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February 4, 2023

Mercedes 300 SLR Joins Top 10 Most Expensive Auctioned Object

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Kuni .G. Isaac

A 1955 Mercedes, which only exists in two replicas, was sold for 135 million euros in early May, an outright world record for a car retailed at auction, RM Sotheby’s announced Thursday, May 19. 

The 1955 Mercedes Coupé 300 SLR Uhlenhaut was sold on May 5 at a confidential auction held at the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, Germany, in cooperation between Sotheby’s subsidiary for luxury cars and the manufacturer German car.

At a price of 135 million euros, this Mercedes was sold almost triple the previous record held since 2018 by a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold in 2018 by RM Sotheby’s for more than 48 million dollars (45 million euros). 

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In addition, the Mercedes “300 SLR is now in the top 10 of the most expensive objects ever sold at auction”, bragged RM Sotheby’s in a press release published Thursday in London and passed on to New York by the parent company Sotheby’s which is holding this week its spring auction for works of art.

In fact, according to a ranking established by AFP of works of art sold at auction in recent years, mainly in New York, the absolute record is held by Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi”, sold in November 2017 for 450 .3 million by Christie’s in New York.

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi”
“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” by Andy Warhol

Then comes the “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” by Andy Warhol, which sold on May 9 for 195 million dollars at Christie’s, becoming the most expensive work of art of the 20th century ever sold at public auction. For works from the 20th century, “The Women of Algiers (version 0)” by Pablo Picasso (179.4 million dollars in May 2015) and the “Nu reclining” by Amedeo Modigliani (170.4 million in November 2015), were both sold at Christie’s.

“The Women of Algiers (version 0)
“Nu reclining” by Amedeo Modigliani

According to this ranking of works of art sold at auction for more than 100 million dollars, the Mercedes sold on May 5 by RM Sotheby’s and qualified as “the most beautiful car in the world” thus ranks 6th or 7th place. 

The car, which was owned, like the second example, by Mercedes-Benz, was sold to a private collector and the revenues from the sale “will be used to set up an international ‘Mercedes-Benz fund’ for scholarships and training for young people in environmental science and decarbonization”, according to RM Sotheby’s.

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