Fangio’s 1954 Mercedes fetches record $29.6 million at auction 13 July, 2013 Juan Manuel Fangio on his way to victory in the 1954 Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten in the Mercedes W196 A rare Mercedes race car became the most expensive car ever sold at auction when an anonymous bidder bought it for 19.6 million pounds ($29.6 million) at a sale in Britain on Friday. The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 in which five-time Formula 1 World Champion driver Juan Manuel Fangio won two grands prix, also became the most expensive Mercedes-Benz ever sold, auction house Bonhams said. “We’ve just witnessed history in the making,” Bonhams Motoring Director James Knight told Reuters from the sale at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in southern England. The previous auction record was held by a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, which sold for $16.39 million in 2011. Mercedes W196 The 2.5-litre straight-8 Mercedes-Benz driven by Fangio already had a storied history. The driver’s 1954 victories in the German and Swiss Grands Prix were the first successive wins by the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 team in the German racing crew’s post-World War Two comeback. The car competed in five world championship-qualifying Grand Prix races. After Fangio’s 1954 Swiss Grand Prix win, the W196R was retired to the Daimler-Benz Museum. John Lennon’s first car – a 1965 Ferrari GT coupe – also sold for £ 359 000 at Goodwood on Friday. The late Beatle bought the blue Ferrari after he passed his driving test in 1965 and sold it three years later. It had a top pre-sale estimate of £ 220 000 pounds. (Reuters) Subbed by AJN. Related NewsBelgian Grand Prix: Teams press conferenceMisunderstanding as Allison replaces Fry at press conferenceMarko: Verstappen will be immediately competitiveWolff: You cannot expect it to run super-smoothlyEcclestone confirms Russian GP will happenEcclestone says ‘bit of an idiot’ quip was a jokeBank wants more cash from Ecclestone for settlementStewart: Alonso is a genius and most complete driverMattiacci: Allison is head of the 2015 Ferrari projectLawyer says Ecclestone paid $100 million for good of F1 Hawk If only Monisha got hold of that! Ian Mac Any bets that the anonymous bidder was one Bernard Ecclestone? Anyone know who was selling the car?