A rare racing 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 which was driven by Formula One Legend Juan Manuel Fangio has just smashed the record for the most expensive car ever auctioned. The car was bought by an anonymous bidder for $29.6 million (about R295 million) at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed. I mean that is equivalent to buying 1456 Toyota Yaris's on Cars.co.za and you can throw in a closet full of Louboutin’s and Jimmy Choo’s for your lady, assuming she’s a shoe fanatic of course. The previous world record was set by a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype which went for $16.4 million in 2011.
Most expensive car has big history to boot
The steep price tag for the almost 60 year old race car might seem ludicrous to others but if you’re a very well dressed, cigar smoking older man with a very large bank balance and not much use for it, your purchase might be justified. I would also like to assume that this racing car did not go for so much because of it ‘beautiful looks’ but because the W196 was the Mercedes-Benz Formula One entry in the 1954 and 1955 Formula One seasons, winning 9 of 12 races entered in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss.
The German single-seater race car is powered by a 2.5-litre straight-eight fuel-injected engine and features an all-independent suspension and a tubular space-frame chassis design, all of which were considered innovative back in the 1950s. The 2.5-litre vehicle - chassis number 00006/54 - was also driven by Fangio's team mate Karl Kling in the 1955 Italian Grand Prix in Monza, but suffered defeat at its second race at Silverstone because the streamlined Monza body was not suitable for twister tracks. Either way, it's still amazing to think that what you are looking at here is the most expensive car ever sold, ever!