mehe Olympus to be crowned the most expensive car in the world has a new king. Its about Mercedes 300 SLRwho has replaced on this podium the Ferrari 250 GTOlike this there was destron at the time royal bugatti.
The star model has just been auctioned by RM Sotheby’s and a billionaire has paid the exorbitant amount of 135 million of euros. Who? It is not known, of course. But without a doubt, the buyer must have found enough reasons to pay this figure in the history of the car, beyond the fact that it can become an investment with which to earn tens of millions in a few years.
The model belongs to old golden vintage of Mercedeswhen the German brand triumphed in the Formula 1 of 1954 and 1955 from the hand of Fangio and also reaped excellent results with Hans Hermann, Karl Kling and Stirling Moss. The a thousand milesthe Targa Florio and the tourist trophy they were synonymous with victory for the star brand at that time. But the sports plans of Mercedes changed after the tragedy of le mans happened in 1955, when the driver Pierre Levegh lost control of the car in the middle of the straight and ended the life of 83 spectators (It has been the greatest tragedy in motorsport).
The 300 SLR is the second of the two unique copies built and began to be manufactured in 1955 after the tragedy. It was the accident that caused the plans for the car to be changed, and from having to be a competition model, it was created as the most advanced road car of the world.
It was the work of the engineer Uhlenhaut and for its development the W196 that had won in F1 in 1954 and 1955 was taken as a base, but with modifications such as an increase in displacement to 3.0 liters and the presence of a seat for a hypothetical co-pilot.
Despite this, there were no concessions to comfort; To access the interior, you had to first remove the steering wheeland the gear lever moved along the rails of a crude grille. Nor were the seats what we now understand by competition bucket seats, among other things because They don’t have seat belts.although apparently they held magnificently in curves. Even the heater was nothing more than a flap that opened the gap between engine and passenger compartment, allowing hot air to reach the occupants.
with an engine of 8 cylinders in line Y 276 hpIt is striking that the 300 SLR weighed only 998kgand the key is that his bodywork was made entirely with magnesiumwhich, on the other hand, entailed the risk that it would be instantly destroyed in the event of a fire. In addition, and to improve its agility and reduce weight in the moving parts, it had a curious parking brake system. front drum that were not on the wheel itself, but inside the engine compartment.
It is clear that his appearance resembles that of the well-known 300 SL ‘Gull Wings’but we must bear in mind that it has a current market price of around €1.5 million (can reach 7 million if it is one of the few copies with an aluminum body), a figure far removed from what has been paid for this SLR.
At the time this SLR was the fastest car in the world, with a top speed of 290km/h. Uhlenhaut, the engineer who created it, was passionate about speed and asked that this very exclusive car be your company vehicle. And best of all, that wish was granted, so the car was driven regularly. Once, in fact, it is said that he was late for a meeting and traveled from Stuttgart to Munich (there are 230 kilometers). in less than an hour… Recall that without seat belts.
Another peculiarity is that the sound of this carwith exhaust pipes sticking out of the front wing on the passenger side, it’s unquestionably deafening. You can listen to how it sounds in any video to verify it, and in fact it is said that it was the cause of the deafness that the German engineer ended up suffering from.
After being used by Unlenhaut, the car was used to make trips around Europe with personalities such as the Duke of Kent or Lord Brabazon. Later, between 1961 and 1963, the car was used by the company in the United States. And from then on it went through several events, until in 1986 it passed through the hands of the famous restaurateur Tony MerrickI left it as it was when it left the factory.
After that, he participated in the 1986 Nurburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix, the 1988 Geneva Motor Show, events such as Goodwood or Pebble Beach, always under the ownership of Mercedes-Benz, which we do not know if one day be sorry to have gotten rid of this jewel.