135 million euros: The world’s costliest automotive Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes sells its silver and separates from a 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé – who’s the nameless purchaser? – Traditional – Mercedes lovers

Now it’s official! For a good week, people in Stuttgart kept out of sight and didn’t really want to speak the language. Did Mercedes-Benz sell the legendary 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé? Some said “Impossible, you must be a duck”. “Why not? The others replied: “Mercedes has two of them.” The fact is that Mercedes-Benz did and with the sale of the Uhlenhaut Coupe, it sold not only its silver products, but also an important part of its history. Not entirely without ulterior motives, of course .. .

The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is the Mona Lisa for cars. So why would Mercedes-Benz, the inventor of the car, give up this treasure? Money is hardly the reason, because in the first quarter of 2022 the group managed to increase its profit by 11% to 5.2 billion euros. There’s 135 million euros at the end…peanuts. So there must be a more important reason why Mercedes wants to sell the legendary 300 SLR. Was it all about “the most expensive car in the world is Mercedes-Benz”? After all, Mercedes-Benz chief Ola Källenius wants to tighten up its luxury strategy, push with higher margins, cut compact classes and would rather sell very few cars for a lot of money. It fits perfectly with the concept that the most expensive car in the world is now a Mercedes. This is undoubtedly his radiance! By the way, the Ferrari 250 GT or the most expensive car in the world to date, the Italian singer sold in 2018 the equivalent of 67 million euros. The SLR has now brought twice as much.

Why is Mercedes splitting from the Uhlenhaut Coupé?

Officially, Mercedes-Benz gives another reason that seems somewhat more sympathetic. With classic money (you have two of them), you want to help master the challenges of the future. A “Mercedes-Benz Fund” will be created with a collection of 135 million euros, which will make it possible to provide educational and research grants in the areas of environmental sciences and decarbonization for young people. But wouldn’t that have been possible had it not been for the sale of the Uhlenhaut Coupé? With profits in excess of 5 billion euros? Or is it just a symbolic act after all? Old vs new? Only Ola Källenius is able to judge this for herself:

“Mercedes-Benz is by far the most valuable car in the world”

Pictured: Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Directors of the Mercedes-Benz Group AG Integrity and Law in front of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé at the Economics of Desire in Cote d’Azur

“The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupés are milestones in sports car development and important historical pillars of our brand. The decision to sell one of these two unique sports cars was a well-thought-out decision for good reason. Achieving the highest price paid for a car is both an honor and a mission: Mercedes- Benz is by far the most valuable car in the world.The global scholarship program will be funded from auction proceeds.Through the “Mercedes-Benz Fund”, we want to encourage a new generation to follow in Rudolf Uhlenhaut’s innovative footsteps and develop great new technologies, especially for decarbonization and conservation Resources,” says Ola Källenius, Mercedes Benz Group AG.

Secret Auction – 10 Handpicked Bidders

The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé was sold on May 5th at an auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in collaboration with RM Sotheby’s. Among the invitees, Mercedes-Benz customers and international car and art collectors who share the common values ​​of Mercedes-Benz were selected. It is said that it was a group of about ten potential buyers. The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé that was auctioned was part of the Mercedes-Benz Classic’s non-public vehicle collection. The car was auctioned off by British expert Simon Kidston, who worked on behalf of an undisclosed client. We assume that Mercedes-Benz is of course aware of the bidder behind it. Kidston said he has worked with the Mercedes-Benz board of directors for more than 18 months to consider selling the car – which will never be sold. Simon Kidston couldn’t believe his luck:

Simon Kidston works as a straw man

“If you had asked the classic car experts and top collectors of the last half century about the most desirable cars in the world, it’s very likely that the same model will always come up: the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. It’s a mixture of exotic engineering, racing history, triple star power, And the fact that a copy was never sold. Many collectors tried, but all failed. But times change, and if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. A long relationship with the Mercedes-Benz Museum helped, but even after 18 months of patient stress, we didn’t know Whether and how the 300 SLR will be released from captivity. For all concerned and especially for the new owner we represented, this was the opportunity of a lifetime to purchase the Mona Lisa Motors.”

Where does the 300 SLR appear again?

So Kidston was just a straw man. The actual buyer and new owner are still unknown at this time. However, there are rumors about who could be the new owner. Mercedes-Benz Ola Källenius himself gives an important hint: “Over the years we have received numerous inquiries from collectors, museums and other interested parties who wanted to purchase a Uhlenhaut Coupé. The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé was purchased by a private collector for an absolute record sum of 135 million EUR. The buyer agreed to make the vehicle available to the public on special occasions.”

