Classic gems are always pricey. But a classic Mercedes-Benz is a different game altogether. Still, couple the Mercedes-Benz value to Formula One-winning heritage and a legendary driver, you’ll end up with a car that’s well worth US$ 29.65 million, or about Dhs 110,000,000.
The hammer fell on the 1954 model Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 Single-Seater last week, at the Bonhams auction held at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. And as mentioned earlier, this piece of history was tamed by the legendary racer Juan Manuel Fangio, who drove the Mercedes to wins in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races.
The astronomical amount it fetched made it the most expensive car ever sold at an auction, and also the most expensive F1 car ever sold. Oh, and it also happens to be the most valuable Mercedes-Benz in the world.
Still, battered by racing and time, this car poses as an important piece of history to both Formula One and Mercedes-Benz alike. According to Bonhams, Fangio’s wins gave Mercedes its first back-to-back post-war Grand Prix victories, and it introduced F1 cars to fuel-injection, tubular spaceframe chassis construction and inline 8-cylinder engines.
Based on reports, the Mercedes W196R came close to almost doubling the prior record holder for the most expensive car sold at auction, a 1957 Ferrari 250 TR Prototype that sold for US$ 16.39 million (Dhs 59,000,000) at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction in 2011. However, the Mercedes doesn’t stand a chance against the 1962 Ferraro GTO built for Sterling Moss that went for a reported US$ 35 million (Dhs 128,555,000) in a private sale last year.