Motoring

Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut auctioned

A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe has become the most expensive car to ever be sold after being auctioned off for €135 million (approximately ₹ 1,108 crore). The car, previously owned by Mercedes-Benz, was sold by RM Sotheby’s at the Mercedes-Benz Museum on May 5.

The buyer has chosen to be anonymous, with the winning bid being placed on his/her behalf by Simon Kidston, head of historic car specialist Kidston SA.

The ₹ 1,108 crore price tag is a new world record for any car — more than twice the previous record — which was held by a Ferrari 250 GTO when it was sold in 2018 for £52 million (approximately ₹ 503 crore).

Only two 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes were made by Mercedes-Benz, and were named after their chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut. The car was designed as a road-going version of the W 196 R grand prix car, with a larger 3.0-litre straight-eight engine enabling it to hit speeds of up to 288kph.

The car sold was chassis 00008/55 — the second of the two cars built, and the one that was frequently used by Uhlenhaut himself. This sale puts the 300 SLR as one of the most expensive items ever to be sold at an auction.

All the proceeds from the sale will be directed to establish a worldwide Mercedes-Benz Fund, which RM Sotheby’s says, will aim to “provide educational and research scholarships in the areas of environmental science and decarbonisation for young people.”

“The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR is a combination of exotic engineering, all-conquering racing history, the power of the three-pointed star on its nose and the fact that one had never, ever been sold,” said Simon, referring to the 300 SLR as the ‘Mona Lisa of cars’.

Many of the top priced cars sold at auctions have been Ferraris. The previous record holder, the Ferrari 250 GTO, had won the 1964 Le-Mans 24 hour. In 2013, a Mercedes-Benz W196 was sold at $29 million (approximately Rs 225 crore). Raced by Juan Manuel Fangio, it was the most expensive Mercedes-Benz to be sold at an auction until the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut.


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 9:13:08 am | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/motoring/mercedes-benz-300-slr-uhlenhaut-auctioned/article65456077.ece