A 1955 Mercedes of which there are only two copies was sold in early May for 135 million euros (566 billion Colombian pesos), nearly tripling the previous auction record for a car, RM Sotheby’s said on Thursday.
The 1955 Mercedes Coupé 300 SLR Uhlenhaut was sold on May 5 at a confidential auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart (Germany) in cooperation between the Sotheby’s subsidiary for luxury vehicles and the German manufacturer.
Awarded for 135 million euros, the operation almost triples the previous record, reached in 2018 by a Ferrari 250 GTO from 1962 sold by the same auction house for more than 48 million dollars (around 190 billion Colombian pesos).
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In addition, the Mercedes “300 SLR is among the ten most expensive objects ever sold at auction,” celebrated RM Sotheby’s in a statement published Thursday.
Oliver Barker, president of Sotheby’s Europe quoted in the statement, said he felt “absolute excitement to sell this masterpiece of design and engineering, which now ranks as the greatest works of art ever sold.”
In fact, according to a classification made by AFP of works of art sold at auction in recent years, the record at auction belongs to the painting ‘Salvator Mundi’ by Leonardo Da Vinci, awarded in November 2017 for 450.3 million dollars, around one trillion 800 billion Colombian pesos, by Christie’s house in New York.
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Then comes ‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’, Andy Warhol’s portrait of actress Marilyn Monroe, sold this month for 195 million dollars (about 776 billion pesos) also by Christie’s, which became the work of art of the most expensive 20th century sold at public auctions.
Ahead of the luxurious vehicle are also ‘Women from Alger’ by the Spanish Pablo Picasso (179.4 million dollars in May 2015, equivalent to 712 billion pesos) and “Nude Lying Down” by the Italian Amedeo Modigliani (170.4 million dollars in November 2015, around 676 billion pesos).
Qualified by RM Sotheby’s as the “most beautiful car in the world”, the vehicle that was owned by Mercedes-Benz was sold to a private collector.
The money from its sale “will be used to launch a ‘Mercedes-Benz fund’ for training and research scholarships for young people in environmental sciences and decarbonization,” said the RM Sotheby’s statement.
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The buyer agreed to present his vehicle in public on rare occasions. The other copy will remain the property of Mercedes-Benz, which will keep it on display in its museum in Stuttgart.
According to RM Sotheby’s and the specialized press, the Mercedes Coupé 300 SRL, recognizable by its aesthetic silhouette and its butterfly wings, was conceived by the engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut inspired by the W196 R Grand Prixwith which the Italian Juan Manuel Fangio won the Formula 1 championships in 1954 and 1955.
The history of the 300 SRL model was marred by a terrible accident in June 1955 at the 24 hours of Le Mans, which killed its driver Pierre Levegh and 83 spectators.
With information from AFP.
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