THE world’s most expensive classic car has reportedly sold for a record £115million at a secret auction.
If rumours are true then the sale of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut Coupe” will have completely smashed the previous record held by Ferrari.
The pricey motor would be valued at nearly three times the next most expensive car ever confirmed to have traded hands, reports Hagerty.
And if the claims are confirmed then the treasured Silver Arrow race car is a motor rich with history.
It is one of just two hardtop coupes ever created by Mercedes-Benz which explains the mammoth price.
The outlet claims that fewer than ten key collectors were secretly invited to a swanky private event at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart on May 6.
Each of those individuals met the predetermined criteria that Mercedes required of the person they would ultimately sell the 300SLR to.
The company allegedly wanted to ensure that any custodian of the Silver Arrows racing car would lavish it with the same care and attention as Mercedes, as well as continue to share the car at events and not sell it on to a third party.
And in what is surely not a coincidence, the Mercedes-Benz Museum’s website does indeed say that it’s closed from May 6 to May 15 for “an event”.
The Silver Arrow was one of the most potent race cars of its day and laid the groundwork for many popular motors today.
Bankrolled by the Third Reich prior to World War Two, Mercedes Silver Arrows dominated both Grand Prix racing and speed record attempts alongside their Auto Union compatriots.
Following the war, the German manufacturers built two 1955 300 SLRs with hardtops, known as Uhlenhaut coupés.
They were named after Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the head of Mercedes’ Test Department who drove one as a company car.
If true the sale would have brushed aside the next most expensive on record of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that sold for £52million back in 2018.
And that very same year a rumour came out that another 250 GTO was purchased in a private sale for £57 million but that has yet to be confirmed.
Karl Ludvigsen, a respected automotive historian said: “I haven’t heard of a direct sale such as you suggest. The reason for a high price would simply be that they are never sold.
“If a W196S 300 SLR went private it would be a huge sensation. 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, as far as I know.
“The cars in that band have never been officially sold by Mercedes-Benz. Some have found private owners, like the W154 that ran at Indy after the war and stayed in the USA.”