At this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed Bohnams celebrated its biggest sale to date. A 1954 Mercedes W196R Formula One car once driven by the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio has been sold for a mind-boggling $29,650,095.
So this rather innocent-looking thing, that seems like it’s a tuna can with wheels and a steering wheel, is not only the most expensive car ever sold by Bohnams, it is also the most expensive Mercedes-Benz in history, and the most valuable Formula One car ever.
The W196R chassis number ’0006/54? scored Fangio his wins at German and Swiss Gran Prix back in 1964, and also started in a number of other high-profile races. It is powered by a 2.5-liter straight-eight engine, which we suspect will never be fired up again. At the price, every start up is going to be worth at least a 100 grand!
Bonhams Chairman Robert Brooks commented: “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.”