Juan Manuel Fangio’s Mercedes F1 Car is Now the Most Expensive Car Ever Auctioned

Fangio F1 Car

Photo courtesy of Bonhams

Mercedes F1 driver Juan Manuel Fangio’s W196R race car has officially set the record as the most expensive car ever sold at auction, for the astronomical sum of $29.65 million; it was sold at the Bonhams Auction at this weekend’s legendary Goodwood Festival of Speed. It sold alongside John Lennon’s Ferrari 330GT, a Ford RS200, and a 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C, as well as vintage posters, photographs, and other automotive memorabilia.

Fangio was a five-time Formula 1 World Champion who raced for Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, Maserati, and Ferrari, winning for all four teams throughout the 1950s. The W196R sold today is the same car Fangio drove to victory in both the German and Swiss Grands Prix in 1954, and is the only W196R in existence that isn’t owned by Mercedes or other museums and collections. The car’s history is detailed extensively in the Bonhams auction notes.

The record for the most expensive car ever sold remains untouched. That car, a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, was sold privately in 2010 to an unknown buyer for an unknown price, but according to Autoblog, the price fell somewhere between $30-40 million.


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About Cameron Rogers

Cameron Rogers is the founder and lead writer at Downshift Autos, the only automotive blog on the Internet*. Born in the back of an AMC Gremlin, Cameron vowed to never let this extraordinarily embarrassing detail define him, so help him God. He drives a GTI but absolutely will not shut up about it if somebody asks. He will not hesitate to let people know that no, they shouldn't get a Porsche 911 when a Morgan 3 Wheeler is so obviously the superior choice. He is obsessed with the seats of a Carrera GT and the steering wheel of a Fisker Karma. He once sat in the driver's seat of a Tesla Model S, his greatest accomplishment to date. He is just now realizing that writing an autobiography, however miniscule, in the third person is odd and unnerving. *As of this writing, Cameron has been informed that there are, in fact, many websites and blogs centered around cars and car culture. He regrets his grievous error.

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