Is This The World’s Most Expensive Car?

Mon 23rd May 2022

Classic car enthusiasts are buzzing to the news that a secretive auction may have produced the most expensive fee ever paid for a car.

The Sun newspaper has reported rumours that a Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow 300 was sold at the auction, fetching an astonishing £115m, three times the price of the previous record holder, a Ferrari 250 GTO which sold in 2018.

The secret auction was conducted by RM Sotheby’s with 10 specially selected collectors given a private sale. The bidders had to meet strict criteria set down by Mercedes-Benz to ensure that any eventual buyer would take good care of the legendary car, continue to show it at car events and promise not to sell it on to a third party.

The Silver Arrow has an impressive history, hailing from a family of vehicles which dominated  motor sport for a prolonged period, entering vehicles both in Grand Prix, and also the Sports Car Car World Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hour classic.

It was during the 1955 Le Mans that two Mercedes 300 SLRs were winning when a tragic accident saw an Austin-Healy crash into the crowd, killing 84 spectators and ending Mercedes’ participation in motorsport for the next 30 years.

At the same time as building the sports 300 SLRs, the company also produced two hardtop coupes, the Uhlenhaut, named after Rudolf Uhlenhaut, head of testing at Mercedes, who actually drove one as a company car. It is the second of these cars which is believed to have been sold.

Speaking to Hagerty, automotive historian Karl Ludvigsen said: “The reason for a high price would simply be that they are never sold.

“The Mercedes-Benz cars in question are those of the so-called Silver Arrow era from 1954 to 1955, only Grand Prix cars and the 300 SLR sports cars. All the other Mercedes-Benz racing cars have been sold off in period and/or available to the open market.”

It is thought that the auction was held in private at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, with the building closed for ‘an event’ on 5 May. Hagerty reports rumours that the winning bidder is believed to be a leading figure from the British automotive industry with a passion for specialist cars.