A new mark has been established for automobiles sold at auction, as an ex-Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196 Grand Prix car has set records for any car ever sold at auction, as well as for an F1 car and a Mercedes-Benz. Across the block at Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale, the Mercedes drew a historic top bid of £19,601,500 (US$29,650,095, €22,701,864) from an anonymous telephone bidder, smashing the previous automotive auction record of £10,086,400 by nearly £10 million.
The 2½-liter straight-8 (chassis number 00006/54) is the ground-breaking open-wheeler that five-time World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio drove to victory in both the German and Swiss Grands Prix in 1954. The W196 is significant in Formula One history for its innovative design that introduced F1 to such technologies
as fuel-injection, all-independent suspension, lightweight multi-tubular spaceframe chassis design, inboard-mounted brakes, the “laydown” configuration of its straight-8 engine to help minimize the car’s overall height, and power transfer from the center of the crankshaft to minimize engine vibration. The Swiss victory assured Fangio of his s