A 1955 Mercedes just pulled in $143 million at auction, making it the most expensive car ever sold at auction.
The ultra-rare 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe smashed the previous record for the most expensive car sold at auction by more than $95 million.
The sale, which was first reported by Hagerty Insider, happened on May 5th in a secretive and highly unusual auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.
RM Sotheby made the announcement that it had auctioned off the coupe for 135 million euros, or about $143 million.
The winning bid was made by British car collector, advisor and dealer Simon Kidston on behalf of an unnamed client.
Kidston had also lobbied the Mercedes-Benz board for 18 months to consider selling the car.
Only selected collectors and Mercedes-Benz customers were invited to attend the auction where the car was sold.
The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is one of only two created in 1955 and is regarded as one of the most prized cars in auto history.
Built by Mercedes’ race department, it was named after its chief engineer and designer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut.
The car was based on the company’s successful W 196 R Grand Prix car, which won two World Championships with driver Juan Manuel Fangio.
“It’s reasonable to say that nobody ever imagined that this car would ever be offered for sale, so for Mercedes-Benz to ask RM Sotheby’s to conduct the auction was an absolute honor,” said Peter Wallman, RM Sotheby’s chairman for the U.K. and EMEA.
Mercedes-Benz said it will donate the proceeds to create a fund for scholarships and educational research into the environment and decarbonization.
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