The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR is the most expensive car in the world at $143 million
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Mercedes-Benz has set a new record for the most expensive car in the world thanks to some house cleaning. The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart has reported that one of its two extremely rare 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupes was sold to a private collector for $143 million (135 million euros) in a private auction organized by RM Sotheby’s on May 5.
The former record holder for most expensive car was a 1963 Ferrari 250GTO that WeatherTech founder and CEO David MacNeil bought for $70 million in 2018.
Only a few wealthy individuals were invited to the auction for the hardtop version of Mercedes’ mighty Silver Arrow, and while Mercedes is not disclosing the name of the 300SLR’s buyer, Hagerty reports that the buyer is “a well-known figure from Britain’s automotive industry and a longstanding collector of specialist cars.” The buyer agreed, however, to make the automobile available to the public on certain occasions, according to Mercedes.
One of the great questions when reports of the sale initially surfaced earlier this month was why Mercedes-Benz would sell a valuable car from its Classic Collection with a long history for a little percentage of the company’s annual budget.
The money will be used to establish the “Mercedes-Benz Fund,” which will “offer educational and research scholarships in the areas of environmental science and decarbonization for young people” around the world, according to Mercedes’ release.
The Mercedes-Benz Fund will help college students working on environmental science projects as well as younger children working on community-based environmental projects. Mercedes will reveal more information about the fund later this year.
“The Mercedes-Benz 300SLR Uhlenhaut coupes are significant historical aspects that have created our brand,” said Mercedes-Benz Group CEO Ola Källenius in a statement. “The choice to sell one of these two one-of-a-kind sports cars was made with good reason—to help a good cause…
With the Mercedes-Benz Fund, we hope to inspire a new generation of innovators to follow in Rudolf Uhlenhaut’s footsteps and create groundbreaking new technologies, particularly those that contribute to the essential goals of decarbonization and resource preservation. Obtaining the highest price ever paid for a vehicle is both astonishing and humbling.”
Both the 300SLR Uhlenhaut coupe prototypes in the Mercedes collection were built by and named after Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the company’s founder and chief engineer. The business only produced two hardtop variants of the 300 SLR racer, which were utilized by Uhlenhaut and other Mercedes engineers to further racing technology beginning in 1955. Mercedes-Benz Classic still maintains over 1100 cars in its collection, including the second-generation 300 SLR coupe, dating from the invention of the vehicle in 1886 to the present day.
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