1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe smashes sales record
A Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe has been sold at auction for a record price of €135,000,000 (almost £115 million) to a private collector. The car is one of just two prototypes built by the Mercedes-Benz racing department in 1955, and was named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut.
The 300 SLR was based on the hugely successful W 196 R Grand Prix car, which won two World Championships in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio, but with its engine enlarged to 3.0 litres for sports car racing. It was capable of 180mph, making it one of the fastest road legal cars that had ever been created at that time.
The sale of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe was held at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The winning bid of €135,000,000 makes it the most valuable car ever sold – exceeding the previous record (for a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO) by more than €90,000,000. It also puts it in the top ten of most valuable items ever sold at auction.
Proceeds from the sale will be used to establish a worldwide Mercedes-Benz Fund, which will provide educational and research scholarships for young people in the areas of environmental science and decarbonisation.