In a secret auction at the brand’s museum in Germany, Mercedes-Benz sold one of just two 1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupes from its extensive collection of historical automobiles—which dates back to the earliest days of the car in the late 19th century. The sale, to a private buyer, was for 135 million euros ($142,769,250). It handily outstripped the previous record-setting $48.4-million sale of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO at a 2018 auction to become the most expensive car ever sold at auction. Both of these high-dollar sales were brokered by RM Sotheby’s.
“Despite Ferrari being the most likely marque to have built a $100-million car, Mercedes-Benz was the next most likely candidate,” said Brian Rabold, the vice president of Hagerty Automotive Intelligence, the valuation wing of the classic car insurance, lifestyle, and editorial giant, Hagerty.
The two street-legal 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupes were created by (and named for) Mercedes-Benz’s racing director at the time, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, who built them as part of a motorsport assault. Despite being among the fastest cars in the world at the time, they were never raced due to the brand’s withdrawal from racing in 1955 following a disastrous crash at the Le Mans endurance race that injured hundreds of spectators and killed over 80 people, including Mercedes’s driver.
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