In a somewhat cloak and dagger story, Mercedes-Benz is rumoured to have recently sold one of its famous Silver Arrow racing cars for a record-breaking €135 million ($142 million, £115 million) following a secretive invite-only event featuring the world’s most notorious and wealthy Mercedes car collectors. If true, it would be double the previous record for the world’s most expensive car.
According to Hagerty, the VIP collectors were flown to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart via private jet on May 6. Following an upmarket lunch, the attendees were made aware of the opportunity to purchase the ultra-exclusive classic car, which has always remained in the care of Mercedes-Benz until now.
Mercedes-Benz is yet to confirm whether the story is true, but if the rumour mill is to be believed, the car in question is one of only two 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut hardtops ever built, named after Rudolf Uhlenhaut, head of the test department at the German car manufacturer.
The 300 SLR has a unique history, with the car’s development originally being funded by the Nazi party during World War 2. Variants of the 300 SLR would go on to dominate in high-profile racing events following the war, such as Juan Manuel Fangio’s Gran Prix victory in 1954, while Sir Stirling Moss’s would win the Mille Miglia in a 300 SLR W196S in 1955. The pair of Uhlenhaut cars have remained under the watchful care of Mercedes-Benz ever since.
Whether an auction-style bidding war took place is unclear, but it’s suggested that the buyer is a prominent figure in the British automotive industry, with no official details forthcoming. The German carmaker allegedly put measures in place to ensure the new owner would not flip the car for a quick profit, so it’s unlikely that we will find out any details about the car’s new owner any time soon.
If the story is true, it means that the Mercedes sold for double the price of the previous record holder, a Ferrari 250 GTO sold in 2018 for $70 million. However, given the secretive nature of the sale, the Ferrari officially retains the title as the most expensive car ever sold, as the Mercedes sale remains an unconfirmed rumour.