A Mercedes-Benz type W 196 R Grand Prix racing car driven by Juan Manuel Fangio sold for a record £19.6 million at the ‘Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale’ last Friday.
With the sale, chassis 006/54 remains the only original post-war Silver Arrow in private ownership. Of the 14 W 196 R racing cars built, ten have survived, with six residing in the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection and three more in Turin, Vienna and Indianapolis museums.
Its identity verified through extensive checks by Mercedes-Benz Classic, the car was driven by Fangio to victory in the German and Swiss Grand Prix races in 1954, the year the Argentinean claimed the second of his five Formula One World Championships in Mercedes-Benz’s return to Grand Prix racing.
In the hotly-contested lot 320, an unnamed telephone bidder secured the vehicle for £19.6 million, after commission and taxes, believed to be the highest-ever price paid for a car in auction.
“The result of the auction just goes to show the exceptionally high level of respect enjoyed by historical Mercedes-Benz vehicles among collectors,” said Michael Bock, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic.
“We would like to congratulate the unidentified bidder on their purchase and will be only too happy to lend them support, if they so wish, during the next stages of their acquisition.”
In the 20th Festival of Speed at Goodwood, Mercedes-Benz starred. The brand’s rich heritage was represented by legendary vehicles such as the 300 SLR ‘Uhlenhaut Coupé’, 300 SLR, 1910 Benz 21/80 ‘Prinz Heinrich’ and W 154 Silver Arrow.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the new, 631hp SLS AMG Black Series and 360hp A 45 AMG attacked the 1.16 mile hillclimb, with further models displayed on the Mercedes-Benz stand.
MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg wowed the crowd aboard a modern Silver Arrow, with Rosberg also getting behind the wheel of the unique 1954 W 196.
“To be back at Goodwood in front of the fans is great. I maybe got a bit carried away with the burnouts but it’s pretty difficult not to when the crowd is cheering,” Hamilton enthused.