On Thursday, Mercedes-Benz announced its sale of the most expensive vehicle in the world. A unique 1955 Mercedes-Benz SLR coupe that has been preserved in the luxury auto manufacturer’s collection was sold to a private owner for €135 million – equal to $142 million.
According to Hagerty, a firm that keeps tabs on collector car values, the price hails it as the most expensive car known ever to be sold.
The sale’s proceeds will launch the Mercedes-Benz Fund, a worldwide scholarship fund, stated Mercedes in an announcement.
The preceding record sale price for a car was alleged to be $70 million acquired in 2018 for a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO.
The sold Mercedes vehicle was among the only two 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe models. The cars, 67 years old, were named after Mercedes’ then-chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, and are said to have the highest speed of 186 mph.
The model was sold at an exclusive invitation-only auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart on May 5. The auction was organized in partnership with the auto auction firm RM Sotheby’s.
According to a statement from Mercedes, the remaining Uhlenhaut Coupe will continue to be kept in the Museum’s collection.
“Their racing cars from the 1930s and 1950s are rare, and most are still owned by the factory, so any that come to market are highly sought after,” stated vice president of automotive intelligence at Hagerty, Brian Rabold.
Models from Mercedes, such as the “Gullwing” SLRs – dubbed due to their doors that hang in the air like curved wings – are deemed to be one of the most desirable vehicles in the world. And several varieties of unique and racing versions are particularly valuable.
The SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe was a hard-top version of Mercedes’ highly-coveted open-topped SLR racing car, powered by a 300-horsepower eight-cylinder engine. The deliberation was that a closed car would protect drivers better from wind and weather at top speeds, and the closed roof would also upgrade aerodynamics.
Not long after creating these vehicles, Mercedes halted its inclusion in motorsports. Therefore, the vehicles were never used in competition.
Although the company didn’t identify the car’s new owner, British classic car dealer Simon Kidston said in a press release to have put a winning bid at the behest of a customer.