While many people look at their vehicles as ways of getting from point A to point B and on weekends, point C, there are those that see their cars as part of their personality and identity. For them, there is nothing in the world so precious as their four-wheeled mistress (or the gender-appropriate equivalent of mistress for females).
While some people teeter on the verge of obsessive and unhealthy with their love for their vehicle, it is the world we live in and “he/she who dies with the most shiny things is declared the winner upon reaching the pearly gates”. That’s listed as number one in the rule book. While economy class cars are getting nicer, more comfortable and roomier by the year, they still don’t offer a substitute in terms of power or luxury, when compared to vehicles from dedicated luxury brands.
Sure, a Ferrari or Lamborghini goes fast, but if your goal is to get somewhere in as much style and comfort as possible, a sports/super car isn’t the way to go. Cadillac, Lincoln, Lexus, BMW and Audi are great bets (not the first two if you live in a cold climate mind you), but there is something about Mercedes-Benz products. They are synonymous with being able to provide luxury and comfort with an engine that can last a long time, plain and simple. Along with being great cars today, there are some Mercedes-Benz models that are among the rarest and most sought-after vehicles out there. Here is our list of the most expensive and valuable cars from this make.
12. SLR McLaren Mansory Renovatio – $1.5 Million
This beauty looks like an SL500 that has been fed copious amounts of human growth hormones and every illegal performance enhancing drug known to man for several years. Unveiled back in 2008, this beast has a top speed of about 211 mph. It’s not a record breaker there, but it’s still a beautiful vehicle, combining the Mercedes-McLaren SLR and the work of the modification company Mansory.
Other versions of the SLR, from the 722 to the Roadster, are all beautiful and the Sterling Moss is faster, but the Renovatio is the nicest and most expensive.
11. 2010 SLR McLaren V10 Quad Turbo Brabus “White Gold” – $2 Million
There is a lot of controversy and silliness surrounding this marvel. A few years ago, some publications tried to pass off one of those cars as being coated in gold alloy. It’s not, so calm down. More than likely it’s a vinyl chrome wrap or something along those lines. Still however, this version of the SLR is worth about $2 million. The 8.4 liter V10 boasts about 1600 horsepower which translates to an impressive top speed of around 217 MPH.
10. C112 Concept, Vision SLR Concept, AMG Vision GT Concept – Tied at $3 Million
Depending on your source, there may be some variation price for each of these cars (or any on the list) so as per my usual indication, scrutinize my sources as you see fit.
The C112 Concept was the masterpiece creation of Mercedes-Benz in the early 90s. It bares some notable aesthetic similarities to the McLaren F1 supercar which was revealed shortly thereafter. It never entered full production, despite there being some significant demand and potential buyers. The 6L V12 produced a bit over 400 horsepower with a top speed of over 190 MPH.
The Vision SLR Concept is the original building block on which the SLR itself was founded. It was unveiled at the 1999 Detroit Auto Show and was described as “Tomorrow’s Silver Arrow”. It has a top speed of just under 200 MPH and goes from 0-60 in just over four seconds.
Mercedes-Benz looked to both present and past for the AMG Vision GT Concept. This stunning gem of a vehicle bares visual features that are futuristic, but also recall those iconic Mercedes-Benz cars from the 1960s. It has a top speed of about 217 MPH and goes from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds.
9. 1929 SSK Roadster – $3.3 Million
The SSK was a two seat sports car produced from the late 20s up until the early 30s. This model is the first of two on our list. The SSK was one of the most successful racing cars of its day and is very scarce now, with experts estimating that there are only about five left at the very most. This one sold in Paris for just over $3.3 million back in 2004. This vehicle, with its 200+ horsepower straight six engine and impressive racing record, is considered one of the best cars of the 20th century.
8. 2002 CLK GTR AMG Roadster – $3.5 Million ( Some Other CLK Variants Between $3 Million and $3.3 Million)
For those who are just casual fans of Mercedes products, anything with the letters AMG in it refers to Mercedes-Benz AMG, the high-performance, juiced up company that takes Mercedes cars and puts them into “beast mode”.
Racing and street versions of the CLK GTR were produced and they all look roughly the same and perform at an amazing level, but have significant tweaks and mods under the hood. The original CLK GTR was valued at around $1.5 million, but the upgraded AMG edition, which came out in 2002, is estimated at around three and a half these days.
7. 1935 500K – $3.7 Million
Built between the years 1934 and 1936, the 500K was recognized as being a luxury and performance model for its time. It was considered among the most comfortable rides of the period, and only a few hundred were made. Due to its luxury and its rarity, back in 2011, one of these old beasts sold for about $3.7 million in Monterey, California.
6. 1955 300SL – $4.6 Million
The 300 SL was originally a race car, just like a few other cars on this list. Production of that variant took place between 1952 and 1953, while the production models were made between 1953 and 1962. Only a couple of thousand were made, and there are obviously very few left. This masterpiece features gull-wings (on the coupe model, not the roadster, obviously) and was said to be the fastest car in the world when it was in production.
5. 1929 38/250 SSK – $7.4 Million
This car is a slightly different variant on our number eight and was sold by British auction house Bonhams, over 10 years ago, back in 2004. As I previously noted, the car was an engineering phenomenon at the time, and was very successful in racing at the time, so we can understand why it was so unique. With so few left over, it is no wonder that these cars sell for so much at auction, and will likely continue to do so.
4. 1928 680 S Torpedo Roadster – $8.25 Million
Designed partially by Mercedes-Benz with extensive work done by French auto-body manufacturer Saoutchik, in 1928, the Torpedo is a beautiful looking car. Adding to the impressive allure of this model, only twelve bodies for the vehicle were actually produced by Saoutchik. In short, this is an obscenely rare car. In 2013, it was sold by Canada-based RM Auctions in California for $8.25 million dollars.
3. 2011 SLR MacLaren Red Gold Dream – $10 Million
And you thought rappers tossed money at silly, golden nonsense! Meet Swiss entrepreneur Ueli Anliker, who bought a 2011 SLR and threw paint and gold at it to make it something as beautiful as it is ridiculous. The paint contains gold dust, and the headlights and wheels are both coated in gold. The internal knobs and instruments are all jeweled or involve gold and rubies. All told, the car took 35 people 30,000 man hours to complete. The engine received some upgrades and tuning, and the car had a top speed of about 210 MPH back in 2011 when Anliker was trying to sell it. It is unclear whether he sold the car, but he was asking for $10 million Swiss Francs, which would have been roughly $10 million USD.
2. 1936 and 1937 540 K Spezial – $12 Million and $10 Million
Much like the 500K that we saw earlier in this article, the 540K is a popular auction piece these days due to it being an impressive feat of engineering, a car that was sought after at the time, with a classic look and what remains a comfortable ride (only a selling point for people who actually drive them).
These were produced between 1936 and 1944. It was a very similar model to the 500K but had an upgraded engine which produced a bit more speed, and was somewhat roomier. There was a limousine version, a coupe version (4 seats) and a two seat cabriolet variant. While these cars are, as I noted, popular at auction houses, and several have sold for decent sums of money over the last couple of decades, the highest two were both in California, in 2011 and 2012. The 1936 which was sold in 2012 is the 12th highest price paid for a car at auction.
1. 1954 W196 – $29.6 Million
The W196 was one of the most successful racing cars of its time. It competed in the 1954 and 1955 Formula One seasons, winning nine of twelve races and two World Championships. The engine featured technology that was based on the Messerschmitt 109 plane of World War Two.
In 2013, Bonhams sold one of these vehicles for nearly $30 million, which is the second largest sum for a car at auction in history.