Record $31.6 M paid for 1954 Mercedes-Benz W 196 R Silver Arrow

German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, August 1, 1954. Winner Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel of the open-wheel Mercedes-Benz W 196 R with start number 18.

German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, August 1, 1954. Winner Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel of the open-wheel Mercedes-Benz W 196 R with start number 18.

  • Original winning car of Manuel Fangio dating from 1954 is auctioned off
  • Auction by Bonhams takes place as part of the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013

BY GERRY MILES

A record $31.6 million was paid this past weekend for a rare open wheel race car: a Mercedes-Benz type W 196 R Grand Prix racing car – an original grand prix car of Juan Manuel Fangio dating from 1954 and to date the only post-war Silver Arrow in private ownership.

The winning bid was made over the telephone to an unidentified bidder who paid 17.5 Million GBP, including premiums the price jumps to 20,896,800 GBP.

:The result of the auction just goes to show the exceptionally high level of respect enjoyed by historical Mercedes-Benz vehicles among collectors”, said Michael Bock, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic. “We would like to congratulate the unidentified bidder on their purchase and will be only too happy to lend them support – if they so wish – during the next stages of their acquisition.”

A release from M-B notes there are but 10 examples of the 14 vehicles which were previously built of this model still in existence:

  • 6 W 196 R models belong to the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection
  • 3 vehicles are in museums in Turin, Vienna and Indianapolis
  • the vehicle which was put up for auction in Goodwood, with chassis number 006/54. This vehicle already was the only remaining original Silver Arrow from the post-war period which is in private ownership.

Prior to auction, experts from Mercedes-Benz Classic carried out extensive checks on the Silver Arrow, which was donated by the then Daimler-Benz AG to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu (England) in 1973 and sold by the museum 1980, as part of a manufacturer’s expert report.

Brand historians produced a detailed expert’s report confirming the vehicle’s originality and authenticity. “Our expert’s report means that the new owner need have no uncertainties whatsoever about this racing car”, said Michael Bock. “It fully and unequivocally confirms the history and originality of the vehicle.”

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