This stunningly beautiful 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 car was driven in anger by the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Hans Herrmann and Karl Kling – this essentially makes it about as close to royalty as a car can become.
Interestingly, this is the only W196 in the world that isn’t either in a museum or locked away in the Mercedes-Benz headquarters, it also happens to be the most successful of all the W196 chassis, making its availability to the public quite extraordinary.
This is the only surviving Mercedes-Benz W196 to have won not just one World Championship-qualifying Grand Prix, but two. It’s the first open-wheeled version of the iconic W196 Mercedes-Benz ever to have won a race, and it is the actual car in which Fangio clinched the second of his five Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship titles.
The car is currently in original, unrestored condition and reportedly only needs a little fiddling with the engine to get running again. I can’t help but hope that the new owner doesn’t mutilate it with a full restore as I love the idea that Fangio’s fingerprints are probably still embedded in the steering wheel.
With Mercedes-Benz returning to Formula 1 less than 3 years ago and only really seeing a proper return to form this season, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the manufacturer’s representatives attended this auction with strict instructions to return home with the car – so if you’re planning on bidding on it, you might be in for a battle royale.
If that challenge doesn’t phase you, you’ll need to make your way to the Goodwood
Collector’s Motor Cars Auction held by Bonhams on the 12th of July 2013. Don’t forget your chequebook and don’t forget to let your old friend James from Silodrome have a go in it around the Nürburgring once you’ve had the engine tuned.
Visit the official auction listing here.