The ex-Juan Manuel Fangio Formula 1 racing car has broken the World record for a car sold at public auction, selling for £19,601,500 (USD $29,650,095), exceeding the previous record of £10m set by a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa in 2011. The auction house responsible for the sale was Bonhams and the sale took place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this Friday 12 July.
The W196, which was gifted to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu by Mercedes, then went through a range of owners and has finally been sold at public auction.
Robert Brooks, Bonhams Chairman, said, “I have handled some of the world’s most desirable and important motor cars during a motoring auction career spanning five decades, but I have reached a peak today with this legendary Grand Prix car. It was a personal privilege to preside over the sale of this vehicle, which is not only one of the most significant motor cars of the 20th century, but also the most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered for sale.”
Doug Nye, racing historian, also commented, “If he were here today Fangio would shake his head and smile his slow smile. As a driver, he was simply a genius. Mercedes has long been recognised for the world-class quality of its products and in 1954/55 they set out to rebuild their reputation for automotive excellence post-war. With this W196 and its sports car sisters they did just that”.