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Uhlenhaut Coupé


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#1 Parkesi

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 14:43

German BILD Zeitung (yellow press with very big letters) claims that one of the two Mercedes Uhlenhaut Coupés was sold in a secret auction (Mercedes Museum/Stuttgart/06.05.22) for 135 millions of €. True or fake news? I think we should be told :)

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#2 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 16:53

Hagerty Insider brought it as a rumor.... and noted it to be a developing story including informed speculation....



#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 17:48

In truth there is one Uhlenhaut Coupe, the one that Rudi Uhlenhaut most adopted for his occasional personal transport, and then there's the sister car which he might have driven occasionally but did not really adopt in the same way.  

 

I may have it the wrong way round, but I think the red-upholstered Coupe was 'his', while the blue-upholstered Coupe was the lesser-used sister.  If D-B have in fact sold either - and it appears that they have indeed done so - then it is more likely to have been the blue-upholstered car, I would have thought.  

 

But a savvy buyer could have held out for 'The' Uhlenhaut Coupe, not its historically lesser sister.  There are strong rumours that the buyer is a much-respected Brit and he would certainly have factored-in the difference.  Where he is concerned, I hope these rumours are true.

 

Many people have tried to persuade D-B over many years that they really didn't need to keep both of these Coupes, particularly since neither of them have any race history, beyond one having done some practice laps at Dundrod before the 1955 RAC TT, driven mainly by 'Taffy' von Trips.  

 

Over many past years, some people have got quite close to sealing a deal with D-B over buying the extraneous Coupe, but ultimately the company had always shied away from signing an agreement.

 

One might suspect that 2-3 years of adverse economic conditions finally concentrated the corporate mind...  Not that $140-odd-million will plaster over many of the current cracks?

 

On a personal note, I was staggered to be invited to drive what I recall as having been 'the lesser' 300SLR Coupe during the Mille Miglia Retro some years ago.

 

I must confess it was a FABULOUS experience, something of a roofed-in Moss/Fangio experience on the course they once graced.

 

BUT - and it's a big 'but' - the Ferrari 250GTO remains nicer to drive, feeling lighter, with better steering and more responsive handling.  But then so it should, being seven years younger.  And even though the GTO V12 sounds lovely around peak revs, the 300SLR's straight-8 just sounds utterly, ear-splittingly fantastic throughout its entire range. Wonderful.  :love:

 

DCN



#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 18:07

Motorious, which seems to have broken the story, suggested that the proceeds are going to an unnamed charity.

 

https://www.motoriou...-slr-uhlenhaut/



#5 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 20:23

https://www.telegraa...9967527677E54A5

 

This site also shows the story. And it quotes Motorious. (Sorry it is in Dutch).

Where there's smoke, there's fire.

So we must believe that something has happened, indeed.

One of the conditions to the sale is that the new owner is not allowed to boast about it.

The most exciting thing in the story is that the "Uhlenhaut" participated in the Le Mans races of 1955 and 1956.

 

Please, please, please can somebody present a reliable story of what really happened?


Edited by Henk Vasmel, 13 May 2022 - 20:24.


#6 jtremlett

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 20:34

...The most exciting thing in the story is that the "Uhlenhaut" participated in the Le Mans races of 1955 and 1956...

Wow!  So Mercedes didn't withdraw from racing after Le Mans in 1955 then.  I can't read the Dutch but I feel reasonably confident in saying that part at least isn't true!



#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 22:08

Unleashed or not...

 

0604-33-300slr.jpg

 

...you've got to love it.



#8 JoBo

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 22:09

German BILD Zeitung (yellow press with very big letters) claims that one of the two Mercedes Uhlenhaut Coupés was sold in a secret auction (Mercedes Museum/Stuttgart/06.05.22) for 135 millions of €. True or fake news? I think we should be told :)

German BILD newspaper claimed...nothing. What they did is, they reported about the rumor and also noted the source of it...Hagerty!


Edited by JoBo, 13 May 2022 - 22:10.


#9 JoBo

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 22:12

In truth there is one Uhlenhaut Coupe, the one that Rudi Uhlenhaut most adopted for his occasional personal transport, and then there's the sister car which he might have driven occasionally but did not really adopt in the same way.  

 

I may have it the wrong way round, but I think the red-upholstered Coupe was 'his', while the blue-upholstered Coupe was the lesser-used sister.  If D-B have in fact sold either - and it appears that they have indeed done so - then it is more likely to have been the blue-upholstered car, I would have thought.  