Is Secret Buyer Everett Le Mans?

While, given the current global situation, some candidates from Eastern European countries are excluded as potential buyers, the idea of ​​the car remaining in Europe also comes to mind. And if the premise of making the car available to the public is thought through to its logical conclusion, Evert Louwman comes to mind. The Dutchman owns the largest private collection of premium cars in the world and runs the Louwman Museum in The Hague. The term “museum” fits the situation fairly well. Some say Everett Le Mans built a cathedral for cars. Born with an enthusiasm for cars, Evert Louwman was his father, Pete Louwman, a Dodge dealer in the 1930s. Prior to the Daimler-Chrysler marriage, the Louwman Group was also an importer of Chrysler and Jeep along with other brands such as Toyota.

Is Mercedes also parting with a second Uhlenhaut Coupé?

Pictured: Marcus Pritschwerdt, Executive Vice President of Mercedes-Benz AG and President of Mercedes-Benz Heritage.

“We are pleased that thanks to our historic collection, we can use this proceeds for our training initiative and thus integrate the past with the technological future and decarbonization,” says Markus Prichwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage. “The private buyer has agreed to make the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé available to the public on special occasions even after the sale. The second original 300 SLR Coupé is still in the company’s possession and is still on display at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.”

Rudolf Ullenhout in the rear view mirror

Rudolf Ullenhout, who had been employed by the Stuttgart brand as a designer and engineer since 1931, led the search for many of the most impressive silver stocks. This man’s influence on the development of Mercedes-Benz after the terrible Le Mans tragedy in 1955 cannot be understated. In particular, Uhlenhaut’s 300 SLR was hailed as a highly competitive car that exemplified the engineering skills and power of Mercedes-Benz’s racing cars. While the 300 SLR is visually similar to two of Uhlenhaut’s other notable designs—the W194, which won Le Mans in 1952, and the 300 SL Gullwing, which was set up in street specs for serial production at the time—the basis of the 300 SLR is most closely related to the W196, in which it succeeded. Mercedes-Benz in Formula 1 in 1954 and 1955.

Legend 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe

The 300 SLR, which the Mercedes-Benz staff used as a race car, was almost unnecessary after the accident at Le Mans. However, the remaining structure was not useless. Uhlenhaut had already begun planning a sheet metal version of the 300 SLR prior to the Le Mans accident, and had commissioned two vehicles to be built based on the W196 chassis that was to be involved in the Carrera Panamericana. The company’s unexpected withdrawal from high-profile racing wrecked any plans for a larger-scale production of the 300 SLR Coupe, but allowed Uhlenhaut to transform the now-defunct SLR Coupé project from a race car into a road prototype.

Despite its use on the road, the 300 SLR Coupe is clearly derived from the race car under the skin. Its uncompromising seating position, achievable with its innovative gull-wing doors, forced occupants to fold into position – most drivers had to detach the quick-release steering wheel to fit inside.

engineering achievement

The internal drum brakes are located in the engine bay to reduce unsprung blocks. The gas pedal is covered in leather to prevent your feet from slipping while driving. A large fuel tank fills the trunk that is crowned with two spare wheels. The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé was given a weight of just 998 kg – an incredible engineering feat.
The 3.0-liter linear engine is linked to one of the car’s most distinctive features: twin exhaust pipes exit via side-mounted gills midway down the 300 SLR. When the engine comes to life, it roars through these nearly undamped tubes, and the noises from his terrifying coupe innovation are said to have caused Uhlenhaut’s hearing impairment later in life. In fact, the English-born engineer wasn’t exactly shy when it came to driving. Of the two cars that were built, he seized one as a company car. Uhlenhaut drove a 300 SLR regularly and – when he was late for a meeting – is said to have made full use of the 300 SLR’s power on the motorway, covering nearly 230 km between Stuttgart and Munich in less than an hour.

Unique opportunity

The SLR with chassis number 196.110-00008/55 is undoubtedly of unrivaled importance to Mercedes-Benz and is perhaps the most powerful car ever to be auctioned. No other 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé is privately owned and the opportunity to purchase such a vehicle directly from company ownership will never come back.

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photo series | 135 million euros: the most expensive car in the world Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes Sells Silverware and Parts a 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé – Who’s the Unknown Buyer?



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