The ongoing RM Sotheby's "Open Roads, The European Summer Auction" features over 80 sought-after rides in different price ranges, from a driveable 1976 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray that's valued at under $30,000 to this extraordinarily rare 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss that could go for as high as $2.5 million.
A little history: Before McLaren Automotive became a standalone brand in 2010 under the McLaren Group, Mercedes-Benz owned a significant chunk of the company. The German marque was already manufacturing the drivetrain and electronics for McLaren Racing's Formula One car and sought to capitalize on the partnership.
Thus, the potent Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren—the letters being an abbreviation for Sport Leicht Rennsport, or Sport Light Racing—debuted in 2003. Only 2,157 were produced through 2010, but this special "Stirling Moss" edition, named for 300 SLR that Stirling Moss piloted to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia, is one of just 75.
A supercharged, 5.5-liter AMG V8 provides about 25 extra horsepower over the standard SLR McLaren's engine. That combined with over 400 pounds of weight savings achieved by chopping the roof off and an infusion of carbon fiber helped the roadster achieve a 3.5-second zero-to-60 mph time and a top speed of 220 mph in a road test conducted by Car Magazine, which likened the acceleration to "standing on the wingtip of a 747."
This particular example is dressed in an Antimony Grey Crystal over a spartan, yet luxurious interior of black leather, enhanced with Silver Arrow 300 SL red trims and accents. Only three owners have put just under 5,600 miles on the odometer and the car is presented in excellent condition.
At press time, the current bid on the 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss was just over $1 million. Click here to learn more before the auction ends on July 22.