Sotheby’s have announced the sale of one of the rarest cars on the planet. The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe from 1955 was sold to a private collector for a whopping $143 million.
The car, one of two such vehicles ever made, is regarded as one of the great jewels of the motoring industry, and for this reason, many people were left astonished when the vehicle was put up for auction. Built as a pair, the vehicles were named after their creator and engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut and are considered “the most beautiful car ever built” by experts.
The 300 SLR was built on the design of the W196 R Grand Prix car, driven by Juan Manuel Fangio. The racing car was fitted with an enlarged 3.0-litre engine, giving it the ability to reach 180mph, making it one of the fastest road-legal cars.
This rare vehicle was sold earlier this month when Mercedes-Benz held an auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. RM Sotheby’s worked closely with the manufacturer to ensure that the auction and sale took place following the highest procedure possible. The pair invited some of Mercedes’ well-known customers and international car and art collectors to the auction.
At $143million, the Mercedes Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is the most valuable car ever sold and exceeds second the second place by some $95 million. Through this sale, the SLR is now not only the most expensive car ever sold at auction but also now one of the ten most valuable items ever sold. Bidding had opened higher than the price of the 1962 Ferrari 250GTO, which previously ranked as the most valuable car ever sold at an auction.
Funds from the sale will create a worldwide Mercedes-Benz Fund, which aims to provide educational and research scholarships for young people. The scholarship will seek to provide young people with research in environmental science and decarbonisation.
“We are proud that we can contribute with our historical collection to this initiative connecting the past with the future of engineering and decarbonization technology”, says Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage. “The private buyer has agreed that the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé will remain accessible for public display on special occasions. The second original 300 SLR Coupé remains in company ownership and will continue to be displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.”