BERLIN (AP) — German automaker Mercedes-Benz said Thursday that it has auctioned an extremely rare car from its company collection for a roaring 135 million euros ($143 million).
The company said the price paid by a private collector earlier this month for the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé, with its distinctive gullwing doors, makes it the most valuable car of all time. The claim couldn’t be independently verified.
Mercedes Benz said the proceeds would be used to launch a fund providing scholarships for young people to learn about and research environmental science and decarbonization. The greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, released by burning fossil fuels, is largely blamed for climate change.
The car was one of just two prototypes built in 1955, and named after the company’s then-chief engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut.
“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 decarbonization and resource preservation,” the CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group, Ola Kallenius, said.
The company’s said its collection comprises some 1,100 cars dating back to 1886.