It’s clear that capitalist extra is alive and properly, regardless of hardships created by the pandemic and various other complications. Mercedes-Benz has introduced that its most priceless possession truly did have a worth in any case – its 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé, one of only two in existence, grew to become the most expensive car ever sold when it crossed the public sale block for an eye-watering €135 million (RM627 million).
Yes, the world’s costliest object on 4 wheels is a Three-pointed Star with an SLR badge, however it isn’t a McLaren. This is the car that gave that 2000s hypercar its identify – a ’50s road-going coupé model of a Formula 1-derived race car, the latter garnering prompt success in its all-too-brief aggressive life.
The SLR (brief for Super Licht Rennen, or Super Light Racing) was conceived to out-300 SL the legendary 300 SL, itself a highly-successful Le Mans-winning racer turned highway car. Its identify got here from a light-weight aluminium spaceframe chassis clothed in magnesium alloy physique panels, motivated by a 302 PS 3.0 litre straight-eight engine with desmodromic valves (later popularised by Ducati) and mechanical direct injection.
It entered the 1955 sports activities car racing season and promptly received its first race, the Mille Miglia, within the arms of Stirling Moss. But the candy style of victory quickly turned bitter at the SLR’s third race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the place it was concerned in what stays the deadliest accident in motorsport, with 82 killed.
Such was the impression of the disaster that regardless of the SLR successful each different race – securing the World Sportscar Championship within the course of – Mercedes pulled out of racing totally. Stuttgart wouldn’t put its identify on a contest engine, not to mention its personal race car, for an additional 30 years.
The withdrawal of the SLR got here with a Silver Arrow-shaped lining, because it freed up one of the 2 coupé variations, initially deliberate for the then-cancelled Carrera Panamericana, for use as the private car for chief engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut – therefore the identify. These autos had even sexier variations of the SL’s curvaceous bodywork, replete with the trademark gullwing doorways, and weighed simply 998 kg.
The fascination surrounding the SLR was boosted additional by the near-mythic standing of Uhlenhaut, who even Mercedes claims has lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife three seconds quicker than star driver (ha ha) and four-time F1 champion Juan-Manuel Fangio. Legend has it that the person, late for a gathering, as soon as blitzed the 220 km from Munich to Stuttgart in simply over an hour. With a prime pace circa 290 km/h, the Uhlenhaut Coupé was the quickest car in all of the land.
With such rarity and the quantity of tales behind it, it’s no shock that the Uhlenhaut Coupé, sold by RM Sotheby’s at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, smashed the earlier report set by a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO in 2018 – and by a margin of greater than €90 million (RM422 million). Not only is the SLR the most expensive car on the planet, it’s additionally one of the highest ten most priceless issues ever to go underneath the hammer.
All that cash is at least going to an excellent trigger, contributing to a Mercedes-Benz Fund that may present college and college scholarships for environmental science initiatives. The programme is aimed at the much less financially privileged and embody extracurricular components like mentorships. The fund shall be collectively developed and managed by an skilled companion, which shall be introduced along with particulars later this yr.
As for the car itself, the non-public collector who purchased it has agreed to show it publicly on particular events. The second unit shall be retained by Mercedes and proceed to be displayed at the museum in Stuttgart.