The single most expensive car in the world is a Mercedes-Benz

Derryn Wong

Ultra-rare Mercedes-Benz SLR 300 Uhlenhaut goes for S$197-million in a recent auction – and it’s been sold for a good cause too

Stuttgart, Germany – A Mercedes-Benz has set the record as the highest-priced single automobile to date. The extremely rare 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupe rang in at 135-million Euros (S$197-million) with the final bang of the gavel, soundly beating the previous record-holder, a 1963 Ferrari GTO that sold for US$70-million (S$96m) in 2018.

Why is it so expensive?

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupe with its creator, Rudolf Uhlenhaut

When it comes to classic car auctions, lineage is everything, and you can’t get more original than this car. There are only two examples of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupe, both owned by Mercedes-Benz itself. The auction car was one of two owned by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre, which is the force behind Merc’s museum and classic car support programme.

Secondly, the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut is the apex example of one of the most renowned and beautiful cars in history, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’. The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupe was created under the guidance of Mercedes’ historically figure, chief engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut. As the ‘R’ in ‘SLR’ suggests, the two SLR models were actually derived from the 300 SLR prototype racing cars.

Those were never road legal, except for the two examples of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut modified for road use at Ulhenhaut’s behest, and they were capable of speeds of up to 290km/h – not bad for 1955 tech!

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While the car was sold to ‘a private collector’ the good news is that this isn’t just the hocking off of a super-rare-limited-expensive-shiny toy for a very rich. Proceeds from the auction will go to the ‘MercedesBenz Fund’, which will support scholarships for students in environmental science and more.

What could S$200m get you in Singapore? An en bloc condo development near Orchard Road, and maybe just a fifth of a colossal superyacht – but it’s still a damn eye-opening price tag for a single car.


300 SL 300 SLR Coupe exotic expensive heritage Mercedes-Benz sports Uhlenhaut

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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