A 1955 Mercedes-Benz, of which there are only two examples, was sold in early May for 135 million euros, an absolute world record for a car at auction, RM Sotheby’s announced last Thursday.
The 1955 Mercedes-Benz Coupé 300 SLR Uhlenhaut was sold on May 5 at a confidential auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, in cooperation between Sotheby’s subsidiary for luxury cars and the German automaker . At a price of 135 million euros, this Mercedes-Benz was sold almost triple the previous record held since 2018 by a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold that year by RM Sotheby’s for more than 48 million dollars ( 45 million euros). In addition, the Mercedes-Benz “300 SLR is now in the top 10 of the most expensive objects ever sold at auction,” said RM Sotheby’s in a press release published in London and passed on to New York by the parent company Sotheby’s, which held its spring auction for works of art last week.
Oliver Barker, president of Sotheby’s Europe, quoted in the press release, said he felt “an absolute thrill to have hit the auction hammer for this masterpiece of design and engineering, which is now measured against the greatest works of art ever sold”.
In fact, according to a ranking established by the press of works of art sold at auction in recent years, mainly in New York, the absolute record is held by Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, sold in November 2017 for 450.3 million. dollars by Christie’s in New York. Next is the Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, painted by Andy Warhol, which left on May 9 for $195 million at Christie’s, becoming the most expensive work of art of the 20th century ever sold at public auction. For 20th century works, Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (version 0) ($179.4 million in May 2015) and Amedeo Modigliani’s Nude Reclining ($170.4 million in November 2015) both also sold at Christie’s. According to this classification of works of art sold at auction at more than 100 million dollars, the Mercedes sold on May 5 by RM Sotheby’s, qualified as “the most beautiful car in the world”, thus ranks 6th or 7th place.
The car, which was owned, like the second example, by Mercedes-Benz, was sold to a private collector and the proceeds of the sale “will be used to set up an International Mercedes-Benz Fund for scholarships and research training for young people in environmental science and decarbonization,” according to RM Sotheby’s. The private buyer of the Coupé 300 SLR Uhlenhaut has agreed to present his vehicle to the public during exceptional events, while the other copy will remain the property of Mercedes-Benz, which will continue to exhibit it in its museum in Stuttgart.
According to RM Sotheby’s and the luxury and sports car press, the 300 SLR, recognizable by its unusual line and its butterfly doors, was created by the engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut on the basis of a racing car, the W196 R Grand Prix, which won two F1 world championships in 1954 and 1955 with Argentinian driver Juan Manuel Fangio. But the Mercedes-Benz manufacturer was marked by the terrible accident of its car in June 1955 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which killed its French driver Pierre Levegh and 83 spectators and kept him away from motor racing for years.
A 1955 Mercedes-Benz, of which there are only two examples, was sold in early May for 135 million euros, an absolute world record for a car at auction, RM Sotheby’s announced last Thursday. 1955 Mercedes-Benz Coupé 300 SLR Uhlenhaut was sold on May 5 at a confidential auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany,…