This Mercedes-Benze Coupé Just Became the Most Expensive Car Ever Sold at Auction

Proceeds will go to an environmental scholarship fund

Mercedes-Benz Coupe
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR 'Uhlenhaut Coupe.'
Michael Cole/Corbis via Getty Images

What happens when you blend meticulous engineering, decades’ worth of automotive preservation and an unbelievable level of scarcity? Mercedes-Benz’s 1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé checks off all of those boxes — it’s one of just two that was made, and its level of performance was astonishing for the time in which it was created.

Now, it can add another achievement to its list of credits. Via an invitation-only auction held by RM Sotheby’s, Mercedes-Benz auctioned off the Coupé in question, setting a record in the process. The winning bidder spent $142 million for the car — which, as Robb Report notes in their article on the sale, is the highest amount paid for a car at an auction.

The sum for which this car sold is notable. Equally notable, though, is what’s happening with the proceeds from the sale.

The money made from the auction will be used to invest in a new series of scholarships, known as the Mercedes-Benz Fund. These will be awarded in two categories — for students enrolled in colleges and universities exploring environmental science projects, and for students working on environmental projects in their communities. Mercedes-Benz is set to partner with what their announcement refers to as “an experienced partner which is currently being evaluated.”

As for the 300 SLR that was sold, you may well see it on display at an automotive event near you. “The private buyer has agreed that the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe will remain accessible for public display on special occasions, while the second original 300 SLR Coupe remains in company ownership and will continue to be displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart,” said Marcus Breitschwerdt, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage.

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