When it comes to car auctions, things can get quite expensive and competitive; it is a lucrative business aimed at those with deep pockets, and classic/rare car auctions are the mightiest of them all. As it would turn out recently, the most expensive car ever sold at auction is the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe. It is well renowned for its speed, performance, and rarity. How expensive was the car sold for at auction then? An astonishing 143 million dollars, that’s just over 114 million pounds. Beating the record of the racing pedigree Ferrari 250 GTO, which cost 70 million dollars when it was sold.
Funny enough, someone close and dear to me gifted me with a book titled “1001 cars you must drive before you die”, and the 250 GTO is in there and goes into a lot of helpful detail and insight about the car; it is quite a read. Though also insightful is their brand chillimustarddesigns that make unique and bespoke jewellery with some fascinating designs. Worth a checkout, too, in my opinion.
Back to the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, what makes it so unique? It is only 1 of 2 built back in 1955, this one was sold to a private collector, and the other is on display at the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart (which I highly advise visiting). Making it even rarer than the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO mentioned earlier; not only that but the 300 SLR was also named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, which set the benchmark for technical and engineering craftsmanship.
It is based on the world-renowned Mercedes 300SL, which is widely known for its gullwing style doors though the performance figures are what make the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe a racing icon. It came with a 3.0-litre straight-eight engine producing 310 bhp and 310 Nm of torque, which was matched with a five-speed manual transmission that propelled the racing machine to 176 mph and 60 mph in a reasonable 7.2 seconds.
The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is more than just a car; it is a piece of history, a benchmark for modern speed machines. It’s engineering and design are unparalleled and even to this day can hold a candle even amongst the most luxurious of hypercars; it also signifies what Mercedes-Benz is all about. Take every successful Mercedes Benz sports car, and they will all go back to this, the 300 SLR is more than just a car. It’s a time capsule.