Legendary Mercedes W196 sold at record of $31.6 million

Article by Anita Panait, on July 16, 2013

A classic Mercedes-Benz W196 race car broke the record as the most valuable motor vehicle ever sold at auction at the recently held Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale. The racing car which five-time champion Juan Manuel Fangio drove to grab his second Formula One crown was sold at 20,896,800 GBP ($31.6 million, €22,701,864), beating the record of £10,086,400 set by a Ferrari in 2011.

Robert Brooks, Bonhams Chairman, remarked that with the record auction price of the Mercedes-Benz W196, he has reached the peak of his five-decade motoring auction career. He quipped that it was a “personal privilege to preside over the sale” the legendary F1 racer, which he described as one of the most significant motor cars of the 20th century and the most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered for sale.

Racing historian Doug Nye remarked that if Fangio was alive today, he “would shake his head and smile his slow smile.” He noted that with the record sale, “no standard-setting sportsman could have a better epitaph."

In 1954-1955, Mercedes set out to rebuild its reputation for automotive excellence post-war by creating the W196 as well as other sports cars. Fangio piloted the 2½-liter straight-8 W196, bearing chassis number '00006/54', to win the German and Swiss Grand Prix races in 1954.

These wins were first two successive Grand Prix victoties achieved by Mercedes-Benz factory Formula 1 team in its racing comeback after the war. Chassis '00006' also has special significance since it was the open-wheeled 'slipper'-bodied post-war Mercedes vehicle to grab a Grand Prix win.

“The result of the auction just goes to show the exceptionally high level of respect enjoyed by historical Mercedes-Benz vehicles among collectors”, said Michael Bock, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic. “We would like to congratulate the unidentified bidder on their purchase and will be only too happy to lend them support – if they so wish – during the next stages of their acquisition.” 

If you liked the article, share on:


Login or Create new account to add a comment!


Chevrolet has taken the wraps off its new Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). Tagged as the most extreme fuel-cell-powered...
by - October 21, 2016
Honda has unveiled the fifth generation of its hot-selling SUV – the 2017 Honda CR-V. The latest iteration of the CR-V should help it maintain its benchmark status in the...
by - October 21, 2016
Many are already expecting BMW to launch an ultra luxurious SUV that will serve at its new flagship by late 2018. Larger than the X5 and X6, the new X7...
by - October 21, 2016
Most of you may have heard or already have one of those autonomous home appliances doing the house chores. Thus, it’s not anymore unusual to see a car going places...
by - October 20, 2016
Mini has just provided the world with a preview of its first hybrid model that employs petrol-electric power to propel its wheels. Derived from the second generation of the Mini...
by - October 20, 2016