Private collector buys 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé for a record $143 million, says auction house Sotheby's.

The $143 million car bid passed the existing record of $95 million belonging to1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold by RM Sotheby's in 2018.
The $143 million car bid passed the existing record of $95 million belonging to1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold by RM Sotheby's in 2018. (Sotheby's)

A Mercedes-Benz car has been auctioned off for a whopping $143 million, making it the world's most expensive car ever sold, auctioneer Sotheby's has said.

"A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé from 1955 has been sold at auction for a record price of €135,000,000 to a private collector," the auction house said in a statement on Thursday.

The car is one of two prototypes manufactured by the Mercedes-Benz racing department and named after its engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut.

The 1955 model of the vehicle is considered by automotive experts and enthusiasts as "the most beautiful car in the world" in its engineering and design.

"The remarkable 300 SLR was based on the hugely successful W 196 R Grand Prix car which won two World Championships in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio, but with its engine enlarged to 3.0 litres for sports car racing," the statement said.

"The car was capable of 180 mph, making it one of the fastest road legal cars to have ever been created at the time."

Accessible for public display

Peter Wallman, spokesperson for RM Sotheby’s said words can't tell the importance and significance of this sale. 

"It’s reasonable to say that nobody ever imagined that this car would ever be offered for sale, so for Mercedes-Benz to ask RM Sotheby’s to conduct the auction was an absolute honour."

Mercedes-Benz's Heritage chief, Marcus Breitschwerdt, noted the car will remain accessible for public display on special occasions and the second prototype will be shown in Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

The $143 million car bid passed the existing record of $95 million belonging to1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold by RM Sotheby's in 2018.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies