One of two ultra-rare original 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Collection has been auctioned for 135 million euros – that’s equivalent to RM626,822,715 at today’s exchange rate – to a private collector. It’s the highest price ever paid for any car and the money will be used to establish a ‘Mercedes-Benz Fund’.

One of only two units
Only two units of the prototype sportscar were built and named after the chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut. Apart from its rarity, the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is considered to be one of the finest examples of automotive engineering and design by automotive experts and enthusiasts worldwide.

1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe

The auction was held at the Mercedes-Benz Museum and managed by renowned auctioneer RM Sotheby’s. The sportscar auctioned was part of the non-public vehicle collection belonging to Mercedes-Benz Classic, which has more than 1,100 automobiles ranging from the invention of the automobile in 1886 until today.

“The private buyer has agreed that the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe will remain accessible for public display on special occasions, while the second original 300 SLR Coupe remains in company ownership and will continue to be displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart,“ said Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes Benz Heritage.

1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe

Global scholarship programme
“The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes are milestones in sportscar development and key historical elements that have shaped our brand. The decision to sell one of these two unique sportscars was taken with very sound reasoning – to benefit a good cause. The proceeds from the auction will fund a global scholarship programme. With the ‘Mercedes-Benz Fund’, 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 decarbonisation and resource preservation,” said Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group AG.

“At the same time, achieving the highest price ever paid for a vehicle is extraordinary and humbling: A Mercedes-Benz is by far the most valuable car in the world,” he added.

1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe

The proceeds from the auction will serve as seed capital for the global initiative, and Mercedes-Benz is committed to investing additional resources in the coming years. The Mercedes Benz Fund will be divided into two sub-categories: University Scholarships in order to connect, educate and encourage students to realize/conduct research on environmental science projects, and School Scholarships focussing on pupils to realize local environmental projects in their communities.

The programme funds will be directed to individuals who otherwise do not have the financial means for their projects and career paths. The programme will go beyond financially supporting the young people and include extracurricular elements like Mercedes-Benz mentorships opening up new career prospects.

Rudolf Uhlenhaut and his Coupe
The special circumstances behind its creation, its unique design and its innovative technology have endowed the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe with a remarkable level of mystique that endures to this day. The design set benchmarks that put it among the world’s most significant automotive icons – not least on account of its distinctive gullwing doors. Added to this is the outstanding performance delivered by its thoroughbred racing technology.

Serving as the head of passenger car development at Mercedes-Benz which included the racing division, Uhlenhaut was also the father of the 300 SL and the W 196 R “Silver Arrows”. The Coupe exceeded the technical possibilities of its time and became the pinnacle in the life’s work of the genius engineer who persistently strove for the maximum.

1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe

Mercedes-Benz Museum offers a new perspective with indoor drone tour (w/VIDEO)

Renee Brinkerhoff has taken part in rallies on 6 continents, driving her faithful 1956 Porsche 356 A on every type of terrain. It’s gruelling for anyone but even more so when driving a classic 65-year old sportscar. And soon, for an important cause, she will be driving her car through the harsh icy conditions of Antarctica.

After a delay of nearly 2 years, Brinkerhoff, who comes from the USA, is preparing for the final stage of her Project 356 World Rally Tour. This project is both an expedition and a humanitarian effort, and the challenge this December completes the ultimate endeavour by one woman, one car and one global mission to help end child trafficking.

Valkyrie Racing Project 356 World Rally Tour Antarctica

Raising money for a humanitarian cause
Through Valkyries Gives, the philanthropic arm of her racing team, Brinkerhoff has raised close to half a million US dollars, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting victims of trafficking around the world. By its conclusion, Brinkerhoff will have driven close to 32,000 kms over all 7 continents, partaking in endurance rallies such as Peking-to-Paris, the East African Safari Classic Rally and La Carrera Panamericana. For the crossing of the final land mass at the ‘bottom’ of the planet, she will be driving almost 600 kms.

Renee Brinkerhoff and he daughter in the 2019 Historic East African Safari Rally with the Porsche 356.

“While we are extremely proud of completing each endurance rally we’ve entered, our true mission has been for our racing efforts to become a worldwide visual that supports our vocal pursuit to end child trafficking,” said Brinkerhoff. “We’ve had a goal to break barriers and set new records and we’re hopeful our Antarctic expedition will do just that.”

Drive expected to start on December 5
The 356 is already on the way to Chile by ship from its workshop in the UK and, upon arrival, will be air-shipped to the Union Glacier in Antarctica. Brinkerhoff and her team will rendezvous in Chile at the end of November and if the weather cooperates, the driving will begin on December 5, with a target of completion before the end of the year.

The journey was pushed from late 2020, and the more than 18 months of planning has also allowed the naturally-aspirated flat six 356 to undergo a complete re-engineering for the treacherous terrain. While the addition of skis and tracks has increased the overall mass of the 356 – an issue because a low weight is key to driving over the ice rather than sinking in – the mass per square inch, or footprint, has been reduced to less than 4% of the standard wheel displacement.

Valkyrie Racing Project 356 World Rally Tour Antarctica

“The ski we’ve created must do 40 – 50% of the work, by compacting and prepping the snow for the track unit to follow over, with the underside blade guiding the direction. This ensures the tracks will not submarine under the light snow,” explained Kieron Bradley, Senior Chassis Design Engineer for the project and a practiced extreme explorer in his own right.

“Success for Renee and her car will come from the thoughtful balance of appropriate technology we’ve added, and the mass reduction implemented,” he added. For stabilisation, the 356 will use a single-arm suspension with coil-over shocks for both the tracks in the rear.

An extra thought that Bradley had to consider was that the skis and tracks must be easily removable so that spiked ice tyres can be refitted with no wheel alignment changes necessary. A pneumatic inflatable jack will be used to make the change.

Valkyrie Racing Project 356 World Rally Tour Antarctica

Accompanied by veteran adventurer
Joining Brinkerhoff for the polar drive will be British explorer Jason de Carteret, who will act as navigator. De Carteret has led more than 50 expeditions, including to both the North and South Pole. Together with Bradley, he has claimed 2 world records for the fastest overland journey to the South Pole travelling in the Thomson Reuters Polar Vehicle (which they designed).

“As often has been the case when taking on new terrain in my 356, I have had no opportunity to test the car,” said Brinkerhoff. “The test will come when we are at Union Glacier and we are very hopeful the new design will prove itself well. As I have been told by Jason and Kieron, there is no terrain on earth like Antarctica and therefore no place where a true test can be taken.”

Valkyrie Racing Project 356 World Rally Tour Antarctica

Valkyrie Racing Project 356 World Rally Tour Antarctica

Over the years, the Volkswagen Beetle represented many different things to many different people. It was a classic example of German ingenuity, a symbol of the counterculture movement, and a reminder that the simplest of things can sometimes be the best. It was truly a car for the people, compact, economical, reliable and durable.

The Beetle was a boom car for affordable transportation in Europe and elsewhere and, by 1952, it was sold in 46 countries. Eventually, it would be built in 14 countries, including Malaysia, and more than 21.5 million were sold before the final, modern-generation Beetle left the line at the factory in Mexico in 2019.

When the original Beetle was produced in the 1940s, who would have imagined that it would remain in the same form until 2003?

The original Beetle retained its form for many decades, becoming a familiar shape on roads all over the world. Its attributes which kept it in demand were not easily replicated and so it continued n production even after the Golf arrived as a successor in 1974.

Although it may seem that Volkswagen did not consider redesigning the original car, starting in the early 1950s, it had design proposals from time to time. There were more than 70 potential replacements, but none seemed able to match what the Volkswagen represented. Here are some of the proposals that never made it to production.

1955/56 EA47-12: Number 12 of 15 prototypes produced between 1953 and the end of 1956, the EA-47-12 was the carmaker’s first attempt at creating a more modern successor. It was the first of many Beetle replacements designed by Italian automobile designer Ghia, which is probably why it looked like the Karmann Ghia. The car was powered by a 1192 cc 4-cylinder boxer air-cooled engine with a power output of 30 bhp. In addition, it boasted a transverse link front axle, torsion bar rear suspension, and fully synchronized gearbox—unique technology for the time. The top speed was said to be 80 km/h.
1955 EA48: In 1953, Volkswagen began toying with the idea of developing a car positioned below the Beetle in terms of size, performance, and price. The result was this boxy car. Some call it the first ‘City Car’, an accolade bestowed upon the British Mini because the EA48 never went into production. The EA48 was also the first prototype designed in-house without any input from Porsche. None of the components from the Beetle were carried over to the EA48; instead, engineers decided to start from scratch. The front-wheel drive car used unibody construction, a front-mounted 700 cc air-cooled, flat-twin 18 bhp engine, and a MacPherson-type front suspension.
1960 EA97: It is believed that the EA97 project was abandoned while workers were preparing its assembly line, and after 200 pilot cars had been assembled by hand. The development of this rear-engine 2-door model began in 1957. It featured a more pontoon-shaped body and a 1.1-litre engine. What was the problem? “It was positioned too close to the Beetle and the Type 3,” according to the AutoMuseum Volkswagen website.
1961 Type 3 Cabriolet: The Type 3 released in 1961 gave motorists a more upmarket alternative to the Beetle. This Cabriolet prototype featured a folding top and a glass rear window. Sadly, it was shelved out of fear the model would create internal competition with the Karmann Ghia convertible.
1966 EA142: While developing the Type 4, which made its debut in 1968, Volkswagen experimented with various bodystyles, including this elegant EA 142. The rear engine hatchback used the same 1.7-litre engine that would appear in the production version of the Type 4.
1969 EA276: This was the inspiration for the original Golf. The front-wheel drive hatchback was boxier than many of the other Beetle replacements. Though this car had the same air-cooled flat-4 engine as the Beetle, the powerplant was changed to a 4-cylinder, water-cooled inline engine before installed in the Golf 1974.
1969 EA266: One of the more innovative replacement candidates was the EA266. It was developed with assistance from Porsche and a team led by Ferdinand Piech, the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, who would later become Chairman of the Volkswagen group in 1993. The mid-engine hatchback had a water-cooled 4-cylinder 1.6-litre engine mounted under the rear seat in a longitudinal configuration with the transaxle directly behind it to save space. Despite the sporty design and Porsche DNA, the EA266 never made it to showrooms and can only be seen in the museum today.

