This Mercedes-Benz Was Sold for P7.5 Billion. Yes, Billion
Mercedes-Benz has sold the most expensive car ever at an auction. The German brand beat Ferrari when one of the two famed 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupés was bought by a private collector for the jaw-dropping amount of $143 million or about P7.5 billion through RM Sotheby’s.
That beat the previous auction record of $48 million or about P2.5 billion in August 2018 for a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO with chassis no. 3413 GT, which the auction house said was long considered to be the Holy Grail of the collector car world.
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé is one of two prototypes built that the brand named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut. The car has been owned by Mercedes-Benz since its creation in 1955 and is now in the top 10 most valuable items ever sold at auction in any collecting category.
The car itself is based on the Mercedes-Benz W 196 R Grand Prix car, which was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio and won two world championships. It was capable of speeds of up to 180 miles per hour, which made it one of the fastest road-legal cars to have ever been created in the 1950s.
“We are proud that we can contribute with our historical collection to this initiative connecting the past with the future of engineering and de-carbonization technology,” said 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.”
“Words can’t really do justice to the importance and significance of this sale,” said Peter Wallman, chairman for the U.K. Europe, Middle East and Asia of RM Sotheby’s. “It’s reasonable to say that nobody ever imagined that this car would ever be offered for sale, so for Mercedes-Benz to ask RM Sotheby’s to conduct the auction was an absolute honor.”
“What an absolute thrill to bring the hammer down on this masterpiece of design and engineering, which now stands shoulder to shoulder with the greatest works of art ever sold,” Oliver Barker, Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe. “Few ever dreamt that this great jewel of motoring history would ever come for sale, and how fitting that it should happen now, just as we embark on a new and exciting chapter with our partners at RM Sotheby’s."
According to the auction house, proceeds of the Mercedes-Benz sale will be used to establish a worldwide “Mercedes-Benz Fund” that will provide educational and research scholarships in the areas of environmental science and de-carbonization for young people.