According to the company, the car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has auctioned off one of only two examples of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupe for 135 million euros. The most expensive car to date.

Mercedes-Benz has auctioned one of only two examples of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupe for 135 million euros. According to Mercedes, the car from 1955, named after the engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut, is the most expensive car in the world to date.

As the company announced on Thursday in Stuttgart, the sale took place during a campaign on May 5 in the car company’s museum. The buyer is a private collector. The second copy remains in the possession of Mercedes and will continue to be exhibited in the museum.

Uhlenhaut coupés: “Milestones in sports car development”

The 300 SLR was based on the W196 R racing car with which the Italian Juan Manuel Fangio had won the Formula 1 World Championship in 1954 and 1955. In June 1955, French driver Pierre Levegh was involved in an accident at the wheel of an SLR300 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to Levegh, 83 spectators died in the accident. Mercedes then withdrew from motor racing for years.

The car manufacturer’s current boss is also a fan of the rare sports car: The Uhlenhaut coupés are “milestones in sports car development and important historical cornerstones of our brand,” said Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz, according to a statement.

Most expensive car in the world

As a result of the auction, the Uhlenhaut coupe is now the most expensive car in the world. It is almost three times as expensive as the previous record holder, a Ferrari 250 GTO from 1962. This was auctioned in 2018 for around 45 million euros.

It’s not just a top price for cars: according to RM Sotheby’s, the coupé is generally “among the top 10 most expensive objects ever auctioned”. Topping the list is the artwork “Salvator Mundi,” attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, which changed hands in 2017 for around $450 million.

Proceeds go to the foundation

The proceeds will be used to finance a global scholarship program, the “Mercedes-Benz Fund”. According to Källenius, this should encourage a new generation to develop new technologies, especially for decarbonization and resource conservation. The funds are intended for students and pupils who otherwise do not have sufficient financial resources.