Send this page to a friend!
Fill in the form bellow

your name:
your email:
friend name:
friend email:
your comments:

Classic Cars

Bonham's Mercedes-Benz W196R Sets New Record for Auto Auction

It is the highest price ever paid for a car at auction

It is the only unit in private hands

As predicted, Bonham's auction of a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196RW196 Motortyp 196Mercedes-Benz W196 Motort...Germany, 1954 > 195515 photos
that Juan Manuel Fangio won in the '54 German and Swiss Grands Prix has set the new record for a car sold at auction with a final sale price of £19,601,500 ($29,650,095 or €22,701,864). It also makes the car the highest ever paid for a racecar and the highest ever paid for a Mercedes-Benz.

Fangio won his first Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship with Mercedes dring the W196R that season. It is the only post-war Silver Arrows car in private ownership, and one of ten still in existence of 14 made. Mercedes owns six of the remaining W196Rs, and the three others are in museum collections.

"If he were here today Fangio would shake his head and smile his slow smile. He was a humble man, originally a mechanic from a potato town in Argentina – and he never forgot his roots. As a driver, he was simply a genius. As a man he had no enemies. He was universally loved, even by those he regularly beat on track," said Doug Nye, a historian of racing who researched the car for Bonhams.

The W196R was Mercedes’ Formula 1 car for 1954. One streamlined car was built for the high-speed race in Reims, France. The rest had a conventional body. The design was basically carried over for the 1955 season but with a shorter wheelbase. The cars won back-to-back titles in 1954 and 1955, and Fangio took both championships.

Mercedes donated this car to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England, in 1973, and the museum sold it in 1980.

The Mercedes did not quite set the record ever paid for a car. Last summer, a buyer in a private sale paid $35 million for a Ferrari 250 GTO250 GTOFerrari 250 GTOItaly, 1962 > 19646 photos
that was originally ordered by Stirling Moss but never driven by him because of his career-ending crash. 


W196 Motortyp 196W196 Motortyp 196
Straight 8
Top Speed
149 mph
5, Manual
Maximum power
Fuel consumption (combined)
annual ownership cost




publish your news and scoops
Classic CarsTop 10ReviewsCar CultureGeneva Motor ShowElectric CarsHybrid CarsIndustry

popular articles