Fangio's 1954 Mercedes W196 sells for $29.6m auction record



2015-06-26 13:21:33

Fangio's 1954 Mercedes W196 sells for $29.6m auction record

The 1954 Mercedes W196 driven by Juan Manuel Fangio is now the most valuable car ever auctioned

The 1954 Mercedes W196 driven by Formula 1 racer Juan Manuel Fangio has sold at Bonhams to become the most valuable car everauctioned.

Grand Prix winning car auction The car's innovative design marked the successful introduction of a number of technologies into Formula One

The car, which helped Fangio secure two wins at the German and Swiss Grand Prix in 1954, crossed the block this afternoon (July 12)at The Goodwood Festival of Speedin Chichester, UK.

It sold for an outstanding 19.6m ($29.6m).

While it is now the most valuable car ever sold at auction,this price is beaten in private salesby a Ferrari 250 GTO thatmade 20.2m ($31.6m) in February 2012, a 1936 Bugatti T57SC Atlantic that sold for "between $30m and $40m" in 2010, and the$34.3m achieved by a Ferrari 250 GTO built for Stirling Moss.

The car's pioneering W196 design marked the successful introduction of a fuel-injected engine, all independent suspension, "spaceframe" lightweight chassis design and all-round inboard mounted brakes into Formula 1 - early versions of all-important technologies that drivers could not do without today.

Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio (nicknamed El Chueco - "the bowlegged one") dominated much of the first decade of Formula One racing. He became world champion five times during his legendary career, a record that stood for 46 years until beaten by Michael Schumacher.

Its record price can be attributed, in part, to its rarity. Just 14 were made, and only 10 remain, with this the only one not in a museum.

As such, it was collectors' only opportunity to snaffle one.

"I have been privileged to handle some of the world's most desirable and important motor cars. To handle the sale of this legendary W196 Grand Prix car - the only one out of captivity - could well be the pinnacle", Bonhams' Robert Brooks commented prior to the sale.

Also selling at Bonhams today was John Lennon's first car, a Ferrari 330GT, that sold for 359,900 ($544,028).

Paul Fraser Collectibles has an excellent range of Formula 1 memorabilia for sale,which will make the perfect addition to any enthusiast's collection. Starring is a menu signed by legendary Scottish driver Jim Clark.

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