The 10 Most Expensive Mercedes Cars in the World

The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR ‘Uhlenhaut Coupé’ holds the record as the most expensive Mercedes ever sold. This exceptional vehicle commanded a staggering price of $142 million in a May 2022 auction. Renowned engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut designed this rare car, which features a lightweight magnesium body and a powerful three-liter engine.

Hold on tight! Let’s take a thrilling ride into the world of luxury as we delve into some of the most mind-blowing, wallet-draining, and absolutely incredible Mercedes cars ever manufactured!

The 10 Most Expensive Mercedes Cars in the World. With a history dating back to 1901, Mercedes has established a renowned legacy in the automotive industry, marked by its range of luxurious vehicles, high-performance sports cars, and impressive racing triumphs. Regardless of whether it’s a lightning-fast SLR or a sedan transporting a head of state, one consistent aspect of all Mercedes models is their substantial price tag. While some standard options like the C-Class can be acquired for under $60,000, the sportier variants often require six-figure investments. The brand’s commitment to exquisite craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology has solidified its reputation as a purveyor of exclusive automobiles.

10. Mercedes-Benz 500K roadster — $3.76 million

Out of all the Mercedes cars, the most expensive ones hold a special place. However, there is one particular car on this list that was never legally sold. With a staggering price of $3.76 million dollars, this car exchanged hands and crossed continents twice. But its journey took an unexpected turn when it became entangled in a legal battle within the German courts. Ultimately, the vehicle was returned to the descendants of its previous owners.

The Mercedes-Benz 500Ks are both rare and highly sought after, especially the roadster models, which were built in limited quantities of fewer than 30. This particular controversy revolves around a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K roadster that originally belonged to the German industrialist, Hans Prym. However, following his imprisonment at the end of World War Two, Prym’s ownership of the car was disrupted. The roadster found its way to the United States and changed hands between private collectors before eventually being put up for auction in 2011.

9. 1998 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR — $4.5 million

The Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR, one of the most expensive cars ever produced by Mercedes, was not primarily intended for the road. Designed by AMG and Mercedes-Benz with a focus on track performance, its creation was motivated by the desire to compete in the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) GT Championship. Adhering to the championship rules, which required the entry cars to be racing models derived from production vehicles, Mercedes and AMG constructed the race car they envisioned and subsequently manufactured 25 units for public sale, satisfying the FIA’s requirements.

This specific car, distinguished as number nine out of the exclusive 25, stood out due to its exceptional condition. Its original paint and drive train remained intact, and it even retained its original owner’s manual and service books, alongside a crate filled with spare parts. Impressively, it had accumulated minimal mileage, with the odometer displaying less than 1,500 kilometers (around 900 miles) at the time of its sale. As a result of its rarity and remarkable state, this road-legal race car fetched a staggering price of over $4.5 million at the prestigious RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction in 2018, solidifying its status as one of the most coveted and valuable Mercedes vehicles ever created.

8. 1927 Mercedes-Benz S-Type 26/180 Sportwagen — $5 million

One of the most expensive and exceptionally rare Mercedes-Benz cars is the S-Type 26/180 Sportwagen, which made headlines at the Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction in 2011 when it fetched a staggering price of just over $5 million. This remarkable vehicle boasts a prestigious award-winning history, having secured the esteemed Pebble Beach Class Award. Adorned with Sindelfingen coachwork, a hallmark of high-end pre-war Mercedes automobiles, the 26/180 Sportwagen showcases a one-of-a-kind design crafted by a master coach builder on a factory-made chassis. Notably, the chassis itself was designed by none other than Ferdinand Porsche, who later went on to establish his globally renowned car manufacturing empire. Powering this automotive gem is a twin-carbureted, six-cylinder, 6.7-liter engine fitted with a “Roots type” supercharger, enabling the Sportwagen to generate an impressive 180 horsepower. What makes this S-Type 26/180 Sportwagen even more exceptional is its extraordinary originality. With matching serial numbers throughout the vehicle and bodywork that has endured for almost a century, it stands as a truly rare and cherished automotive masterpiece.

7. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing — $6.825 million

The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing is often regarded as the pioneering supercar, and this specific model exemplifies its exceptional status. Boasting a 3.0-liter NSL engine that perfectly matches the car’s numbers, the 300 SL is equipped with its original lightweight alloy body, including several factory features like sports suspension. Unlike the more common steel-bodied 300 SLs, the rare and lighter alloy versions played a pivotal role in Mercedes’ dominance in 1950s racing, triumphing in prestigious events such as Le Mans, the Carrera Panamericana, Mille Miglia, and Liège-Rome-Liège. Only 24 units of the alloy models were produced, in stark contrast to the 1,371 units of the standard steel version manufactured by Mercedes.

Distinguished by its aluminum body panels and plexiglass windows (excluding the windshield), this particular model boasts a high-speed rear axle and specially designed suspension that greatly enhances handling, perfect for enthusiasts who enjoy pushing the speedometer to its limits. In January 2022, this exceptional 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing fetched an astounding price of nearly $7 million at RM Sotheby’s Arizona auction, solidifying its position as one of the most expensive cars ever produced by Mercedes.

6. Mercedes-Benz 680 S Torpedo – $8.25 million

The 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster stands as a testament to the early days of luxury automobiles. In stark contrast to the Ford Model T, a car designed for the masses, the 680S Torpedo was crafted specifically for those who desired an extraordinary mode of transportation. Every detail of this remarkable vehicle exudes opulence, from the interior adorned with lizard skin and purpleheart wood to the exquisite bodywork created by the esteemed Carrosserie J. Saoutchik of Paris. With its elongated frame rails gracefully curving over both axles, this Torpedo model truly embodies elegance. Under the hood, the 6,789 CC dual-carbureted six-cylinder engine roars to life, generating an impressive 180 horsepower. Its placement further back in the chassis enhances weight distribution and ensures a thrilling driving experience. Of particular significance is the rarity of this S Torpedo, as it is the only known surviving example with a short windshield. Just three were ever produced, with the whereabouts of the other two remaining a mystery.

Throughout its near-century existence, this Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster has captivated automotive enthusiasts worldwide. It made its debut at the 1929 New York Auto Salon, showcased by Mercedes-Benz New York, and even graced the pages of Motor Magazine’s Auto Salon edition. In recent years, the S Torpedo garnered further accolades when it claimed the coveted Best of Show title at the renowned Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Its extraordinary journey also includes a painstaking restoration led by the skilled hands of Paul Russell and Company. The restoration process involved meticulous research to recreate the original alloy for the bodywork, sourcing 200 lizard hides from Southeast Asia and meticulously re-engraving the plates bearing the name of the original coachbuilder. In 2013, this exceptional piece of automotive history was sold at auction by RM Sotheby’s for a staggering $8.25 million. While the price may seem substantial, it reflects not only the vehicle’s pristine condition but also its remarkably low mileage of 30,000 miles and only two previous owners, an impressive feat for an 85-year-old car. This 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster undoubtedly ranks among the most sought-after and expensive cars ever produced by Mercedes-Benz.

5. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster – $9.9 million

The Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster is undeniably one of the most expensive cars produced by Mercedes, priced just shy of the $10 million mark. A prime example of this iconic vehicle was sold by R.M. Sotheby’s in 2016, and it possesses all the features collectors eagerly seek. With its original left-hand drive, high door, and long-tailed configuration, this car stands out. What truly sets it apart is its remarkable rarity, being one of the earliest surviving 540K models known today. Its chassis number, 130894, falls within the pre-production 500K range that only went up to 130,900. Furthermore, this exceptional vehicle houses a powerful 5.4-liter engine, making it one of only thirteen known examples in existence.

The accompanying paperwork for this 540K Special Roadster is equally impressive, providing a nearly complete account of its rich history. In 1937, it arrived in New York City and found its first owner in Reginald Sinclaire from Larkspur, Colorado. After two decades, the car graced an exhibition of antique automobiles at the Denver Art Museum before making its way to the possession of E.W. Price, a resident of Boulder. From there, it changed hands with Irving Tushinsky, then Thomas Barrett III, and so on, until it eventually found its way to the auction where it fetched a staggering $9.9 million.

In summary, the Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster exemplifies the epitome of luxury and rarity in the world of automobiles. With its breathtaking design, historical significance, and powerful performance, it rightfully claims its place as one of the most sought-after and expensive cars ever produced by Mercedes-Benz.

