Bonhams The ExJuan Manuel Fangio Hans Herrmann Karl Kling German…

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Mercedes-Benz W196


Today it is part of German folklore that, on 4, 1954 at Berne in Switzerland, the German soccer team had beaten the favourites, Hungary, 3-2 to win the World Cup. Some that this memorably moment became the first postwar that the German anthem had been played at a major sporting event.

Yet very same day, at the circuit in France, Juan Fangio had just led home Karl Kling in a brand-new Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz W196, to first and second in the French Prix.

That shattering marked Mercedes-Benz’s Grand come-back for the first time 1939. So July 4, 1954 a doubly great day for Germany. It be recalled by most today as witnessed the footballing ‘Miracle of – but within the motor racing Reims had witnessed something far predictable. The Italian motor axis of Maserati and Ferrari had trembling in their boots at the of a come-back by what Mr Ferrari the ‘ TransAlpini – and indeed worst nightmares had been Those near-unbeatable silver bearing the three-pointed star back.

Perhaps it was doubly that seven weeks after a second come-back in the German GP at the Nürburgring, Fangio and added a third great this time in the Swiss GP, — for the brilliant Argentinian also clinched his second 1 Drivers’ World Championship As he raised his trophy at Berne’s forest circuit he was only a of miles away from the city’s Stadium where German soccer captain Walter had so recently raised the Cup.

Denis Jenkinson of Motor Sport ‘ set the scene for it all when he wrote: The of Mercedes-Benz was one of the most powerful in Prix racing between and 1939 and during those they brought a science motor racing that was at the same time they up the process of racing car design to a that forced many of competitors to abandon Grand racing. With the approach of the new 1 that was due to begin with the season, Daimler-Benz announced they would be represented. by an new team of Mercedes-Benz racing .

When these entirely new W196 cars emerged at fans recoiled in astonishment. sleek new silver rocket with their wheel-enclosing were futuristically-alien machines Mars. Drivers Juan and Karl Kling immediately first and second, then 1-2 in this their debut

Over the fleeting 14 months followed – completing the 1954 then on through 1955 – the W196 single-seater cars 12 World Championship-qualifying Grands They won nine of them, Juan Manuel Fangio’s Drivers’ World Championship, carried him to a second consecutive title in 1955. With tacit generosity on Fangio’s his team-mates Karl Kling and Moss won the non-Championship 1954 GP and the Championship 1955 British GP. in ’55 Fangio had also won the Libre Buenos Aires GP.

Through that second of the W196s’ meteorically brief the Daimler-Benz factory team had campaigned its related 300SLR cars. They proved unbeatable, winning every Car World Championship race except Le Mans from the team was withdrawn when 1-2.

Finally, on October 16, Stirling Moss and Peter won the Targa Florio in Sicily to add the Car title to Fangio’s Formula 1 crown. That night, team manager Alfred received a letter from Nallinger, Daimler-Benz AG’s board Director of Research and Neubauer read: After deliberation the management committee has to absent itself. irrevocably motor racing for several

With both World won and total road racing re-established, Mercedes-Benz had nothing to prove.

Thirty-two years in September 1987 Doug Nye Daimler-Benz’s revered former Engineer, 81-year-old Rudi for BBC TV in his old office at Unterturkheim. When about his company’s postwar to serious motor racing in his words were crystal

He said Believe me. I do not speak But when we returned to racing in the our directive was to be the best, and to win both the 1 Drivers’ Championship, and the Sports Car We did that, and — while we have done better – our board took the decision to we were the best.

That was no boast, in fact no boast at Rudi Uhlenhaut’s words simply a statement of fact, and a fact embodied within chassis ‘00006/54’ that we at now offer here for sale by

This is the only W196 out of or institutional captivity; the only not preserved within either or an International museum. Yet it is the most of all surviving W196s.

It is the only Mercedes-Benz W196 to have won not one World Championship-qualifying Grand race, but two. It is the first version of the landmark W196 ever to have won a race, and it is the car in which Fangio clinched the of his five Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship titles. It is to be offered in unspoiled, almost ‘barn-find’ – its super-sophisticated mechanicals believed to be and runnable after proper – and it is a Grand Prix car in whose enthusiasts simply stand and

The car has been inspected in great by the factory’s Mercedes-Benz Classic and their report is appended. for the paint finish and the replacement of hoses with modern the car remains today as last and prepared by the factory Rennabteilung the works team’s withdrawal, on 9, 1955.

For those who understand its stature, and its and its incredible – factory-confirmed – as-works specification, Fangio’s 1954 and Swiss GP-winning ‘Treble-Oh-Oh-Six’ is absolutely iconic.

