This summer Bonhams will offer for sale what many believe to be the 20th century most significant motorcar. At the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the very special 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 Fangiowill definitely cause a serious bidding war among race car enthusiasts. Specialists expect it to become one of the most expensive Grand Prix racing cars to be sold at auction.
What makes this vehicle really special is the fact that it was driven to victory in the Swiss and German Grand Prix races of 1954 by 5-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio. The 1954 2½-litre straight-8 Mercedes-Benz W196 einsitzer-chassis number “00006/54” was the first after-war Mercedes to win two consecutive grand races, boasting advanced and highly innovative features for that time.
These included a multi-tubular “spaceframe” lightweight chassis, independent suspensions, all-round inboard-mounted brakes, and a really powerful fuel injected engine. According to specialists’ estimates, the historic vehicle could easily fetch £5 million (about $7.5 million) or more. During the last 3 decades, the beauty has only been out in the open once, which explains its excellent condition.