Fangio Merc sets R295m record

2013-07-13 14:01

LONDON, England - A rare Mercedes race car became the most expensive car yet sold at auction when an anonymous bidder bought it for the equivalent of about R295-million.

The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 in which five-times Formula 1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio won two grands prix also became the most expensive Mercedes-Benz yet sold, auction house Bonhams said.

Bonhams motoring director James Knight told Reuters from the sale at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in southern England: "We've just witnessed history in the making."


The previous auction record was held by a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sold for the equivalent of about R197-million in 2011.

The Fangio 2.5-litre straight-eight already had a storied history... the driver's 1954 victories in the German and Swiss GP's were the first consecutive wins by the Mercedes-Benz F1 team in the German racing crew's post-Second World War comeback.

The car competed in five World championship-qualifying GP races. After Fangio's 1954 Swiss win the W196R was retired to the Daimler-Benz Museum.

John Lennon's first car - a 1965 Ferrari GT coupe - was also sold but for the equivalent of about R5.6-million at the same auction.

The late Beatle bought the blue Ferrari after he passed his driving test in 1965. He sold it three years later.

It had a top pre-sale estimate of R3.4-million.


  • Keith Monale - 2013-07-13 14:22

    Yup, a legend indeed. I had no idea who Fangio was till I saw this one documentary about the 1957 race ...unbelievable stuff. Dude loses some 50 seconds in a pitstop ..at the Nurburgring. The race was all but over for him all things considered but then, with only 11 laps to go, his Mastership goes and puts in 10 fastest laps IN A ROW ...at the Nordschleife! And bear in mind that, regardless of how dangerous it is anyway, there was no Armco around the place at the time. It was just hedges, trees and grass! There were no safety nets ...either in-car or out. This is a feat that is difficult even on a console game. I mean you can get one or two fastest laps but ten in a row? ...all-in-all-out ...one after the other? I tell you what, if you ever thought it was initiation schools that turn boys into men ...

  • Vincent Sutherland-Dadds - 2013-07-14 08:19

    R263,000,000 is more like it! Fangio was Argentinian.

  • Vincent Sutherland-Dadds - 2013-07-14 08:31

    Video showed 17,500,000 pounds. Bonhams website shows 19,601,500 pounds. R294,022,500 at R15 to 1 pound.

      Mogo Naut - 2013-07-15 11:32

      Could I please have 2?

  • pages:
  • 1