Fangio's Mercedes-Benz becomes most expensive car ever sold in auction
As lot number 320 came up for auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale conducted by British auction house Bonhams, all present in the room knew that they would be experiencing special. The car in question was the Mercedes-Benz type W 196 R Grand Prix racing car, a thorough bred racing car piloted by the great Juan Manuel Fangio. There was no doubt that the car would fetch a fat sum but what went on in the minds of the many collectors was whether it would be able to break the record set by 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa.
The Testa Rossa was sold for £10.76 million (Rs 97.19 crore) in 2011 at the Gooding auction in Monterey. So when the bidding started it was clear that the W 196 R was destined to set a new record but what will be the final amount was the only query left. And as the bidding came to a close, the Mercedes-Benz type W 196 R became the most expensive car to be ever sold as it was brought by an unidentified bidder for a mind boggling £17.5 million and after taxes and other costs, the final price stood at £20.89 million which equates to an eye-popping Rs 187.14 crore!
This makes W 196 R the most expensive car to be sold in an auction and also the priciest Formula 1 and Mercedes-Benz car ever traded. Astonishingly, this is not the most expensive car to be ever purchased as that record belongs to a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO which was brought by American billionaire Craig McCaw last year for £23.17 million or Rs 209.3 crore!