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This is the most expensive car EVER sold at auction

You needed extremely deep pockets to have even stood a chance of owning this gleaming 1955 Mercedes-Benz coupe


Because the jaw-dropping 300 SLR Uhlenhaut - a prototype and one of just two ever built - has just been sold by Mercedes-Benz, via auction house Sotheby's, to a private collector for an astonishing £115 million pounds, or 135 million Euros. 

And that sales makes it the most expensive vehicle ever to have gone under the hammer, trouncing the existing record by more than 90 million Euros. 

Why is the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut - described as 'one of the great jewels in motoring history' - so special in the first place? 


A Sotheby's spokesperson explains: 

"One of just two prototypes built by the Mercedes-Benz racing department, the car is named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, and is considered to be one of the finest examples of automotive engineering and design, often cited as being ‘the most beautiful car in the world’ by automotive experts and enthusiasts worldwide."


The 300 SLR was based on the 'W 196 R' Grand Prix car which won two World Championships in the hands of fearless Argentine driver Juan Manuel Fangio, and because it was capable of hitting a top speed of 180 mph, it was one of the fastest road legal cars to have ever been created at the time.


The auction itself took place in Stuttgart, Germany, with only the world's most well-heeled individuals invited to attend. 

A Sotheby's spokesperson adds: 

"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."

In amongst all the bling, there's a brilliant story lurking underneath here, too. 


Mercedes-Benz will donate all of the proceeds from the sale to establish what it calls a worldwide 'Mercedes-Benz Fund' - a green initiative that'll see scholarships handed out to talented youngsters who want to study environmental science and how to improve the process of decarbonisation. 

Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage, reveals: 

"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.”

Of course, you don't need to find a hundred million quid down the back of the sofa to get your hands on a modern Mercedes SL. 


The Mercedes-AMG SL roadster, like the 1955 coupe, is also pleasing on the eye, and even entry level 'SL 400' models boast a 4.0 litre V6 engine with power of 367 hp and a 0-62mph time of just 4.9 seconds.


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Tuesday, 28/06/2022