23 May 2022
We have advised RM Sotheby's on its auction of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé.
RM Sotheby's has sold what is considered to be the most beautiful car in the world, a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé. This exclusive car was secured by a private collector for a record sum of 135 million euros on May 5, 2022. This sale price places the iconic vehicle among the top ten most valuable items ever sold at auction.
The deal was led by Harald Bechteler and Ronald Graham who advised on many considerations, from the initial structuring of the deal, through the extensive consultations between Mercedes-Benz and RM Sotheby's preceding the auction.
Commenting on this high profile auction, client relationship partner for RM Sotheby's, Ronald Graham said: "It was a privilege and honour for us to be asked to handle this sale. I have worked with RM Sotheby's for over 10 years on many exciting instructions, but nothing comes close to being involved in the successful sale of the world's most valuable car. My colleague, Harald Bechteler, did a fantastic job on the contracts. The price achieved shows that the demand for the best in class is stronger than ever globally and I expect the success of this sale will result in more interest in obtaining these rare assets."
Leading on the advice to RM Sotheby's on the legal issues related to the auction, Harald Bechteler said: "the opportunity to advise RM Sotheby's is as unique and exciting for me, as it is for our client. The complexity of these contracts to preserve such a rare collectible commodity requires significant consideration and future planning. I'm delighted we've been able to play a role in safeguarding what is (for me as a car enthusiast) the most beautiful car in the world."
The Mercedes Benz 300 SLR is one of two prototypes built in 1955. Based on a Grand Prix car, the chief engineer at the time, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, had two coupes produced that were originally intended for racing use but never made it to the starting line. Uhlenhaut then used one of the two silver sports cars as a company car, making the model inseparably linked with his name from then on. The second coupé remained in the company's premises as a showpiece of the corporate history, well preserved.
The sum of 135 million euros far eclipses the highest sales price ever achieved for a car at auction: 36 million euros (38.1 million US dollars) was achieved by a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta - a difference of 100 million euros, which suggests that the record sum paid for the Uhlenhaut Coupé will remain unattained in the long term.
Mercedes Benz plans to use the proceeds from the sale to establish a charitable fund for educational scholarships to level the access to fields such as sustainability, engineering, mathematics and science for students and schoolchildren who do not have sufficient financial resources.
by multiple authors