1955 Mercedes sells for R2.2bn, world's most expensive car: RM Sotheby's

The vehicle sold for almost triple the previous record, which was set in 2018 by a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that fetched over 48 million dollars (R76.2 million).

The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe sold for R2.2 billion at an auction on 5 May 2022. Picture: @rmsothebys/Twitter

LONDON - A 1955 Mercedes-Benz, one of only two such versions in existence, was auctioned off earlier this month for a whopping 135 million euros (R2.2 billion), making it the world's most expensive car ever sold, RM Sotheby's announced Thursday.

"A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe from 1955 has been sold at auction for a record price of €135,000,000 to a private collector," the classic car auction company said in a statement.

The vehicle sold for almost triple the previous record, which was set in 2018 by a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that fetched over 48 million dollars (R76 million).

The invitation-only auction took place on 5 May at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, the auction house said.

The car is one of just two prototypes built by the Mercedes-Benz racing department and is named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, according to RM Sotheby's.

"The private buyer has agreed that the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe will remain accessible for public display on special occasions, while the second original 300 SLR Coupe remains in company ownership and will continue to be displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart," the auction company added.

RM Sotheby's said the proceeds from the auction will be used to establish a worldwide Mercedes-Benz Fund that will fund environmental science and decarbonisation research.