It looks like the opening scene from a spy novel.
A handful of the world’s richest car collectors have gathered secretly in a closed museum to bid for an extremely rare historic car.
This is said to have happened on May 6 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, when someone paid $142 million for one of the cars in the collection.
Sources familiar with the event told classic car lifestyle and insurance company Hagerty that it was the second of two 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut” Mercedes-Benz Coupes built for the 1956 racing season. Hagerty was able to confirm that the museum was closed to the public for a special event on the day in question.
The cars are hard copies of the 300 SLR Roadster that was involved in the tragic accident in 1955 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that killed 84 spectators and brought Mercedes-Benz’s official racing business to a halt for 30 years.
As such, coupes were never raced during that era or sold earlier, but they have been shown on the right track in recent historical events. Their nickname comes from the head of the testing department that developed them, Rudolf Ullenhout.
A Mercedes spokesperson told Fox News Autos that the automaker often takes orders for cars from its group, but would not confirm this or the sale event.
“The classic car market is in constant motion so there is always a lot of speculation. Please understand that we are not able to engage in such speculation,” he said.
According to Hagerty, potential buyers were chosen for their capabilities and willingness to keep the car with the same care as Mercedes-Benz.
If the story is accurate, the sale would be a new all-time record price paid for a car, exceeding the $70 million that WeatherTech founder David MacNeil paid in a private sale of a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO in 2018 and $48.4 million. That 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO went to an RM Sotheby’s auction in the same year.