07/14/2013 12:18 pm ET Updated Jul 14, 2013

Most Expensive Car Ever Auctioned: Juan Manuel Fangio's Mercedes W196 Sells For Record $29.6 Million

LONDON -- A classic Mercedes-Benz race car driven by Formula 1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio sold for 19.6 million pounds ($29.6 million) at auction in England on Friday, setting a record for the most expensive car ever sold at auction.

The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 single-seater was driven by the five-time world champion racer when he clinched his second title in 1954. The Argentine drove the car to victories in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races.

Robert Brooks, chairman of Bonhams auctioneers, which handled the deal, called the car the most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered for sale.

The auction house said the steel-colored car is in a "remarkably unspoiled" condition and that its parts are believed to be complete and workable after proper preparation.

It was sold to a private buyer over the telephone at a classic cars auction in southern England's Goodwood. The price included the buyer's premium.

A 1965 Ferrari 330GT, first owned by John Lennon, fetched 359,900 pounds ($543,887) at the same auction.



1954 Mercedes W196 Becomes Most Expensive Car Ever Sold At Auction