The record for the most expensive car in the world has now been shattered and that too for a good cause. RM Sotheby’s has sold one of the two hallowed 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupés to a private collector for a whopping $143 Million or 135 million EUR. The proceeds of which will go to a worldwide “Mercedes-Benz Fund” that will provide educational and research scholarships in the areas of environmental science and decarbonization for young people.
This is one of the rarest cars in the world with only two in existence in terms of the prototypes built by the Mercedes-Benz racing department. The name 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut.
The 300 SLR was based on the W 196 R Grand Prix car which won two World Championships in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio, but its engine was changed to 3.0 liters for sports car racing. The car was capable of 180 mph, making it one of the fastest road-legal cars to have ever been created at the time.
The sale of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé took place on May 5th at an auction held at the MercedesBenz Museum in Stuttgart. Among the invitees were selected Mercedes customers and international collectors of cars and art.
The winning bid on the car was a stratospheric €135,000,000, thus making it the most valuable car ever sold and a price that exceeds the existing record by more the €90,000,000. In what felt like a surreal experience, the bidding opened at a price higher than the selling price of the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold by RM Sotheby’s in 2018, the car which previously ranked as the most valuable ever sold at auction. The 300 SLR now sits in the top ten most valuable items ever sold at auction.
“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, while the second original 300 SLR Coupé remains in company ownership and will continue to be displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.”