LORD OF THE WING: GBP 115 Million Prototype Merc Gullwing Is World’s Most Expensive Car

A rare Mercedes Uhlenhaut Coupe from 1955 – one of only two ever made – has been sold at auction for a record-breaking GBP 115 million.

The auction took place at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in the German city of Stuttgart on 5th May.

The company’s CEO Ola Kallenius said the classic car “achieved the highest price ever paid for a vehicle”.

The most valuable car in the world: Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe. (Mercedes-Benz Group AG/Newsflash)

In a statement obtained by Newsflash, the German automobile company said on 19th May: “A Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe from 1955 has been sold at auction for a record price of EUR 135 million [GBP 114.5 million] to a private collector.

“This icon of automotive history is an absolute rarity – one of just two prototypes built at the time. Named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, it is considered to be one of the finest examples of automotive engineering and design by automotive experts and enthusiasts worldwide.”

The Mercedes-Benz statement continued: “The sale of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe took place on May 5th at an auction held at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in cooperation with renowned auctioneer RM Sotheby’s.

One of the two 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes together with the inventor Rudolph Uhlenhaut. This vehicle is on display in the Mercedes-Benz Museum. (Mercedes-Benz Group AG/Newsflash)

“The invitees were among selected Mercedes-Benz customers and international collectors of cars and art, who share the corporate values of Mercedes-Benz.

“The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe sold at auction was part of the non-public vehicle collection belonging to Mercedes-Benz Classic, comprising more than 1,100 automobiles from the invention of the automobile in 1886 until today.

“The special circumstances behind its creation, its unique design and its innovative technology have endowed the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe with a remarkable level of mystique that endures to this day.

The most valuable car in the world: Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, sold for EUR 135 million (GBP 114,4 million). (Mercedes-Benz Group AG/Newsflash)

“The design of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe set benchmarks that put it among the world’s most significant automotive icons – not least on account of its distinctive “gullwing” doors. Added to this is the outstanding performance delivered by its thoroughbred racing technology.”

Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, said: “The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes are milestones in sports car development and key historical elements that have shaped our brand. The decision to sell one of these two unique sports cars was taken with very sound reasoning – to benefit a good cause.

“The proceeds from the auction will fund a global scholarship programme. With the ‘Mercedes-Benz Fund’ we would like to encourage a new generation to follow in Rudolf Uhlenhaut’s innovative footsteps and develop amazing new technologies, particularly those that support the critical goal of decarbonisation and resource preservation.

The design of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe set benchmarks – not least on account of its distinctive “gullwing” doors. (Mercedes-Benz Group AG/Newsflash)

“At the same time, achieving the highest price ever paid for a vehicle is extraordinary and humbling: A Mercedes-Benz is by far the most valuable car in the world.”

Marcus Breitschwerdt, head of Mercedes Benz Heritage, said. “The private buyer has agreed that the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe will remain accessible for public display on special occasions, while the second original 300 SLR Coupe remains in company ownership and will continue to be displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.”

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