 

But a savvy buyer could have held out for 'The' Uhlenhaut Coupe, not its historically lesser sister.  There are strong rumours that the buyer is a much-respected Brit and he would certainly have factored-in the difference.  Where he is concerned, I hope these rumours are true.

 

Many people have tried to persuade D-B over many years that they really didn't need to keep both of these Coupes, particularly since neither of them have any race history, beyond one having done some practice laps at Dundrod before the 1955 RAC TT, driven mainly by 'Taffy' von Trips.  

 

Over many past years, some people have got quite close to sealing a deal with D-B over buying the extraneous Coupe, but ultimately the company had always shied away from signing an agreement.

 

One might suspect that 2-3 years of adverse economic conditions finally concentrated the corporate mind...  Not that $140-odd-million will plaster over many of the current cracks?

 

On a personal note, I was staggered to be invited to drive what I recall as having been 'the lesser' 300SLR Coupe during the Mille Miglia Retro some years ago.

 

I must confess it was a FABULOUS experience, something of a roofed-in Moss/Fangio experience on the course they once graced.

 

BUT - and it's a big 'but' - the Ferrari 250GTO remains nicer to drive, feeling lighter, with better steering and more responsive handling.  But then so it should, being seven years younger.  And even though the GTO V12 sounds lovely around peak revs, the 300SLR's straight-8 just sounds utterly, ear-splittingly fantastic throughout its entire range. Wonderful.  :love:

 

DCN

Why should MB sell the Uhlenhaut-car, no matter which of them? They have all the money and don`t need this "silly" cash...

 

As long as MB confirms the sale of the car, I don`t believe it!



#10 BRG

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 09:41

Why should MB sell the Uhlenhaut-car, no matter which of them? They have all the money and don`t need this "silly" cash...

If the story is true, the cash has gone to a charity, not to MB.  

 

But the whole thing seems a little odd.  OK, if you have two examples of a unique (or should that be duique?) car, you can decide to dispose of one.  And you can offer the proceeds to charity.  But then why do it secretly?  What about all the potential bidders who never knew of the auction, although auction suggest multiple bidders.  Still, there might have been an Elon Musk type person prepared to bid even more but who never had the chance?

 

Maybe this sale was well known amongst the super-rich or at least, the right sort of super-rich (no Russian oligarchs wanted here, thank you very much), it was just us plebs who were kept in the dark.



#11 jtremlett

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 15:01

If the story is true, the cash has gone to a charity, not to MB.  

 

But the whole thing seems a little odd.  OK, if you have two examples of a unique (or should that be duique?) car, you can decide to dispose of one.  And you can offer the proceeds to charity.  But then why do it secretly?  What about all the potential bidders who never knew of the auction, although auction suggest multiple bidders.  Still, there might have been an Elon Musk type person prepared to bid even more but who never had the chance?

 

Maybe this sale was well known amongst the super-rich or at least, the right sort of super-rich (no Russian oligarchs wanted here, thank you very much), it was just us plebs who were kept in the dark.

I think you might do it like that if the objective wasn't just to allow anyone to buy it but rather to sell it to one of a small number of trusted car collectors.



#12 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 20:27



In truth there is one Uhlenhaut Coupe, the one that Rudi Uhlenhaut most adopted for his occasional personal transport, and then there's the sister car which he might have driven occasionally but did not really adopt in the same way.  

 

I may have it the wrong way round, but I think the red-upholstered Coupe was 'his', while the blue-upholstered Coupe was the lesser-used sister.  If D-B have in fact sold either - and it appears that they have indeed done so - then it is more likely to have been the blue-upholstered car, I would have thought.  

 

DCN

 

I am pretty sure I did get the two SLR Coupes the wrong way round.  Rudi Uhlenhaut's favoured car was 'blue', the second car 'red'.  Here's 'red' - of fond personal memory - on the 2010 Mille Miglia Retro.

 

GPL-2010-MM-MERCEDES-300-SLR-UHLENHAUT-S

 

This is no discreet, sleek beauty - here it is entering Siena, even at low speed its exhaust crackle battering back from the pressing buildings.

 

GPL-2010-MM-MERCEDES-300-SLR-UHLENHAUT-S

 

It was heart-warming to experience the interest it aroused from the welcoming Siena crowd...

 

GPL-2010-MM-DCN-MERCEDES-300-SLR-UHLENHA

 

At speed on the open road, in the passenger seat is the great Gert Straub of Mercedes-Benz Classic whose father Horst navigated 'Taffy' von Trips on the 1956 Mille Miglia when they shared a 300SL. They crashed.  (We didn't :smoking: )

 

Above photos by courtesy of the Mercedes-Benz Museum (and such a shame to see that gorgeous bodywork disfigured by those event decals)

 

IMG-3141.jpg

 

Here's why this SLR Coupe has become known simply as 'Red'.  Note the legs apart driving position, clutch pedal in the left-side footwell, brake and throttle in the right...prop-shaft tunnel between the driver's shins.

