A 1955 Mercedes sold for 135 million euros, a world record

An ultra-rare Mercedes-Benz race car has been sold for $143 million. This is an absolute world record for a car at auction, RM Sotheby’s announced on Thursday.

RM Sotheby’s has announced that it has auctioned off a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé for 135 million euros, or about $143 million. The sale broke the previous record for the most expensive car sold at auction by more than $95 million and surpassed the record of $70 million for a car sold privately.

“It’s safe to say that no one ever imagined this car would ever be offered for sale, so for Mercedes-Benz to have RM Sotheby’s lead the auction was an absolute honor”, said Peter Wallman, Chairman of RM Sotheby’s UK and EMEA. .

The offer was made by British car collector, adviser and dealer Simon Kidston on behalf of an anonymous client. Kidston lobbied the Mercedes-Benz board for 18 months to consider selling the car.

The sale, first reported by Hagerty Insider, took place on May 5 at a secret and highly unusual auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Only selected collectors and Mercedes-Benz customers were invited to attend.

The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé is one of only two created in 1955 and is considered one of the most prized cars in automotive history. It was built by Mercedes’ racing department and is named after its chief engineer and designer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut.

The car was based on the company’s successful W 196 R Grand Prix car, which won two world championships with driver Juan Manuel Fangio. The 300 SLR had a larger 3.0 liter engine and could reach 180 mph, making it one of the fastest street-legal cars at the time.

The Mercedes-Benz company owned both 300 SLR cars, and the May 5 sale surprised many collectors.

Mercedes-Benz said it would donate proceeds to create a fund for scholarships and educational research on the environment and decarbonization.

Prior to the sale, the most expensive car sold at auction was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO which fetched $48.5 million at RM Sotheby’s in 2018. A 1963 Ferrari GTO was privately sold in 2018 for $70 million. dollars.

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