Yet there is more. As a work of supreme artistry ‘00006/54’s stature transcends mere motor This mechanical masterpiece is a of sculpture entirely emblematic of industry’s postwar re-emergence obliteration. Daimler-Benz had emerged the cataclysm of World War 2 – in 1945-47 – bicycles and servicing US Army Mercedes historian Karl has described how in the late 1940s, who enquired about a possible return to racing would be Please, we are fighting for our very We have no time to think of things. .

From July the ‘European Recovery Program’ – known as the Marshall Plan – $13-billion into western-aligned Germany received a share 1949. Mercedes-Benz car production pace and the board considered an return to racing to promote brand’s resurgence. An initial foray to the Argentine Temporada in February 1951, using designed W154 Grand cars, then disappointed.

In 1951, Mercedes-Benz’s new 300 production car was Its six-cylinder cast-iron engine was to power a new sports-racing car to publicise the rebound in 1952. The result was the ultra-light W194 300SL Coupe. These handsome and little cars showed form that year, 2-4 in the Mille Miglia, 1-2-3 at 1-2 at Le Mans, 1-2-3-4 (in Spyder at the Nürburgring, and ultimately first and in the mighty Mexican Carrera

For that Mexican trip manager Neubauer shipped-in the two W194 Coupes, two Spyders, two trucks and nearly 40 personnel. To just one of his team movement is to gaze at a work of art. border, every Customs even individual Customs were named, telephone provided, hotels and meal-stops rendezvous venues pinpointed, journey-stages all given target Not only European but also competitors looked on, and blinked. really had returned.

Through the factory’s racing efforts upon development of the all-new unsupercharged Formula 1 cars for These roller-bearing engined cars broke new ground, introducing to Formula 1 lightweight chassis construction, fuel straight-eight ‘laydown’ engines desmodromic valve actuation, inboard-mounted brakes, and all-independent with low-pivot swing-axles at the

These definingly complex emerged late, missing the two World Championship rounds of in Argentina and Belgium. Charged providing his team with advantage, Neubauer had engaged World Champion driver for the Stuttgart team’s re-emergence.

had offered him two options – either a race fee to miss early-season GP for which the new Mercedes would be or to forego that fee and be free to for another team. Fangio freedom – stayed with and immediately won both of that early GPs in a 250F. Then at that first weekend of he switched to the three-pointed star.

Decades later, Fangio recall: The best team was I never had any worries when I was for them, because the team was so technically. If I asked them to a change of any kind, they got to work, and in no time at all I was back at the with things as I wanted to be. That’s why I won eight of the 12 races I in with them. In another I was second, third and fourth, and retired in one at Monaco 1955. In my 75 per cent of the credit for a win went to the car and the whose work backed it up, and the 25 per cent went to the driver, and to

While the original enveloping-bodied W196s had shone at superfast Reims, they proved a around Silverstone in the British GP. It was and the circuit was slick with Mercedes’s tyre supplier, had been out of major-league racing for 15 and the slithering streamliners’ skittishness was due to inadequate grip than any in driver view. An alternative slipper-bodied W196 had been for the tighter courses, especially for the German European GP at the Nurburgring, but the was still running late.

As recalled after he’d marker tubs during at Silverstone both he and Kling lobbied Neubauer and engineer that night in The Five Hotel at Waddesdon, near emphasizing that the promised was not merely preferable for the Nürburgring . but vital.

In response, three W196s were hastily for Mercedes-Benz’s home race; the Stromlinienwagen chassis ‘00003/54’ and rebodied, plus two sister – chassis ‘00005’ and ‘00006’ – new as open-wheelers. In the Nürburgring race, would drive car ‘6, ‘3 and pre-war Champion Lang (aged 46) car ‘5. Herrmann drove a Stromlinienwagen . car

Fangio qualified his brand-new – now offered here – on pole while Kling lost a on the Tiergarten Straight and had to start way the grid.

Despite the grief of lost their compatriot Onofre Marimon who had crashed in his works Maserati during Fangio and Froilan Gonzalez of promptly ran 1-2 as the Grand Prix ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ outpaced the Ferrari, but was caught and passed by team-mate W196, charging up from the of the grid. While Fangio sat in second place, confident he handle the German driver/engineer in the stages, Kling was a man on a mission his home crowd. Then he to taste and smell a fuel blowing past him in the cockpit. He his car’s tail-tank was leaking, and his crazy pace was to build to refuel.

Neubauer became frantic. This was not how the race was supposed to but I was not responsible, so every time I the pits I pointed at Kling as if he had no to be there. . Neubauer angrily Kling ‘FANG-LANG-KLING’.

But the veteran could not maintain the pace, to spin off when his W196 With six laps to run the 300,000 eagerly anticipated a home win for and Karl Kling, but the commentator at the suddenly announced that had retaken the lead, and Kling was He stopped at the pits with a mounting broken. It was wired in and he rejoined to finish fourth.

conserved his brand-new car, and confident he could have of Kling had he kept running, hurtled home in ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ to Mercedes-Benz’s comeback with home-race victory.