Vaccination does not make you immune to COVID-19 infection. You can still get infected and you may not show symptoms but spread the coronavirus to others. Do not stop taking protective measures such as wearing a facemask, washing hands frequently and social distancing.

Now here’s something that I personally feel every Motorshow should have, a section for classic cars! I don’t think I’m the only classic car fan to visit KLIMS (or any motorshow for that matter) so let’s keep this going!

Nice one Rukshan and friends @ MyClassic Cars (<– link to their FB page)good show!

To the organisers of KLIMS, please provide better lighting next time. Like I’ve always said, ‘if you’re gonna do it, do it well’.Chris Wee.

(NB: Caveat – That fantastic silver Porsche 911 in the photo gallery above was part of the Tom’s Stickers Motorsports (<– link) pavilion on Level 2 of KLIMS, next to the MyClassic Cars display)

One of the most valuable Type 2 VW camper vans in existence, which is worth £90,000 or RM490,671 will leave Windrush Car Storage (UK) for Goodwood where it will go under the hammer during the Goodwood Festive of Speed event.

Windrush is known for being a luxury spa for vehicles. There, automobiles are treated with the best care and detail service. Security is tight at the state-of-the-art Cotswold facility to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to these extremely valuable vehicles that are kept in a dehumidified and climate-controlled environment to maintain an optimum condition, which best suit their preservation despite the lengthy storage duration.

This Type 2 VW Camper was subjected to the very same treatment and has been kept in pristine condition at the facility for almost five years after its owner, Steve Quinn completed the vehicle’s meticulous restoration process.

Quinn acquired the rust-free, ex-California VW Camper in 2008. Back then, it didn’t have an engine and was in dire need of a makeover. Now, the vehicle has a new 100bhp 2.0-litre engine as well as a fully reworked interior that features wood paneling for the storage areas and chrome on the bumpers and rims and extensive white and blue paintwork.

There’s also modern tech features that include an Alpine surround sound system, DVD player and an internet connection. Since the completion of the restoration work, the vehicle has only traveled 2,897km, making it an extremely low mileage classic.

Regarding the storage of his beloved VW Camper, Quinn said, “The car was always kept in the very best condition and the team at Windrush even pointed out potential faults to ensure it continued running smoothly. I do love my Camper but it’s time to pass the torch. I’ll certainly be recommending Windrush to whoever is lucky enough to win at the auction!”

The Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place from 29th June to 2nd July and will play host to a number of spectacular motoring events including a vehicle display that consists of a number of vintage and modern Formula One cars. Till then, take a look at this impressive collection of pictures of Quinn’s VW Camper.

The resto mod market has has been steadily gaining ground over the past few years. Demand for such vehicles has been on the rise thanks to people like Magnus Walker, who, after restoring classics, have managed to preserve the beauty and essence of these vehicles yet incorporate certain amount of modernity to make them practical for today’s world.

Resto Mod is essentially the term used to describe a classic vehicle that has been restored by fusing the original body, panels and switchgear with modernized running gear. Considered sacrilege by purists, the popularity of resto modded vehicles have soared as of late. This is because, despite the vehicles looking just as they did 30 or 40 years ago, underneath, are mechanicals that allow vintage/classic cars to be driven in modern day traffic conditions, without breaking down or spewing oil all over the road.

Such is the case here with a BMW 2002, which was featured on Jay Leno’s Garage Youtube channel. It was brought in by founder of the well-known Bavarian Workshop. Marc and his team were responsible for the restoration project with this particular 1976 BMW 2002, which has been modified to keep up with today’s econoboxes but look infinitely cooler cruising down the highway.

Check out this video to learn more about the restoration process and the immaculately clean BMW 2002 that resulted from it.

True love can only be described by those who have experienced it. Such is the case with Romain Saraiva and his red 1976 Toyota Corolla KE35. His interest in cars ran in his family. On family road trips, Romain and his family would play car spotting games.

At a much younger age, Romain, who at the time was still in school, was looking to buy his first car. He wanted something different and with a soul. He stumbled upon a Toyota Corolla Coupe whole on vacation with his family in Portugal. Smitten by the car’s silhouette and uniqueness, when he got back to France, kept an eye out for a similar one. He eventually found one and acting on impulse, bought the car.

Blinded by his love for it, he didn’t realize that the car was in pretty bad shape. It’s previous owner, in an attempt to make a quick sale, made a hash of the repair work. As such, a lot of the work had to be done by Romain to get the car looking brand new again. Watch the video and let him tell you how his passion for his KE35 led him down this complicated path.


Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on YouTube