F1 legend Fangio's Mercedes-Benz racer auctioned for record 19.6 mln pounds

London, July 13 (ANI): A rare Mercedes racing car, which was driven by Formula One legend Juan Manuel Fangio, has reportedly become the most expensive car to be sold at public auction after fetching a record 19.6 million pounds, inclusive of commission and taxes.

According to BBC, the Mercedes-Benz W196, in which the five-time world champion clinched his second title and drove to victory in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix, was auctioned at Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK by auctioneers Bonhams.

Bonhams said that the German-made car was sold to a private buyer over the telephone, with the report adding that the previous world record was set by a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype which went for 10.8 million pounds in 2011.

The report further said that potential buyers from three continents had shown interest in the car, which was sold in its current condition with noticeable blemishes.

Bonhams group motoring director James Knight said that the price that they have achieved with the Mercedes have far exceeded their own personal record of five million pounds for a Bentley sold last year, adding that the sale has made a new world record by some distance.

According to Bonhams, the 2.5-litre vehicle was consigned to the Daimler-Benz Museum in Germany after it suffered gear failure in the 1955 Italian Grand Prix in Monza, and was exhibited at Le Mans in France, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and Hockenheim in Germany throughout the 1960s.

Stating that the car is the only Mercedes-Benz W196 in private hands, a Bonhams spokeswoman said that it is the only surviving Mercedes-Benz W196 to have won two Grands Prix, adding that it has an immense stature as a pinnacle of Mercedes-Benz engineering, icon of post-war recovery, along with being driven by a legend like Fangio.

Meanwhile, motoring historian Doug Nye said that the car was designed by very sophisticated, high-tech engineers, evidence of which can be seen its every area, adding that it is handcrafted and is like a piece of mechanical jewellery.

According to Bonhams chairman Robert Brooks, he had reached a peak after the auction of the legendary Grand Prix car, despite handling some of the world's most desirable and important motor cars during a motoring auction career spanning five decades.

The auction was held to mark the 20th anniversary of the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chichester in West Sussex, the report added. (ANI)


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