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2017 Ford GT
| New Buffalo, Michigan
- Coveted first-year example, believed to be among the lowest production volume by model year
- Just 137 miles from new at the time of cataloguing
- Finished in the exceptional Liquid Red Tri-Coat paint, a $5,000 upgrade and among the most desirable finishes for the Ford GT
- Protective clear film applied to entire car, including kick plates and wheel lip moldings, at a cost of nearly $8,000
- 647-hp, 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine; seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
- Well-specified example with $60,000 in options, including the $25,000 Dark Energy Interior Upgrade Package, $15,000 Matte Carbon Fiber Exterior Package, and $15,000 Matte Exposed Carbon Fiber Wheels
Ford stunned the world when it unveiled the second generation of its vaunted GT supercar at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. A long-awaited follow-up to the previous version, which ceased production in 2006, this all-new model proved that the storied automaker could still produce a world-beating, mid-engine supercar—one that would showcase its impressive capabilities in the crucible of motorsports. Fitted with a 647-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine mated to a seven-speed Getrag dual-clutch transmission, the GT could sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in less than three seconds on its way to a top speed of 216 mph.
Whereas its predecessor looked like a modern interpretation of Ford’s legendary GT40 of the Sixties, the new GT was altogether different. A strong emphasis on low weight and aerodynamic efficiency dictated futuristic bodywork with flying buttresses that ingeniously channeled air to mechanical components while maximizing downforce. An adaptive suspension could lower the ride height by a full two inches while the self-adjusting rear spoiler raised itself to improve aerodynamics. Anchored by Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with six-piston calipers and huge 15.5-inch rotors up front, the GT also employed hydraulic power steering, making for a supercar that by every account provided immediate feedback to the driver from every input. Efficient architecture was so prioritized that the sport seats were fixed rather than adjustable, and the pedal box and steering wheel were designed to adjust around the driver rather than vice versa.
Demand for Ford’s newest supercar was insatiable from the outset. Ford implemented a rigid application process for the privilege of buying one, handpicking loyal Ford enthusiasts and mandating that they keep their cars for an extended period. Applications quickly outnumbered available chassis allotments by nearly tenfold at the model’s official launch.
Only 1,350 GT examples are planned through the 2022 model year, with production being handled by Multimatic of Markham, Ontario, Canada. Thus, the current GT is far rarer than the previous, with nearly 2,700 fewer examples scheduled than the 2005-2006 GT model.
Serial Number H109
The 2017 Ford GT offered here has remained in its original owner’s possession since new and showed only 137 miles on the odometer at the time of cataloguing. It was sold new through Three Oaks Ford of Three Oaks, Michigan and was specified with numerous desirable options from the factory, including the stunning Liquid Red Tri-Coat paint, a $5,000 upgrade. The interior was also enhanced with the $25,000 Dark Energy Interior Upgrade Package and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Twenty-inch matte exposed carbon-fiber wheels, a $15,000 option, compliment the $15,000 matte-finished exterior carbon-fiber Package. Locking lug nuts and a fitted indoor car cover round out the bevy of factory options.
To protect the exquisite paint finish and carbon-fiber trim, the car was transported to Motor City Solutions in Taylor, Michigan, shortly after purchase, and a protective clear film was applied to the full exterior, including kick plates and wheel lip moldings, at a cost of nearly $8,000.
Included with the sale are the original selection letter, window sticker, factory production photos, delivery documentation, and Ford GT design spec kit.
Finished in a highly desirable color, well specified from the factory, and with remarkably low mileage, serial number H109 is a superb example of one of the rarest and most coveted American supercars ever made.
In a private auction for top collectors put on by Mercedes itself, one of just two 1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupés ever made sold for a jaw-dropping price.
Hannah ElliottMay 19, 2022, 11:15 AM MST
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A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé sold for €135 million ($142 million) in a secret auction in Germany on May 5, Mercedes-Benz Chairman Ola Källenius has confirmed. While higher-priced deals may have taken place privately, the sale by the car company crushed the previous public record of $48.4 million paid in 2018 for a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO at an RM Sotheby’s auction.
“We [wanted], with one single act, to demonstrate the power of the Mercedes brand,” Källenius says during an interview on May 18 near Monte Carlo. The arrow-shaped silver coupe, one of only two produced, was never privately owned until the sale.
Källenius declines to name the winner of the auction, which included roughly a dozen invited bidders at Mercedes’s museum and archive in Stuttgart, Germany. Multiple Swiss-Italian, English, and American longtime Mercedes-Benz collectors had been floated as possible buyers for what would be any collector’s Moby-Dick of a car. But he says he was very pleased with the result, a sum that put the brand “on a different planet” from competitor Ferrari.
The value of the SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé derives from its extraordinary rarity and its significance to the origin story of the Mercedes brand. A descendant of the so-called Silver Arrow cars that dominated car racing in the 1930s, the front-engined 300 SLR was closely based on the eight-cylinder Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula One car driven by Argentine star Juan Manuel Fangio to win world championships in 1954 and 1955. But it had an even bigger, 3.0-liter engine and the moniker “SLR,” which came from the German term sport leicht rennen (sport light racing).
Of the nine 300 SLR cars manufactured, two were special SLR “Uhlenhaut Coupé” prototypes named after Rudolf Uhlenhaut, Mercedes’s test department head. He drove one as a company car; Mercedes-Benz squirreled the second away in the company vault.
“The reason for a high price would simply be that they are never sold,” said Karl Ludvigsen, the author of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix W196 : Spectacular Silver Arrows, 1954-1955, in a Hagerty report about the vehicle. He characterized the auction as a “huge sensation.”
The car will be available for display on special occasions, sometimes with the second SLR coupe at the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart, Källenius says, which was a condition of the sale. The new owner will be able to drive it, a spokesperson confirms.
The sale represents something of an ego boost for Mercedes during a relative low point in morale against arch F1 rival Ferrari. After eight consecutive years of Mercedes dominance on the tracks, with team driver Lewis Hamilton tying the all-time record for F1 individual wins, Ferrari has roared back to pre-eminence this year and currently leads in the 2022 Grand Prix standings.
“We haven’t quite found our performance window yet; we’re working on it,” Källenius says. “But even the Yankees can lose a baseball game, right?”
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While it salves a wounded brand’s self-esteem and sets a substantial new benchmark for the price of what some collectors call a piece of architectural history, the sale of the Uhlenhaut Coupé can’t dent the breadth and value of Ferrari collectible cars, Serio says. Ferrari counts a slew of seven- and eight-figure icons in its eminent roster, from a $38.1 million 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta and a $35.7 million 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti to a $22 million 1956 Ferrari 290 MM.
“You can count on two hands how many Mercedes’ are Ferrari-level valuable,” Serio says. “In terms of sheer volume of high-figure cars, Ferrari has it. But in terms of bragging rights, I don’t think there’s anything that will ever beat this high number. There isn’t a chance.”
Proceeds of the sale will go as seed money to establish the Mercedes-Benz Fund, a nonprofit entity managed within the company to provide educational scholarships in fields relating to sustainability, engineering, math, and science.