There used to be a time when the most expensive classic cars on sale hailed from Italy. They had a Prancing Horse on their badges and typically wore some evocative alphanumeric combination. However there has been a shift of late as there are mega money Mercs taking centre stage.

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Record Setting 

The trend started some time back, but really reached a crescendo in 2022. An extremely rare Mercedes-Benz 300SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe became the world’s most expensive car when it was auctioned for a whopping $143 million, yes, US dollars (click here to read more). That record-setting price seems to have rubbed off on its stablemates as other cars with the Three-Pointed Star are also setting records.

We did ask the question, but none of the machines listed below are eligible for finance through Mercedes’ Agility Finance program. However, if you are considering Mercedes-Benz ownership it’s worth clicking on the advert below.

2013 Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 W04

A Mercedes F1 driven by Lewis Hamilton sold for U$18 815 000 (R354m) in an auction in Las Vegas. This price is the highest ever achieved for a modern-day F1 car. It grabbed the record from a Ferrari that was once raced by Michael Schumacher. The F2003-GA sold for $14,9m (more info on the car at this link).

In a similar vein, it was Hamilton who replaced Schumacher at the Silver Arrows team. The V8-powered W04 was driven by the seven-time world champion during the 2013 F1 season, where it registered a win in Hungary. It is the sole example to be sold outside of the Mercedes organisation. It is also the last year that F1 car’s used naturally aspirated V8 engines.

Click here to read about Lewis Hamilton’s departure from Mercedes-AMG F1 to join Scuderia Ferrari in 2025.

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II

There have been many successful saloon racing cars in Mercedes-Benz’s past. But few are probably as well known as the 190E Evo II. The boxy sedan from the ’90s fuelled the passion for an entire generation of petrolheads. European brands waged war for supremacy as the leading marque in the hotly contested German Touring Car championship. 

To compete in the series Mercedes has to produce a minimum of 500 examples of the highest-performance version. A pristine example recently sold in the US for a massive U$544 000 (approx R10m). The road car had just over 5 300 km on the odo at the time of sale. You can read more about what made the Evo II so special by clicking here.

1999 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster

High-end homologation specials are pretty rare. Roadster versions of these cars even more so. This Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster is one of just six ever made. That could explain why it achieved a price of just over $10,2m (approx R195m) in auction. Twenty fixed roof versions were made for sale to the public, as required by the rules at the time. Just 26 CLK GTRs exist, which makes them even more rare than the famed Ferrari 250 GTO.

The GTR competed in two seasons (1997-98) of FIA GT racing. During this time it took 17 wins from 22 races claiming the drivers’ and constructors’ championships in the process. These racecars for the road were powered by a 6,9-litre, naturally aspirated V12 engine that delivered over 450 kW to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential transmission. You can learn more about the CLK GTR at this link.

All images courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.