► Rare Mercedes sells for £115 million
► One of two iconic gullwing prototypes
► Plus the most expensive cars sold at auction
A Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe has become the most expensive car ever sold at auction – leapfrogging a string of Ferraris at the top of the world’s most valuable cars.
The 1955 gullwing was sold by Mercedes at an RM Sotheby’s auction for €135 million (£115m) to a private collector. Funds raised will establish a Mercedes-Benz fund to provide education and research into environmental science and decarbonisation projects for young people, Stuttgart said.
The sky-high price can be accounted for by the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe’s rarity: it is one of just two prototypes made and was named after its chief engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut. It was released from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Collection.
The 300 SLR was based around the W196 R Grand Prix car which won two world championships in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio. It was capable of 180mph, making it one of the fastest cars available in period.
See our list of the most expensive cars sold at auction
What are the world’s most valuable cars?
The delectable 300 SLR has overtaken the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, which sold in 2018 for a record $48m at the prestigious RM Sotheby’s sale at Monterey Car Week. That record stood for four years until the May 2022 Uhlenhaut sale.
Tellingly, 16 of the top 27 most expensive cars ever sold at auction were Ferraris (see our list below). Rare Aston Martins, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos, a McLaren and even a Ford GT40 are peppered throughout the most valuable cars.
The most expensive cars ever sold at auction
We’ve worked with our classic car sister titles and auctions experts to compile this list of the most expensive cars:
- 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe €135,000,000 (RM Sotheby’s 2022)
- 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO $48,405,000 (RM Sotheby’s 2018)
- 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta $38,115,000 (Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction 2014)
- 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti $35,700,000 (Artcurial Paris 2016)
- 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 $29,605,000 (Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013)
- 1956 Ferrari 290 MM $28,050,000 (RM Sotheby’s, New York City 2015)
- 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider $27,500,000 (RM Auctions, Monterey 2013)
- 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti $26,400,000 (RM Sotheby’s, Monterey 2014
- 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 $22,550,000 (RM Sotheby’s, Monterey 2017)
- 1955 Jaguar D-type $21,780,000 (RM Sotheby’s, Monterey 2016)
- 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring $19,800,000 (RM Sotheby’s, Monterey 2016)
- 1994 McLaren F1 LM spec $19,800,000 (RM Sotheby’s, Monterey 2019)
- 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider $18,500,000 (Arcturial, Paris 2015)
- 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus Spider Competizione $18,400,177 (Bonhams, Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014)
- 1964 Ferrari 250 LM $17,600,000 (RM Sotheby’s, Monterey 2015)
- 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider $16,830,000 (Gooding & Co, Pebble Beach 2015)
- 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale $16,500,000 (Gooding & Co, Pebble Beach 2015)
- 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa prototype $16,390,000 (Gooding and co, Pebble Beach 2013)
- 1995 McLaren F1 $15,620,000 (Bonhams, Quail 2017)
- 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider $15,180,000 (Gooding & Co, Pebble Beach 2014)
- 1964 Ferrari 250 LM $14,300,000 (RM Sotheby’s, New York 2013)
- 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato $14,300,000 (RM Sotheby’s, New York 2015)
- 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta Competizione $12,745,500 (RM Auctions, Italy 2013)
- 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa $12,402,500 (RM Auctions, Maranello 2009)
- 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster $11,770,000 (Gooding and co, Pebble Beach 2012)
- 1960 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione $11,275,000 (Gooding and co, Pebble Beach 2012)
- 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf $11,000,000 (RM Auctions, Monterey 2012)
- 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider $10,894,000 (RM Auctions, Maranello 2008)
Classic car values boom – or bust?
Values of significant cars continue to rise and signs are that speculators are viewing rare and exalted cars as an investment vehicle. Could the boom years be back? And is it sustainable?
Be sure to sound off in our comments below!
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