The Mercedes-Benz W196 Grand-Prix car that was piloted by Juan Manual Fangio to two major victories in 1954 crossed the Bonhams auction block this week, fetching an incredible $29,650,095, making it the most expensive car to ever be sold at auction.
The previous record was set by a Ferrari in 2011 at £10,086,400, though Fangio’s Mercedes beat that record by a healthy margin.
Chassis number ’0006/54′ adorns the car, which carried Fangio to wins in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races. Power comes from a 2.5-liter straight-eight fuel-injected engine. Other innovative technology found on the Mercedes W196 includes all-independent suspension, ‘spaceframe’ lightweight chassis design and all -round inboard-mounted brakes.
Besides carrying Fangio to victory, the car marked a comeback for Mercedes-Benz in Grand Prix racing, after the marque had dominated the series from 1934 to 1939.
“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,” said Robert Brooks, Bonham auctions chariman.