Sale becomes highest-grossing motor car auction in Europe
Other world records broken include:
• Most valuable motor car sold at auction for ex-Fangio 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 single-seater
• The Fangio car sets the highest price achieved for a Mercedes-Benz at £19,601,500
• Highest price achieved for a Maserati at £4,033,500
Automotive history was made at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale today, when the car that took five-time champion Juan Manuel Fangio to the second of his Formula 1 world titles achieved a record-breaking figure of £19,601,500 (US$29,650,095, €22,701,864). The auction as a whole realised £36,072,464 to become the highest-grossing auction of motor cars in Europe.
The ex-Fangio car becomes the most valuable motor vehicle ever sold at auction, beating the previous record of £10,086,400 set by a Ferrari in 2011.
Robert Brooks, Bonhams Chairman, said: "It was a personal privilege to preside over the sale of the Mercedes-Benz W196, which is not only one of the most significant motor cars of the 20th century, but also the most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered for sale."
Doug Nye, racing historian, said: "If he were here today Fangio would shake his head and smile his slow smile. He was a humble man, originally a mechanic from a potato town in Argentina – and he never forgot his roots. As a driver, he was simply a genius. As a man he had no enemies. He was universally loved, even by those he regularly beat on track. No standard-setting sportsman could have a better epitaph.
"Mercedes has long been recognised for the world-class quality of its products and in 1954/55 they set out to rebuild their reputation for automotive excellence post-war. With this W196 and its sports car sisters they did just that... and how!"
Bonhams also set a new world record highest price for a Maserati at auction, when a 1955 300S Sports-Racing Spider sold for £4,033,500. The previous record was £2,251,520 set in 2012.
The result means Bonhams now holds the world records for the following marques at auction: Aston Martin (£3,200,000), Austin-Healey (£843,000), Bentley (£5,000,000), Maserati (£4,033,500), Mercedes-Benz (£19,601,500) and Rolls-Royce (£4,700,000).
The sale took place before a packed audience of more than 1,000 people in the marquee, with bidders from 32 countries around the world taking part.
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NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com