Mercedes-Benz confirmed this Thursday (19) that it has recently sold the most expensive car in the world. A very rare 1955 Mercedes-Benz SLR coupe, which had been kept in the collection of the German automaker, was sold to a private owner for US$142 million, the equivalent of just over R$700 million at the current dollar exchange rate.
That price makes it the most expensive car ever sold, according to Hagerty, a company that tracks collector car values.
Proceeds from the sale will be used to establish the Mercedes-Benz Fund, a global scholarship fund, Mercedes said in an announcement.
The previous record selling price for a car was R$345 million, which was paid in 2018 for a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO.
The Mercedes that was sold was one of only two 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé prototypes. The 67-year-old cars were named by Mercedes’ chief engineer at the time, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, and appear to have a top speed of 299.3 km/h. The auction was carried out in cooperation with the car auction company RM Sotheby’s.
The other Uhlenhaut Coupé will remain in the Museum’s collection, according to a statement from Mercedes-Benz.
“Their race cars from the 1930s and 1950s are rare and most are still factory-owned. So anyone that hits the market is in high demand,” said Brian Rabold, Hagerty’s vice president of automotive intelligence.
Mercedes’ “Gullwing” SLRs — so called because of the doors that rise like curved wings — are considered among the most desirable cars in the world. And several rare and racing versions are especially valuable.
The SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe was, essentially, a hard-top version of Mercedes’ famous open SLR racing car, powered by an eight-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower.
The thinking was that a closed car would better protect drivers from wind and weather at high speeds, while a closed roof would also improve aerodynamics.
Soon after these cars were developed, Mercedes stopped getting involved in motorsport, so the cars were never used in competition.
While the identity of the car’s new owners remains unknown, British classic car dealer Simon Kidston claimed in a press release to have made the winning bid on behalf of a customer.
Source: CNN Brasil