There are expensive classic cars and then there is the Mercedes-Benz Coupe Uhlenhaut 300 SLR. As you have probably already heard, this very special vehicle was sold this year at an auction for a record price of 135 million euros to a private collector, becoming the most expensive car ever sold. Few people were surprised by such an event, because the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe has always been considered a rare achievement in the automotive industry. However, we were a little shocked that the brand decided to sell one of the two models produced in the first place.
However, everything made perfect sense when we heard the goal. Mercedes-Benz participated in the auction with 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé to benefit a good cause and fund a global scholarship program. The money from the auction will go to younger generations eager to invent and develop innovative new technologies, just like Rudolf Uhlenhaut did when building the famous coupé. Now that we’ve mentioned it, what do you know about the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe?
If you are not quite aware of the story behind one of the finest examples of automotive engineering and design, now is the time to fix that. Follow our review and you will learn a lot of intriguing details about the most expensive car in the world – the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe.
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé: The Making of One of the World’s Most Iconic Sports Cars
Rudolf Uhlenhaut, an Anglo-German engineer, created the 300 SLR coupé in 1955, pushing the limits of the then limited technical possibilities. As a man behind the development of the 300 SL and the W 196 R “Silver Arrows”, he knew very well what the new coupé had to look like to continue the racing success of the Mercedes-Benz. Therefore, Uhlenhaut made this new car light, powerful and pleasing to the eye.
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé has always been pure elegance in terms of aesthetics, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Uhlenhaut didn’t just want to look attractive – he wanted to create an artist ready to make a difference in the automotive world. As you already know, Uhlenhaut did more than an amazing job.
Built around a mighty centre, the engine that pushes power through eight lightweight alloy cylinders with chrome barrels, the coupe is a worthy and inspired performer of Formula 1. With a closed roof to improve aerodynamics ( compared to open-top competitors), 306 horsepower, 233 lb-ft of torque and other equally impressive specs, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe has stunned audiences since its introduction.
How the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé had an unfortunate fate
As mentioned, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé was built with the purpose of racing in mind first, carefully designed to be extremely light and fast on the trail. Sadly, he never hit the track in real life and remained just an admirable prototype, but not by his fault.
Mercedes-Benz has been very successful in motorsport and has won more than one trophy over the years. Unfortunately, the 1950s tragically changed that when the 1955 Le Mans horror crash occurred. Mercedes driver Piere Levegh bounced off the track into the pit and caused a crash that killed 82 people and injured more than 100. Mercedes-Benz then withdrew from racing until 1989. It was a dark time in the automotive industry. which we will always remember, and we can’t begin to understand how the Mercedes-Benz racing team got away with it.
The good thing is that the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé was not meant for a sedentary life. Uhlenhaut drove the car every day, and some sources say he shuttled between Stuttgart and Munich in a record time of an hour. However, it may be that the coupe was not left in the shadows and the world recognized its importance and beauty from the start.
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé remains an inaccessible legend today
Over the years, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé has achieved classic status for many reasons, starting with its impressive styling, engineering and performance. That’s why we thought the brand would never sell it. Still, the auction took place this year and showed us just how special the world thinks the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is.
After a private collector banked 135 million euros for the iconic coupé, there is no longer any doubt about its status in the hearts of conductors. From now on, out of a total of two units, one car will remain on the premises of the brand and will be exhibited in the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The other will remain in private ownership, although the collector has agreed to display it to the public on special occasions.