13 Jul 2013

Champion's racing car sold at auction

7:17 am on 13 July 2013

A racing car driven by Juan Manuel Fangio has sold at auction in England for £17.5 million.

The Mercedes-Benz W196, in which the world champion clinched his second title, was auctioned at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Fangio drove the Mercedes to victory in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix.

Bonhams said the car was sold to a private buyer over the telephone. Potential buyers from three continents had shown interest in the vehicle.

Motoring historian Doug Nye said that if Fangio was alive today he would shake his head and smile a "slow smile".

"He was a humble man, originally a mechanic from a potato town in Argentina, and he never forgot his roots," he said.

"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.''

Juan Manuel Fangio (1911-1995) won five world championships, the first being in 1951.

The BBC reports the auction was held to mark the 20th anniversary of the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chichester in West Sussex.