The rarest car in the world is also the most expensive

  • Mercedes only produced two of these iconic cars
  • The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is considered one of the most exciting cars the company ever made
  • One went up for auction recently, and fetched a record-breaking amount

Published on Dec 22, 2023 at 6:40 PM (UTC+4)
by Andie Reeves

Last updated on Dec 29, 2023 at 6:58 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Alessandro Renesis

The rarest car in the world is also the most expensive

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is an icon of the automotive world.

With only two ever made, it was an instant collector’s item.

The company recently decided to auction one-off.

It was sold, breaking an incredible record in the process.

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Today, Mercedes-Benz is known for making some of the safest cars out there, even pledging to be completely crash-free by 2050.

But this silver bullet was created after a 1955 tragedy at the hands of a Benz, known as the Le Mans Disaster.

During the Le Mans 24-hour race, a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR was involved in a collision.

The car crashed into the grandstand, which started a fire and left at least 83 people dead.

Mercedez-Benz pledged to create a road-legal and safer version of the 300 SLR race car.

Just two of the 300 SLR Uhlenhauts were produced, named after the head of the racing department, Rudolf Uhlenhaut.

Because the company pulled out of competitive racing at the end of 1955, the car was never raced in an official competition.

It kept one of the cars and let Uhlenhaut drive the other as a company car.

Legend has it he had to use a suitcase-sized muffler to dampen the exhaust pipes that had barely been silenced.

Another story alleges that, while running late for a meeting, he used it to race up the autobahn, finishing a two-and-a-half-hour journey in just over an hour.

The car was regarded as the fastest road car of the era, reaching 180 mph.

Under the bonnet was a 2982-cc eight-cylinder engine that produced up to 310 horsepower.

Performance-wise, it’s one of the most exciting cars Mercedes-Benz has ever built.

And its aesthetic value is just as high.

Its racing lineage is clear with its sleek, streamlined and aerodynamic design.

One of the most distinctive features is the set of gullwing doors which open upward to create the car’s iconic silhouette.

The body was all aluminium, weighing just 2,600 pounds.

It was assumed that Mercedes would never give up one of these precious cars.

But last year one was put up for auction to raise money for the Mercedes-Benz Fund.

The sale ended up being record-breaking, selling for $148 million to a private bidder.

This makes it the most expensive car ever sold.

# Tags - Cars


Andie Reeves

Andie is a content writer from South Africa with a background in broadcasting and journalism. Starting her career in the glossy pages of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, Andie has a broad portfolio, covering everything from sustainability solutions to celebrity car collections. When not at her laptop Andie can be found sewing, recording her podcast, taking board games too seriously or road-tripping in her bright green Kia.