 

IMG-3132.jpg

 

Note instrument obscuration by the 4-spoke steering wheel

 

IMG-3124.jpg

 

IMG-3137.jpg

 

Photos Copyright: The GP Library

 

PS - Incidentally, there are also strong rumours emerging that a number of prominent car collectors around the world are "somewhat miffed" not to have been considered worthy of an invitation to the rumoured auction sale - tee-hee...

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 14 May 2022 - 22:40.


#13 marksixman

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 21:07

You lucky Dog ! Sorry, Doug !



#14 Odseybod

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 21:25

  At least they didn't give you the one with the great ugly exhaust silencer tacked onto its flank - that would surely have quite spoilt your enjoyment of its beauty  ...



#15 bradbury west

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 22:46

I recall my good fortune to have a conversation with the late Tony Dron after he had done his first run in “red” at the Festival of Speed a few years ago. He was ecstatic about the car.  The power delivery was  seamless,  but it was a bit noisy in the cabin, but what a noise….  He loved it. 
As an aside, I have always thought if any car warranted a  “continuation “ run it was  these two coupes. I would imagine there would be no problem  finding owners for a couple of dozen at  £30 million or so,  even with a modern MB engine.  The joy of being a dreamer…..

I was fortunate enough to  have my own shot of the cockpit, as above, but from the driver’s door opening, accepted to be hung in the celebrated Swift gallery a while ago, he says immodestly, but it is a wonderful shot.

 

I know Jenks would not approve as the continuations would  devalue the  originals, in ethos if not financially. The real thing would always be  the real thing.

I am  sure someone could fotoshop out those decals,  to  which Doug refers above

Roger Lund



#16 Tim Murray

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Posted Yesterday, 08:42

Roger Lund has sent me this link to Tony Dron’s article on the car in the Daily Telegraph. It won’t open for me as I’m not a Telegraph subscriber, but might work for others:

https://www.telegrap...onsibility.html

#17 BRG

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Posted Yesterday, 10:25

 

PS - Incidentally, there are also strong rumours emerging that a number of prominent car collectors around the world are "somewhat miffed" not to have been considered worthy of an invitation to the rumoured auction sale - tee-hee...

 

DCN

I have cut out your holiday snaps, Doug (jealousy is not strong enough word... ) but this was my thought.  Surely, if it was for charity, they could have invited everyone, held it in public ,and maybe made even more millions for the good cause - whatever it was - as well garnering great publicity.  As it is, it looks a bit like a stitch-up to pass ownership to a favoured individual.  

 

I take it that YOU weren't the buyer??   ;)



#18 Doug Nye

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Posted Yesterday, 10:35

Dammit - rumbled!

 

One would assume that the 'proceeds go to charity' propaganda would relate merely to a percentage of the involved auction company's commission on the sale - NOT the full proceeds of such a sale being donated.  

 

Then there's the question of the car's long-time legal ownership.  Would the owning entity have been Daimler-Benz AG itself, or perhaps a discreet Daimler background Trust, or whatever legal entity this particular longtime Mercedes-Benz Museum exhibit reside(d) under as 'the owner/vendor'...?  

 

And of course even a percentage of the selling agent's commission would make a pretty darned formidable charitable contribution.

 

Always assuming, of course, that the entire story is essentially true.  It does - from what I hear - appear to be so.  But if these rumours are indeed unfounded, this would not be the first time, would it?

 

DCN



#19 10kDA

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Posted Yesterday, 10:54

Dammit - rumbled!

...

Then there's the question of the car's long-time legal ownership.  Would the owning entity have been Daimler-Benz AG itself, or perhaps a discreet Daimler background Trust, or whatever legal entity this particular longtime Mercedes-Benz Museum exhibit reside(d) under as 'the owner/vendor'...?  

...

DCN

First thing, thanks for the pics!

 

Hmmm... this may have something to do with the selling/buying process. In the US, nonprofit foundations/trusts/museums must follow specific regulations re: buying and selling items, some of which may have been donated, and in the process realize significantly larger $$$ amounts than the original transaction. In other words, making a profit on a sale. It can be done without seeming to be a profit-making activity but it must be handled in such a way that the tax authorities grant approval.

 

Also, what if it was the buyer who requested anonymity? That seems to make more sense in the long run.



