RM Sotheby’s sale of a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé at €135,000,000 to a private collector makes it the most valuable car ever sold at auction and, significantly, also places it in the top 10 most valuable items ever sold at auction in any collecting category. The sale represented a substantial uptick from the $48,405,000 marker RM laid down at Monterey in 2018 for the previous holder of the title, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. The Uhlenhaut Coupé is one of only two examples produced, both of which had been retained by Mercedes-Benz from new. RM conducted the sale in secret on 5th May in front of a select audience of invited bidders at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, with the proceeds going to establish a worldwide “Mercedes-Benz Fund” to provide educational and research scholarships in the areas of environmental science and decarbonisation for young people.
RM Sotheby’s was back in action in Europe in the middle of May with its sale at the Monaco Historique grossing over €30.9 million with an 82% sell-through rate. Both the catalogue-heading F1 cars from Nigel Mansell’s private collection were hammered away, the 1991 Williams FW14 ‘Senna Taxi’ blitzing its €1.5-3 million guide at €4,055,000, while the 1989 Ferrari 640 fetched a mid-estimate €3,605,000.
Bonhams also made a successful return to Monaco with its star attraction, a 1927 Bugatti Type 35 B, finding a new home at €2,000,000. Strong demand for full-fat Mercedes AMG products saw a 2005 CLK DTM comfortably exceed its €140,000 – 180,000 estimate at €414,000 and a 2009 SL65 Black Series took €301,875 (estimate €120,000 – 160,000) – both single-owner cars with delivery miles.
Highlights at Aguttes’ Vente des Damiers sale in Cassel, France on 1 May included a 1964 De Tomaso Vallelunga, a rare right-hand drive ‘Competizione’ version, that made €324,860 (estimate €300,000 – 330,000), and an ex-Jean-Pierre Nicolas/Jean-Claude Andruet/Jean Todt 1968 Alpine A110 1440, run as a works entry in the Monte Carlo and Neige et Glace rallies, achieving €236,360 (estimate €220,000 – 250,000).
A 1962 Maserati 3500 GTi Spyder topped the results at Silverstone Auctions Supercar Fest sale on 28 May, selling for £427,500 (estimate £380,000 – 450,000). The ex-Mike Hailwood 1967 Iso Grifo GL350 drew £309,375 (estimate £300,000 – 340,000), while a one-of-295 1992 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evo 1 ‘Giallo Ferrari’ with 27,772km nudged past its £100,000 – 130,000 listing, bringing £104,625.
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