A 1956 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut” Coupe is rumoured to have been sold to a private collector in Stuttgart | Source: Motorist

This Could Be the Most Expensive Classic Car in the World, Fetching A$290m

There are few cars more desirable than a Mercedes Benz. They are the height of sophistication, quality design and construction with a reputation as being the most luxurious marque in the world. While most of their new models sell for more than A$100,000, according to specialty insurance firm Hagerty, a classic 1956 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut” Coupe has set a new record not only for a Mercedes but for any car ever, selling to a British billionaire for an eye-watering A$290 million, becoming the most expensive car ever sold.

With a top speed of 290 km/h, it was easily the fastest car in production at the time but only two were ever made. Intended to become a hard top production version of its famous 300 SLR race car, Mercedes not only discontinued production but pulled out of motor racing entirely after it was involved in one of the deadliest motor racing incidents ever at Le Mans, leaving 83 spectators dead.

The aftermath of the deadly 1955 incident at Le Mans | Source: GQ

The buyer has remained anonymous but Mercedes said he is a “well-known figure from Britain’s automotive industry and a long-standing collector of specialist cars.” Ten very wealthy car collectors were flown to Stuttgart for the auction and participated under strict conditions including a guarantee the buyer would not resell the vehicle and a willingness to continue to show the car at events.

The styling of the 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut” Coupe is unique and a very influential design that would see many imitators and has influenced future Mercedes as well as other famous models such as the Jaguar E-type. Under the hood, it is just as unique as on the exterior. A 3.0-litre straight-eight petrol engine produces 228kW with 317Nm of torque to the rear wheels, impressive specifications at the time. It has a five-speed manual transmission, allowing the car to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 7.7 seconds.

The most expensive car ever is impressive under the hood
Source: Supercars

Although there have been reports of other cars, including Ferraris and a Bugatti selling for more than the Uhlenhaut, those reports have never been verified. The previous record for the sale of a car was A$70 million, paid for a blue 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO in 2017.

The Third Reich played a significant role in financing previous iterations of the famous “Silver Arrows” line of race cars and they dominated Grand Prix racing for many years until the war. Mercedes returned to what is now Formula One racing with the streamline-bodied W196 which went on to win 9 of the 12 races in the early 1950s.

Source: Supercars

The top ten most expensive cars ever sold have changed hands in the last ten years and this example is by far the most expensive. If rumours about the sale are true, there is a A$134 million gap between the sale of this car and the next most expensive car ever sold.

One of only two ever produced, the sale of this car represents a huge jump in the valuation of older vehicles mostly due to the fact that it is incredibly rare. There are other rare supercars that may surpass the value of this car in the future, but if the reports are accurate, Mercedes now holds the record.

Join The Rich List

Receive the beautifully curated selection of what's trending in luxury with inside stories and tips from our experts

You may also like

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This