Record Auction Price – €135m for Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Record Auction Price - €135m for Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR

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A Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe from 1955 has been sold at auction for a record price of €135 million to a private collector, Mercedes-Benz said today.

It was one of just two prototypes built at the time. Named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, it is considered to be “one of the finest examples of automotive engineering and design by automotive experts.”

One wonders, given the times, if the buyer was an oligarch? (Must See! Virtual Viral Tour of Mercedes Museum; Daimler Truck Moves Past MB Commercial Vehicles to Wörth)

“The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes are milestones in sports car development and key historical elements that have shaped our brand. The decision to sell one of these two unique sports cars was taken with very sound reasoning – to benefit a good cause. 

“”The proceeds from the auction will fund a global scholarship program. With the ‘Mercedes-Benz Fund’ we would like to encourage a new generation to follow in Rudolf Uhlenhaut’s innovative footsteps and develop amazing new technologies, particularly those that support the critical goal of de-carbonization and resource preservation,” claimed Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. “At the same time, achieving the highest price ever paid for a vehicle is extraordinary and humbling: A Mercedes-Benz is by far the most valuable car in the world.”

The money from the sale of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe serve as seed capital for the Mercedes-Benz Fund. It will be divided into two sub-categories: University Scholarships in order to connect, educate and encourage students to realize/conduct research on environmental science projects and School Scholarships focusing on pupils to realize local environmental projects in their communities.

Program funds will be directed to individuals who otherwise do not have the financial means for their projects and career paths. The program will go beyond financially supporting the young people and include extracurricular elements like Mercedes-Benz mentorships opening up new career prospects. The “Mercedes-Benz Fund” will be jointly developed with and managed by an experienced partner which is currently being evaluated. The detailed set-up and roll-out planning as well as the partner organization will be announced later this year.

History and Auction of 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe

The sale of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe took place on May 5th at an auction held at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in cooperation with auctioneer RM Sotheby’s. The invitees were among selected Mercedes-Benz customers and international collectors of cars and art, who share the corporate values of Mercedes-Benz. The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe sold at auction was part of the non-public vehicle collection belonging to Mercedes- Benz Classic, comprising more than 1100 automobiles from the invention of the automobile in 1886 until today.

“We are proud that we can contribute with our historical collection to this initiative connecting the past with the future of engineering and de-carbonization technology”, says Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage. “The private buyer has agreed that the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe will remain accessible for public display on special occasions, while the second original 300 SLR Coupe remains in company ownership and will continue to be displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.”

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