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4. Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren 999 Red Gold Dream – $ 11 million

One of the most expensive Mercedes-Benz cars ever created is the custom Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 999 Red Gold Dream, designed by Swiss designer Ueli Anliker, which holds the fourth position on the list. While its performance remains comparable to a standard McLaren Mercedes SLR, there were plans for a remarkable engine upgrade that would have unleashed over 1,000 horsepower. However, what truly sets this luxury vehicle apart is the astounding amount of valuable materials incorporated into its design, amounting to a staggering $5.4 million. The Red Gold Dream boasts exquisite details, including 24-karat gold plating on the wheels, steering wheel, headlight surrounds, door sills, and various interior trims. To achieve its opulent appearance, 11 pounds of gold dust were blended into 15 layers of paint coating the car’s body. Additionally, rubies adorn the wheel nuts and gear shift, further enhancing its lavishness. It is worth noting that these materials were acquired in 2011, and should one attempt to recreate the Red Gold Dream in 2022, the costs would likely have increased significantly.

3. 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster – $11,770,000

The Mercedes-Benz 540K holds an exceptional position among luxury vehicles, renowned for its exclusivity and astonishing price tag. In terms of cost alone, this particular model stands as the pinnacle of the 540K series and ranks as the second most expensive vehicle on record. At the prestigious Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auction on August 19, 2012, this extraordinary automobile, characterized by its sought-after high door and long tail configuration, fetched a staggering $11,770,000, including the buyer’s premium. What makes this 540K Special Roadster truly remarkable is its captivating history. Originally commissioned by Baroness Josephine von Krieger during the 1930s as a graduation gift for her son Henning, it ultimately became her personal vehicle of choice. The interior boasts opulent pigskin upholstery, a state-of-the-art Telefunken radio, and various bespoke features tailored to the Baroness’s discerning taste. Adorned in a sleek black exterior, the von Krieger family crest is meticulously hand-painted on the driver’s door, signifying its aristocratic lineage. After the upheavals of the Second World War, the von Krieger family relocated to the United States, leaving the revered 540K languishing in a Connecticut garage for four decades. Before changing hands, the car underwent a meticulous restoration, culminating in a prestigious first-class award at the illustrious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Undoubtedly, the Mercedes-Benz 540K stands as a symbol of unparalleled automotive craftsmanship and represents one of the most coveted and expensive offerings in the esteemed lineage of Mercedes luxury cars.

2. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 – $29.65 million

The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 holds the distinction of being the second most expensive Mercedes ever sold and remains one of the most exorbitantly priced vehicles overall. Its jaw-dropping sale price of $29,650,095 at the Bonhams auction during the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed shattered the world record for the highest-priced car at that time. Although the W196 may have slipped from the top spot on the Mercedes-based list and fallen out of the top five most expensive cars in general, it still holds a firm position within the prestigious top ten. Despite the lofty price tag, this car’s exceptional lineage justifies the astronomical value it commands. As a former Formula One race car, the W196 triumphed in two Grand Prix races, one in Switzerland and one in Germany, with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio behind the wheel. Notably, the privately owned W196 that was sold in 2013 is the sole surviving example to have claimed victory in multiple Grand Prix races. All other remaining W196 vehicles can be found either in museums or tucked away within Mercedes’ private warehouses, making this privately owned gem even more extraordinary.

1. The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe – $145 million

The most expensive car ever sold is a Mercedes-Benz, specifically a 1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe. This rare racing prototype fetched a staggering €135 million (around $145 million) in May 2022. Only two of these coupes were ever built. The sale proceeds are being used to establish the “Mercedes-Benz Fund,” a global charity aimed at providing educational and research scholarships in the fields of environmental science and decarbonization for young individuals. Renata Jungo Brüngger, a Mercedes-Benz board member, expressed the significance of these coupes in sports car development and how achieving the highest price in history was both extraordinary and humbling. The Uhlenhaut coupe, named after its creator Rudolf Uhlenhaut, boasted gullwing doors, a three-liter straight-eight engine, and ultra-light Elektron magnesium bodywork. It held the title of the fastest road car worldwide, capable of reaching speeds over 180 mph. While the record-breaking car is now in the hands of a private seller, Mercedes-Benz still retains the other 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, and the private buyer has agreed to make theirs available for public exhibition on special occasions.

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