A 1955 Mercedes, of which there are only two examples, was sold in early May for 135 million euros, an absolute world record for a car sold at auction. The 1955 Mercedes Coupé 300 SLR Uhlenhaut was sold on May 5 at a confidential auction held at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, in cooperation between Sotheby’s subsidiary for luxury cars and the manufacturer German automobile.
At a price of 135 million euros, this Mercedes was sold almost triple the previous record held since 2018 by a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold in 2018 by RM Sotheby’s for more than 48 million dollars (45 million euros) . In addition, the Mercedes 300 SLR now ranks in the top 10 most expensive items ever sold at auction. In fact, according to a ranking of works of art sold at auction established by Agence France-Presse, the absolute record is held by Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, sold in November 2017 for $450.3 million by Christie’s in New York.
Next is the Shot Sage Blue Marilyn by Andy Warhol, which sold for $195 million at Christie’s on May 9, becoming the most expensive 20th-century work of art ever sold at public auction. For 20th-century works, Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (version 0) ($179.4 million as of May 2015) and Amedeo Modigliani’s Nude Reclining ($170.4 million as of November 2015), all two were also sold at Christie’s.
The Mercedes sold on May 5 by RM Sotheby’s thus ranks 6th or 7th. The car, owned by Mercedes-Benz, was sold to a private collector and the proceeds “will be used to establish an international Mercedes-Benz fund for scholarships and research training for young people in the science of ‘environment and decarbonization’, according to RM Sotheby’s.