The most expensive car ever sold or auctioned on record is a Ferrari 250 GTO which demanded a price of $70 million. Reports of a secretly auctioned Mercedes-Benz SLR could make this look like pocket change after it is rumoured to have sold for $142 million.
The top 10 most expensive cars ever auctioned is a list filled with highly collectible models which predate most of our lives. The list is dominated by several Ferraris, the odd Aston and a Duesenberg SSJ but another manufacturer sits close to the top spot is Mercedes-Benz. The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 was sold at a Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013. The open top racer originally driven by arguably the greatest driver of all time; Juan Manuel Fangio, commanded the modest price tag of £17.7 million. This is a high price to pay for a car in ‘authentic’ condition, which is just another way to say it hasn’t been restored and wears its battle scars with pride.
All of these prices, while ludicrous to think about, are dwarfed by the rumour that a highly limited 1956 Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupe sold for $142 million. The hearsay which is corroborated by multiple sources mentioned that one of two 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupes was sold to private hands in controlled conditions by the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The two models remained in the care of Mercedes for all of these years until a single model was auctioned off to a small party of individuals sometime around the 6th of May.
As can be expected, this was an invitation only event, with only the most esteemed car collectors eligible to partake in the event. A car of such history and pedigree would need to be looked after into the future and not simply flipped for a quick buck. The exact proceedings are unknown but we can assume that the sale was conducted in an auction format. Unless this information and price of the auctioned Mercedes-Benz SLR can be confirmed, Ferrari will still hold the title for having built the most expensive car ever to be auctioned.