Carlo Felice Trossi was an Italian aristocrat and professional race car driver. Between 1931 and 1948, Trossi competed successfully in many events with the Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Maserati teams. His engineering education and interest led him to invest in projects such as the super-sleek body design for the 1934 Trossi Mercedes-Benz SSK, and an experimental aircraft-like engine-and-body design for the 1935 Trossi-Monaco Grand Prix car. Trossi served in the Italian Royal Air Force during World War II and died in 1949 at age 41.
It is a testament to its breathtaking design that the Trossi SSK has become a worldwide icon of automotive design when it was just a one-off car. Of the 42 SSK (Super Sport Kurz) Ferdinand Porsche-designed chassis that were completed by Mercedes-Benz, one (No. 36038) was selected by Count Trossi for some special design treatment. With its sweeping hood, snaking exhausts and sculpted fenders, the Trossi SSK is the epitome of long hood, short deck European sports car design of the interwar years.