World’s Most Expensive Car – $203 million Mercedes

At this year Targa Tasmania 30th Anniversary Rally, in my mind the standout car was this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL which took part in the Tour Category.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL is one of the world’s most famous two-seater sports cars that was produced as a gull winged coupe (1954-1957) and a roadster (1957–1963). Based on the company’s 1952 W194 race cars that utilised mechanical direct fuel injection, which boosted power almost 50 percent in its three-litre overhead cam straight six engines, it could reach a top speed of up to 263 km/h (163 mph), making it the fastest production car of its time.

Voted the “Sports Car of the Century” in 1999, this particular 300 SL which is now owned by David Bowden of ‘Bowden’s Own’ and his family, is a very special car in many ways, none more so than it was undeniably the star car at the very first Targa Tasmania in 1992 when it was driven by its then owner and Chairman of the Australian Grand Prix Board Ian Cox with navigator Reg Kenny.

30 Targa Tasmania’s later and it was so good to see it back on the Tasmanian roads being driven as it was meant to be driven nearly 70 years, by the father and son combination of Chris and Oscar Bowden.

1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing at Targa Tasmania 2022

If you’d like to know more about this particular car, the following article from Bowden’s Own Premium Car Care website, gives an insight as to why the car affectionately known as “Gully” is one of the most driven in the Bowden’s Own Collection.

Bowden’s Own 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

An indication of how special the Gullwing Coupes are, in May of this year a very rare 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe (one of just two Uhlenhaut Coupes ever built) sold at auction for €135 million ($A203m), making it the world’s most valuable and expensive car of all time, eclipsing the previous record of $A66 million set in 2018 for a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO.

Named after its creator Rudolf Uhlenhaut, who was Mercedes’ test department chief, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe draws lineage from the original Silver Arrow cars that dominated motorsport in the 1930s and is closely based on the eight-cylinder Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula 1 car driven by Juan Manuel Fangio to world championships in 1954 and 1955.

Mercedes-Benz believes the sale makes a statement about the power of the three-pointed star as a brand and ensures the German carmaker can extend Uhlenhaut’s legacy.

“With the Mercedes-Benz Fund we would like to encourage a new generation to follow in Rudolf Uhlenhaut’s innovative footsteps and develop amazing new technologies, particularly those that support the critical goal of decarbonisation and resource preservation,” said Mercedes-Benz chairman Ola Källenius.

“At the same time, achieving the highest price ever paid for a vehicle is extraordinary and humbling. A Mercedes-Benz is by far the most valuable car in the world.”

If you’re wondering what it would be like being at the auction for the Ulenhaut Coupe, you may like to look at the video link at the start of this article:

RM Southeby’s auction of 300 SLR Ulenhaut Coupe –

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