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#20 Doug Nye

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Posted Yesterday, 11:07

I am confident that if a sale did take place the buyer would certainly, as you write, have requested anonymity.  Of course the press always regard such reservations as a challenge!

 

DCN



#21 Charlieman

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Posted Yesterday, 11:23

We should assume that the sellers and the sale beneficiaries acted with good intent -- regarding sale proceeds, Mercedes-Benz reputation and the future of the car. 

 

The number of collectors who have 135 million Euros to spend on a car is incredibly small, so we can assume that those who met the trusted owner criteria were informed.

 

The value to the buyer of this car is roughly the sum required to run a middle-grid F1 team for a year.



#22 jcbc3

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Posted Yesterday, 16:06

I am confident that if a sale did take place the buyer would certainly, as you write, have requested anonymity.  Of course the press always regard such reservations as a challenge!

 

DCN

 

Just to spell it out for the dimwit here (me):

 

You are the press in this sentence, Doug?



#23 Myhinpaa

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Posted Yesterday, 16:34



 

I am pretty sure I did get the two SLR Coupes the wrong way round.  Rudi Uhlenhaut's favoured car was 'blue', the second car 'red'.  Here's 'red' - of fond personal memory - on the 2010 Mille Miglia Retro.

 

It seem indeed that the car with the blue interior was Uhlenhaut's car, usually on static display in the museum, chassis no. 0007/55.

The car was displayed at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2015, but unlike the sister wasn't run (?)

 

One of nine 300 SLRs, 0007 was the car Fangio/Moss shared at the tragic Le Mans. One of two 300 SLRs converted to coupe spec.

 

0007 was then used as a T-car at the Kristianstad GP in August and then at the Dunrod TT in September. 

 

Then used by Uhlenhaut as a company car....

 

art-VIN-mercedes300slr-07.jpg

 

The other coupe was chassis no. 0008/55 and had the red interior, this is the car that Mercedes allegedly have sold.

 

Kept in storage more than 0007, but since a rebuild in 2010 it was used on demonstration runs and events more frequently.

 

The car was supposedly built and prepared for an entry in the '55 Carrera Panamericana, but that was cancelled too, due to the tragedy at Le Mans. The car was then put in storage and didn't see much use, until the mentioned rebuild in 2010 and onwards.

 

Both cars at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2015, 0007 closest to the camera.

 

Mercedes-Benz-300-SLR-Uhlenhaut-Coupe-78

 

Image courtesy of Wouter Melissen and Pieter Melissen



#24 sabrejet

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Posted Yesterday, 17:35

I don't see what the problem is with M-B selling the car to whoever it wishes to: it is their property after all. And if I were to sell a prized possession, I'd much rather it went to someone I knew would love and cherish it, than an individual who might only seek to make money from it. Much worse, someone who wanted to alter it in some way!

 

I think M-B has done a really responsible thing in doing it this way: hopefully it will also mean that the car will be seen in public instead of being stored away in an anonymous collection.

 

Or turned into an art installation. Remember the art auction where the painting was shredded as soon as the final bid was accepted? In a world of cash-rich media buffoons, eager to do the next daft stunt, let's just be happy that both cars are still safe. 



#25 Doug Nye

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Posted Yesterday, 17:41



Just to spell it out for the dimwit here (me):

 

You are the press in this sentence, Doug?

 

No jcbc3 - absolutely not.  If a buyer wishes to maintain a low profile I just admire his taste in cars and will happily respect his (or her) wishes.  I can't say the same for other sectors of the media who will always grab a shovel and start digging, anonymity to those people is akin to a motoring tourist in Sicily waving two fingers at a local driver...   :eek:  The chase will be ON!

 

Monday update - a friend has just sent me these shots of one of the SLR Coupes being used as one of the works team's pre-race recce fleet, Targa Florio, 1955.

 

MERCEDES-300-SLR-COUPE-AT-55-TARGA-1.jpg

 

MERCEDES-300-SLR-COUPE-AT-55-TARGA-2.jpg

 

MERCEDES-300-SLR-COUPE-AT-55-TARGA-3.jpg

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, Today, 15:06.


#26 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted Today, 16:39

The new owner will only be anonymous if the car is kept hidden away. Any attempt to display it or even use it would lead back to the owner. 



#27 kayemod

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Posted Today, 17:10

The new owner will only be anonymous if the car is kept hidden away. 

 

True of course, but rather sad. I saw and heard one of the pair at Goodwood, and noisy doesn't do it justice. The cars don't appear to have even token silencers, so I doubt if the new owner will be able to use his as a daily driver for the occasional run to Waitrose.or if the purchase has left him a bit skint, Lidl or Aldi.