World’s most expensive car: Mercedes sells for record $143 million

Historical photo of the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé (Photo courtesy Mercedes-Benz)

A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, one of only two on Earth, has sold for a record $143 million, making it the most expensive car in the world. 

The car was named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, and was sold at auction to a private collector on May 5, according to Mercedes-Benz. Its known for its racing technology and distinctive "gullwing" doors. Before this sale, a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, the Holy Grail model, sold for $70 million and was thought to be the most expensive car on the planet. 

Proceeds from the Mercedes sale will be used to start a global scholarship fund, Mercedes said, "to encourage a new generation to follow in Rudolf Uhlenhaut's innovative footsteps and develop amazing new technologies, particularly those that support the critical goal of decarbonization and resource preservation."

"We are convinced that access to education in these areas will be crucial in encountering the great challenges of our time and contribute to greater stability, prosperity and social cohesion," Renata Jungo Brüngger, a Mercedes management board member, said. 

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Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé. (Photo courtesy Mercedes-Benz)

The other 300 SLR Uhlenhau prototype is still owned by Mercedes and can be viewed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.