Mercedes sold the most expensive car in the world to a secret buyer for eye-watering amount

Published on May 20, 2022 at 6:36 AM (UTC+4)
by Patrick Jackson

Last updated on Jul 31, 2023 at 3:39 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

Mercedes sold the most expensive car in the world to a secret buyer for eye-watering amount

This 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR “Silver Arrow” has been sold for $142.7 million, making it the most expensive car in the world.

The classic ‘gull-wing’ was owned by the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart and was sold in the most exclusive auction you could imagine.

Just 10 people were invited to bid on it – all deemed worthy enough to own the car and (and a piece of history!) if they had the highest bid.

Supercar Blondie got to see the world’s most expensive car in person, you can check out our video below!

The lucky new owner’s identity is still a mystery.

But the buyer has agreed that it can be put on public display for special occasions.

British classic car dealer Simon Kidston claimed to have made the winning bid for one of his customers.

Mercedes isn’t pocketing the money, either; it’s going to start a charity called the Mercedes-Benz Fund.

Why is this Mercedes 300 SLR the most expensive car?

Ask any gearhead what the most expensive car ever sold is, and they would have thought the Ferrari 250 GTO.

A 1964 250 GTO had sold for $70 million was the last record holder, until that price was smashed by this Mercedes.

The wooden steering wheel and dashboard on the Mercedes Silver Arrow.
The interior of the Mercedes Silver Arrow.
The gear lever for the Mercedes 300 SLR
The interior of the Silver Arrow.
The engine of the Mercedes Silver Arrow
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What makes the Silver Arrow so expensive boils down to two things – rarity, and Mercedes’ racing history.

Mercedes exited the racing scene in 1955 after its runaway success with the 300 SL.

But it made two examples of the 300 SLR the year after as a successor.

Both cars stayed in the care of the Mercedes from the time they were new, making this the first time one has entered private hands.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR earned the nickname ‘Uhlenhaut coupe’, named so after then-head of its testing department Rudolf Uhlenhaut.

Designed to be a road-legal racing car, Uhlenhaut actually used this one as his daily driver.

Despite lacking seatbelts, he wasn’t afraid to test the 300 SLR’s claimed top speed of 290km/h (180mph).

He once drove the 2.5-hour trip from Stuttgart to Munich in only an hour.

Its straight-eight engine gives it 302hp – more power than a Formula 1 car of the time.

Thanks to its bodywork made of magnesium, it only tips the scales at just 1117kg (2462lbs).


Why Mercedes sold the world’s most expensive car

“The decision to sell one of these two unique sports cars was taken with very sound reasoning – to benefit a good cause,” says Ola Källenius, Mercedes-Benz Group CEO.

“With the Mercedes-Benz Fund [global scholarship program] we would like 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 decarbonisation and resource preservation.

“At the same time, achieving the highest price ever paid for a vehicle is extraordinary and humbling: A Mercedes-Benz is by far the most valuable car in the world.”

READ MORE: Mercedes and Virgil Abloh create the most luxury off-roader ever

Mercedes is hanging on to the second original 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé.

If you want to go see it, it’s living in the Mercedes Museum.


Patrick Jackson

A car zealot from a young age, Patrick has put his childhood spent obsessing over motoring magazines and TV shows to good use over the past six years as a journalist. Fuelled by premium octane coffee, he’s contributed to Finder, DriveTribe, WhichCar, Vehicle History and Drive Section.