The Legendary Racing Car Was Sold for $30 Million
A Mercedes Benz racing car was sold for $29.6 million during the Goodwood Festival of Speed event, this being the largest amount of money ever paid for a car within an auction.
The W196 Formula 1 model was purchased by a unknown buyer for £19.6 million, the equivalent of $29,6 million, according to Bonhams Auction House.
This model does not compete at the elegance and beauty chapter with the 300 SLR Roadster, which won the race form Mille Miglia in 1995, but has the advantage of being driven by the legendary pilot Juan Manuel Fangio, who won the Grand Prix races from Germany and Switzerland in 1954, behind the wheel of this fireball.
Fangio, together with Sir Stirling Moss, was the alibi of the returning of the Mercedes-Benz brand in the elite racing cars in the post-war era. Mercedes dominated the races during the 50’s because of some exceptional pilots but also due to many innovations in engineering and mechanics, related to the suspensions, disk brakes and frames. The W196 model was changed to Fangio’s insistence in order to get better handling in high difficulty races. The 2.5 liters engine with a 257 hp output was inclined to reduce the height of the car and also its center of gravity.
Much of the technology used on the W196 was taken also by the gorgeous 300 SL. If approximately 1.000 copies of the 300 SL came out the factory gates and currently are sold for $1 million each, just nine copies of the model driven by Fangio in 1954 have survived. Although this aspect raises the price of the car, its selling for almost $30 million was a surprise.
Merced-Benz W196 is not, though, the most expensive car in the world. This honor lies with the Ferrari 250 GTO from 1962, sold last year for $35 million, during a private transaction.