One of the two 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes sold for 135 million euros (বিনি 143 million at current exchange rates), making it the most expensive car of all time, Mercedes said in a press release on Thursday.
The Gallowing Coupe came from Mercedes’ own collection and was bought by an unnamed collector at an auction held on May 5 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The sale was arranged with the help of auction house RM Sotheby’s. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Mercedes-Benz Fund, which will provide educational and research scholarships in environmental science and decarbonization, the automaker said.
The coupe is named after its creator, Rudolf Wohlenhout, boss of Mercedes’ racing division just before and after World War II. In addition to the coupe bearing his name, Uhlenhaut’s credits include the W196 Grand Prix car and the 300 SLR sports racer that famously won the Miglia at the hands of Sterling Moss.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhout Coupe
The Uhlenhaut Coupe was intended to be the successor to Moss’s roofless 300 SLR. It had the annoying-and-stroked version of the Straight-8 of the W196, and it had streamlined bodywork emblazoned on the 300 SL road car, including the already sluggish doors that appeared on the 300 SL road car.
However, Uhlenhaut Coupe never got a chance to race. Shortly after this was completed, Mercedes withdrew from racing after a catastrophic accident at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans. Despite a handful of rallies and personal efforts, Mercedes will not officially return to racing until the 1980s.
Two Uhlenhaut Coupe prototypes were sent to Mercedes’ non-public classic collection, where the second prototype will be. One of the conditions for the sale was that the car would be “accessible for public display and special occasions,” Marcus Britsward, head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage, said in a statement. So the now-privately owned Uhlenhaut coupe can see daylight more often than it did when it was owned by Mercedes.