A Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé from 1955 was auctioned off to a private collector for the record price of 135 million euros. This icon of automotive history is an absolute rarity and one of only two prototypes that were built at the time. Named after its creator and chief engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé is considered by automotive experts and enthusiasts worldwide to be one of the finest examples of automotive engineering and design.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé!
- All-time record: One of two extremely rare original examples of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Collection was auctioned off to a private collector for 135 million euros. This makes it the most valuable car of all time.
- Use the proceeds to drive change: The sum will be used to set up a global "Mercedes Benz Fund" that will enable educational and research grants in the fields of environmental science and decarbonization for young people.
“The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupés are milestones in sports car development and important historical cornerstones of our brand. The decision to sell one of the two unique sports cars was a well-considered one for a good cause. Achieving the highest price ever paid for a vehicle is both an honor and a mission: a Mercedes-Benz is by far the most valuable car in the world. A global scholarship program will be funded with the proceeds from the auction. With the "Mercedes-Benz Fund" we would like to encourage a new generation to follow in the innovative footsteps of Rudolf Uhlenhaut and to develop great new technologies, especially for decarbonization and resource conservation," says Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes Benz Group AG.
"As a global company and as a luxury brand, we bear a high degree of responsibility for society," says Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG for Integrity and Legal Affairs, responsible for the governance of the "Mercedes-Benz Fund". "The proceeds from the sale of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé give us the unique opportunity to strengthen our social commitment with a long-term lighthouse project: With the "Mercedes-Benz Fund" we are establishing a global scholarship program. We want to support young people in their education in the field of environmental science and encourage them in their commitment to a more sustainable future. We are convinced that access to education is the key to overcoming the great challenges of our time. In this way we contribute to more stability, prosperity and social cohesion.”
Proceeds form seed capital for scholarships
The proceeds from the auction of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé serve as start-up capital for the global initiative. Mercedes-Benz will also invest additional funds in the coming years. The "Mercedes Benz Fund" will appeal to two different target groups: on the one hand, university scholarships are intended to support students. The aim is to network them, to educate them and to encourage them to do environmental research and projects. On the other hand, pupils are supported with school scholarships in the implementation of environmental projects. The funds are intended for people who otherwise do not have sufficient financial resources to carry out these projects and pursue corresponding career paths. The support goes beyond purely financial support and includes, for example, mentoring with experienced Mercedes-Benz experts in order to open up new professional perspectives. The "Mercedes-Benz Fund" is developed and managed together with a partner. The exact structure of the fund, detailed planning for the worldwide roll-out and the name of the partner organization will be announced later this year.
History and auction of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé
The sale of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé took place on May 5th at an auction in the Mercedes-Benz Museum in cooperation with the renowned auction house RM Sotheby's. Among those invited were selected Mercedes-Benz customers and international car and art collectors who share the corporate values of Mercedes-Benz. The auctioned 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé was part of the non-public vehicle collection of Mercedes-Benz Classic. This includes more than 1.100 vehicles, from the invention of the automobile in 1886 to the present day.
"We are pleased that thanks to our historical collection we can use this proceeds for our training initiative and thus combine the past with the technological future and decarbonization," says Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage. “The private buyer has agreed to make the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé accessible to the public on special occasions even after the sale. The second original 300 SLR Coupé remains in the company's possession and is still on display in the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart."
The special circumstances of its creation, its unique design and its innovative technology have given the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé a remarkable mysticism that has endured to this day. The design sets standards that make the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé one of the most important automotive icons in the world - not least because of the characteristic gullwing doors. Added to this is the outstanding driving performance of the unique racing technology. Both together ensure the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé its celebrated place in sports car mythology and a very special place in the hearts of Mercedes fans all over the world.
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