Three later, Fangio won the Swiss GP at from his compatriot Gonzalez’s and fresh-faced Hans Herrmann, in his sister W196. Again mount had been ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ here, and as he took the flag in car so he clinched his second Drivers’ Championship title.

Thereafter, Herrmann was assigned ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ as his car for the GP at Monza, in which he finished behind Fangio’s winning chassis ‘00004’. And in the season’s-ending GP at Barcelona, Herrmann retired spark plug trouble and failure, caused by over-rich selected as a precaution in variably hot

Old ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ was then confined to duties through 1955 Stirling Moss joined and Kling in the full-time factory The car was finally recalled to the colours for the Italian GP at Monza, in which drove her with typical and intensity. He ran a strong second Fangio’s leading (and winning) Stromlinienwagen chassis until ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’s propeller parted, due to the rare omission in of a locating dowel. Kling was disappointed, but Mercedes-Benz still – Fangio first and guest Piero Taruffi second in chassis ’15 – the last built.

In fact there had no chassis ’11, and of the 14 Mercedes-Benz cars built, nine survive intact until when written-off chassis would be revived for display in the Museum, making ten today. In the factory preserve six W196s – ‘2-5-8-10-13 and ’14 – while as an open-wheeler and two Stromlinienwagens . ‘9 and are in customer-country Museums.

So how did ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ escape into hands?

Mercedes-Benz W196

After its final driven by Kling at Monza, it had prepared to full race and then consigned to the Daimler-Benz Department on December 22, 1955. In 1965 it was exhibited in Munich and 1966 it starred at both Le and Hockenheim. It then appeared at the British Grand Prix being used for tyre at the Unterturkheim factory test-track, and in Berlin and at Stuttgart University. display duties followed in in Luxembourg, Berlin and Hamburg. A Museum archive document that – as of November 5, 1969 – Car be available at any time for R. Uhlenhaut for purposes.

On June 24, 1972 the car ran in tests at Unterturkheim before, on May 22, Mercedes-Benz officially presented it – as a replacement for deteriorating car ’14 – to the re-constituted National Motor at Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.

years later that authorities decided to offer the car for to help finance construction of a library and lecture-hall complex. supported Beaulieu’s new John Building and ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ was sold to Sir Bamford of JCB Excavators. It was acquired him – in a deal brokered by Adrian of Duncan Hamilton Ltd. – by collector Jacques Setton who simply the World’s most most exclusive, Grand car.

Setton is reputed to paid what was at the time a price (for any motor It then passed subsequently to businessman Friedhelm Loh who in 1999-2000 ran it in events as the Monaco Historic Prix, and the Goodwood Festival of with leading British driver Willie Green at the The car was then re-sold and today, many years out of public ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ is offered here.

fabulous Formula 1 car’s is self-evidently immense. It is not only the ‘Fangio car’ of the 1950s. It is a shining star of ground-breaking engineering. Amongst Mercedes-Benz it is certainly amongst the top handful in of its landmark attributes and achievements.

we offer an absolute technological in the long and glittering history of sport. And for many perhaps it be, above all, an emblem of postwar recovery.

As such machine is a monument to modern resurgence in making friends, not – and to human endeavour’s ability to from cataclysm. As such offered here, celebrates Champion innovation, performance, and the return of peace. It epitomizes epitomized by the world-famous Three-Pointed

Please note that the is subject to the reduced import rate of 5% should it remain in the EU .

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Executive Summary of the Manufacturer’s of the Mercedes-Benz W 196 R Racing Car with the Identification Number 196 010 00006/54

As an of the original manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz has the exclusive competence needed to a vehicle’s as-delivered state and to this both wholly and a shadow of a doubt. Accordingly, the Expertise of Mercedes-Benz Classic us to provide not only recognised documentation with unrivalled but also peace-of-mind to the owners of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

For the auction of the W 196 R Formula 1 racing car with the identification number ‘196 010 the specialists of Mercedes-Benz Classic also provided such an allowing us to arrive at the following

Based on the extensive original in the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archives and an of the vehicle by the Mercedes-Benz Classic we were able to decisively that the vehicle in question is in the original vehicle from the racing season. The construction, the and the number of the frame and the body – in open-wheel racing car design and a wheelbase of 2350 mm – corresponds to the as-documented state. The engine in the vehicle, which was able to be by means of the identification number on it as well as a number of other was found to be the M 196 R engine model with which the vehicle in retired on 9 December 1955 a successful racing season. The numbers stamped on the front and axles, the transmission and the steering clearly indicate that are components which were fitted in the vehicle bearing the identification number 0006/54 at the end of the season.

The Mercedes-Benz Classic thorough inspection of ‘00006/54’ here concluded with approval stamp being to the fabric of the vehicle itself on chassis, engine and transmission.


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Mercedes-Benz W196
Mercedes-Benz W196
Mercedes-Benz W196


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