Commissioned by the American Mercedes Co. of New York, the 28/95 Targa Florio chassis is a three-seater sportster.
The 28/95 Mercedes was one of the last models produced by Mercedes before the 1926 merger with Daimler and Benz. The car was powered by a six-cylinder engine that was a variation of Daimler's DF80 aircraft engine used in biplanes during World War I. The engine had a fully enclosed shaft and bevel gear driven camshaft and valves. These were then enclosed in aluminum for each of the three pairs of cylinder castings and bolted to an aluminum crankcase.
The rear-wheel drive weighed in at two tons and had a top speed of 141 miles per hour. The steel chassis was constructed so that several custom bodies could fit onto the frame, making it one of the most versatile models on the Mercedes line. It was used for everything from racing to sport and show competitions, largely because of its reliability and high performance construction. But it could also be fitted with luxury leather appointments for well-to-do buyers in search of a status symbol to drive around town.
The Mercedes “Targa Florio” took its name as a result of the successes of the class-winning chassis in the famed race event in 1921 and 1922. Driver Max Sailer completed the 67-mile “Targa Florio” in his Mercedes 28/95 in seven hours, 12 minutes, and eight seconds on a course where only 24 of the 42 starters completed the race. The winning vehicle was driven by Giulio Masetti in a Mercedes GP/14 who completed the course in six hours and 50-minutes. The 28/95 was about 22 minutes off the leader. The 7.2 liter aircraft-type six-cylinder engine was one of the most powerful of the day.