A vintage 1955 Mercedes-Benz has been sold for $143 million making it the most expensive car ever sold at an auction.
Canada-based RM Sotheby’s announced that it has auctioned off a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, earlier this month, for 135 million euros, or about $143 million, reports CNBC. The sale smashed the previous record for the most expensive car sold at auction by more than $95 million and topped the $70 million record for a car sold privately.
The winning bid was made by British car collector, advisor and dealer Simon Kidston on behalf of an unnamed client. Kidston lobbied the Mercedes-Benz board for 18 months to consider selling the car, the report said.
The sale, first reported by Hagerty Insider, took place May 5 in a secretive and highly unusual auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Only selected collectors and Mercedes-Benz customers were invited to attend.
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. It was built by Mercedes’ race department and 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. The 300 SLR had a larger, 3.0-liter engine and was able to reach 180 mph, making it one of the fastest road-legal cars at the time.
The Mercedes-Benz company owned both of the 300 SLR cars, and the May 5 sale took many collectors by surprise.