The “most valuable car in the world”, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz, has sold for a record €135m (£114.4m).
The car is just one of two ultra-rare original 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Collection and has been sold to a private collector.
Proceeds of the auction will be used to establish a worldwide Mercedes Benz Fund that will provide educational and research scholarships in environmental science and decarbonisation.
Named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the coupe was a “milestone” car with distinct “gullwing doors” that helped shape the Mercedes brand.
The auction took place with RM Sotheby’s at Germany’s Mercedes-Benz museum, with a select number of collectors and Mercedes-Benz customers.
The private buyer has agreed it will remain accessible for public display “on special occasions” and its twin remains in company ownership and will remain on display in Stuttgart.
“With the “Mercedes-Benz Fund” we would like to encourage a new generation to follow in Rudolf Uhlenhaut’s innovative footsteps and develop amazing new technologies, particularly those that support the critical goal of decarbonisation and resource preservation,” said Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group AG.
“At the same time, achieving the highest price ever paid for a vehicle is extraordinary and humbling: A Mercedes-Benz is by far the most valuable car in the world.”
“As a global company and as a luxury brand we bear a great level of responsibility towards society,” added Renata Jungo Brüngger, a board member for Mercedes-Benz.
The fund, she said, will help build a “more sustainable future”: “We are convinced that access to education in these areas will be crucial in encountering the great challenges of our time and contribute to greater stability, prosperity, and social cohesion.”