After being forgotten for almost 30 years in a wharehouse, the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 might be auctioned for £5 million.
The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196, which was driven by five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio, will be sold in its current condition by the auction house Bonhams at its New Bond Street sale room. The Formula One German vehicle has several features considerd innovative at that time, such as improved brakes, lightweight chassis and fuel-injected engine.
“The fist time I saw this car I needed oxygen. It’s landmark technology and it was driven by a landmark driver,” said racing historian Doug Nye. “What’s so special about it is that it has this wonderful, untouched patina. Some people think it looks grotty – that’s not the point – the really rare cars today are the unrestored ones.”
Nye added that it doesn’t really matter who buys the car as long as the future owner will care and understand the value of this vehicle. Bonhams chairman Robert Brooks said that the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 is the most exciting discovery he has made since he entered the business 50 years ago. he said he hopes that the person who buys the car to take it back to Germany and make it be driven again.
“We’ve had a couple of cars that have made over £5 million and our thought is that this will exceed that.”