Mercedes-Benz W196R 00006/54. Photos courtesy Bonhams.
Juan Manuel Fangio is regarded by many as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. He is a 5-time F1 champion, a record that stood for nearly 50 years until it was surpassed by Michael Schumacher. Fangio still holds some incredible records, most of which are not likely to EVER be beaten:
- Highest winning percentage in Formula One (46%), winning 24 of 52 Formula One races he entered
- Highest percentage of pole positions (55.8%) with 29 pole positions out of 52 qualifying sessions
- Highest percentage of front row starts (92.31%) with 48 front row starts out of 52 qualifying sessions
- Oldest World Champion - 46 years, 41 days (1957)
- World Champion with most teams (4): Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes and Maserati
And now Fangio holds the record for the driver of most expensive car ever sold at an auction: his 1954 Grand Prix-winning Mercedes-Benz W196R, which just sold for record $29.65 million. Not only was the car driven to two race wins during Fangio's second Formula One championship that year, it is the only W196 in private hands. This is a truly amazing race car and hopefully it went to an owner that will drive it every once in a while. If they are reading this, I'd like to remind them that we are always ready to help with that kind of work.