Mercedes-Benz W196 Sells For Record $29.6M

In the annals of F1 history, several names stand out among the rest. Moss, Senna, Schumacher and, of course, Juan Manuel Fangio. The Argentinian-born driver dominated his time in Formula One, winning the Driver’s Championship a then-unprecedented five times. One of the vehicles he piloted, a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196, just sold at auction for an appropriately record-setting $29.6 million. When Schumacher amassed more championships than Fangio, he was quick to downplay his own accomplishments when compared to Fangio’s. “Fangio is on a level much higher than I see myself. What he did stands alone and what we have achieved is also unique. I have such respect for what he achieved. You can't take a personality like Fangio and compare him with what has happened today. There is not even the slightest comparison.” RELATED: Bonhams to Auction Rare Mercedes-Benz F1 Racer

Mercedes-Benz W196 Sells For Record $29.6M

Such reverence is felt for Fangio throughout the automotive world, and came to fruition in the form of this record-setting auction price. Mercedes-Benz built 16 versions of the W196 “Silver Arrow.” Only ten exist today, and only model 00006/54 was piloted by Fangio to victory in the 1954 German Grand Prix and Swiss Grand Prix. After the car was retired from racing use, it was reclaimed by Mercedes, sold to British, then French, then German collectors, before being sold one more time before its arrival at Bonhams Auctions. The record setting price is a little under double the previous record of $16.39 million for a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa at Pebble Beach in 2011. The owner of this pricey Mercedes-Benz has surely claimed an incredibly significant piece of automotive history. PHOTOS: See more Mercedes-Benz cars

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