 ci Corvette driveline has logged around 19,000 miles, and the car is offered with service records and documents. The body is finished in a sedate lime green and 15-inch wire wheels wear vintage Goodyear bias-ply tires. The car appears to be in solid original condition, and there’s been no effort to disguise the years of love. However, presentation is quite adequate, and you could even consider using that P-word (patina).

The interior features the same sort of appointments you’d find in sport customs of the era. It’s overall fairly basic, with a pair of seats, a wood-rimmed wheel, Hurst shifter and period gauges. The engine-turned dash is a nice-looking piece and works well with the original gauges and switches. Eagle-eyed readers may also notice the plaque on the dash bearing the following text: 4th Annual Excalibur Meet, Elkhart Lake, Wis. July 25, 1970.

The current high bid on the Excalibur sits at $35,000, with the auction closing on February 17. Based on Hagerty’s price guide, this one has already exceeded the value of a #2 (Excellent) car, and is less than $10,000 off from a #1 (Concours) condition car, so we’d imagine this one’s going to sell.

See the Excalibur here on BringaTrailer.com.

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