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No, not a classic Ferrari – rumor has it that a Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow race car has just been traded in for a nine-figure sum

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While classic Ferraris are probably what comes to mind when you picture the world’s most expensive cars, you’d be wrong to omit Mercedes-Benz from your mental catalog of uber– expensive machinery. In fact, a racing car from the German brand has just been privately traded for a new record sum.

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The automaker itself owned – until perhaps recently – both examples of its 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR “Coupés Uhlenhaut”, two slender two-doors built on the chassis not of the 300 SL, but of Benz’s W196 Formula 1 car. Now he’s apparently dropping one of those cars for 135 million euros (US$142 million or C$183 million), according to rumors reported by Hagerty.

That’s more than double the US$70 million a Ferrari 250 GTO was said to have sold privately in 2018, setting a record at the time; and nearly triple the US$48 million for another 250 GTOs auctioned in 2018.

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Rumors circulating suggest that Mercedes-Benz worked hard to ensure that the rare race car would not just be resold for profit, but rather would remain with a collector who could afford to take care of it, just like the company did it, while showing it. at a handful of public events each year.

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“Potential buyers were reportedly hosted for lunch at the Mercedes-Benz Museum” in early May, Hagerty reports. “The seller, on behalf of Mercedes-Benz, presented [the offer to] about 10 (maybe less) carefully selected car collectors who were not only wealthy enough to bid, but who would meet the strict criteria set by the German automaker.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut-Coupe” (W 196 S) Photo by Mercedes-Benz

The 300 SLR coupés were designed for a 1956 motorsport season which Mercedes-Benz withdrew following a horrific accident at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1955. Although there was never a of competition, the brand’s chief test driver, Rudolf Uhlenhaut – who helped design the 300 SLR – ended up taking one of the road-legal racers as his company car, hence the nickname of the cut.

The coupes were an evolution of the open-top 300 SLRs that won the Mille Miglia in 1955. Their 3.0-liter inline-eight cylinders are said to have produced just over 300 horsepower and could propel the coupes to 180 mph (290 km/ h), making them the fastest road cars of their time.

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