Mercedes W196, 2013

Ex-Fangio Mercedes W196 tipped to fetch high price

F1 historyPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mercedes W196, 2013An F1 car raced by Juan Manuel Fangio is likely to become one of the most expensive cars ever sold when it is auctioned off by Bonhams in July.

The 1954 Mercedes W196, chassis number 00006/54, was used by Fangio to win the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring Nordschleife and the Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten.

It is an open-wheeled version of the car which first appeared in ‘streamliner’ form at that year’s French Grand Prix, which Fangio also won. Fangio requested Mercedes build a version of the car with uncovered wheels so he could position it more accurately.

The car, which is in near-original condition, is tipped to fetch an eight-figure sum at auction. It was previously in the collection of the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and has spent much of the last 30 years in a warehouse.

“The car hasn’t been restored for many many years, if at all,” said motor racing historian Doug Nye. “It may have been repainted post-period, probably when prepared for display in the very early 1970s, upon original loan to the National Motor Museum.”

“Some oil and fuel hoses in the car appear to have been replaced, almost certainly when it made a very low key appearance at the Monaco Historics race meeting in 2000. Otherwise – so far as we can tell – the car is almost entirely in the form in which it ran in its only works team race appearance of the 1955 season, the final Italian Grand Prix at Monza in Italy.

“There, driven by the German works star Karl Kling, it ran strongly in second place behind Fangio’s streamlined version until it suffered an uncharacteristic mechanical failure, in its gearbox.”

Fangio won the 1954 and 1955 world championships with the W196. The car arrived in time to take advantage of a change in the sport’s technical rules which introduced a new engine specification. Perhaps not unlike the modern team is planning to do 60 years later.

Mercedes W196 pictures

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Images ?ť?ģ Bonhams, The Spitzley-Monkhouse Collection

32 comments on “Ex-Fangio Mercedes W196 tipped to fetch high price”

  1. Always wondered why they had ‘W’ on their chassis names…

    1. @wsrgo The ‘W’ is for “Wagen” which is German for “car” (as in “Volkswagen” which means “peoples’ car”).

      1. WohlhabendVolkswagen perhaps more apt these days?

      2. @keithcollantine Thanks. My German isn’t too bad, I should have thought about it..

      3. @keithcollantine The Ultimate Dream for the billionaire car nut, winning the auction for Fangio’s W196 and buying the Nordshcleife to drive it on!

        N√ľrburgring racetrack confirmed for sale

      4. Thanks for clearing up that ! I was also wondering why they had that

    2. Mike Hortig
      22nd March 2013, 6:29

      Bonhams is telling “tales”. the car was last seen in 1999 at Pebble Beach, with it`s owner listed. so
      the tale of a 3o years languishing in a warehouse is a tale !!!

  2. I want this so badly it hurts…

    1. I want to hug it :C

  3. turn a few heads going to Woolworths in that!

    1. Carlito's way
      20th March 2013, 12:55

      Have you been living under a rock for the past few years? Woolsworth???

      1. I don’t get what you are talking about. O.o

        1. “Carlito’s way” is referring tot he fact that Woolworths shut down all of its high street stores in the UK several years ago.

        2. Woolworths was a high street department store in the UK until it went to the wall in 2009.
          In Australia Woolworths is a supermarket akin to Morrison’s in the UK.
          The two Woolworths have absolutely no connection.

          1. IN South Africa Woolworths is a shop that sells gear which is basically Marks & Spencer stuff with different lables.

          2. Antonio (@frosty-jacks-racing-team)
            20th March 2013, 15:32

            in New Zealand its a place to keep up to date on the latest price of Sheep

          3. I laughed and laughed at the New Zealand comment. Thanks!

          4. That definitely deserves to be a (rather modest) cotd ;-)

  4. It really is a desperately pretty car isn’t it. I’ve always preferred the open wheel version to the Streamliner.

    1. It looks apart from any F1 car still incredible attractive streamline or not, but I do as well prefer the version above. Who hasn’t got a miniature of this car?

    2. I think it’s very interesting looking, wonderfully iconic, and a completely amazing car. But I also thought it was a bit ugly in open form really. It was chunky and lumpy, unlike many of its more elegant competitors. Although weirdly I would never tire of looking at it.

  5. God it’s a beaut. The huge air intake gives is such a menacing look, and those exhausts!! Love it.

  6. Got to admit that my history of early F1 isn’t quite up to f1fanatic standards and am rarely able to guess some of these early models… But the W196 is absolutely unmissable, it is a seriously titanic piece of history. In my view the most iconic car until the MP4-4!

    If it ends up in the private collection of some billionaire I will flip out… In the words of Indy, THAT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM!

    1. Antonio (@frosty-jacks-racing-team)
      20th March 2013, 15:34

      +1! and that museum was down the road from my house.

  7. Why was this car ( or other classic formula one cars for that matter…) never on Gran Turismo?

  8. vuelve kowalsky
    20th March 2013, 16:17

    I guess mercedes it’s going to push to get it for the factory’c coleccion. And who can blame them.

  9. That sure is a sexy beast!!

  10. I think that whoever buys it should also do historic racing in it; that car was made to race, not to be put under a dust sheet and never looked at again.

  11. In the Fangio Museum in Argentina there is a replica of the Mercedes W196 streamliner donated by Mercedes many years ago. I would love to have the money to buy this jewel at the auction so as to donate it to the museum which in my opinion is the place that such car deserves to be.

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