A 1954 Mercedes-Benz race car is to be auctioned off at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday July 12.
One of the world’s most revered Grand Prix racing cars, the 1954 2½-litre straight-eight Mercedes-Benz W196 einsitzer – chassis number ‘00006/54’ – was driven to victory by five-time World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio in both the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix.
Theses victories were the first in succession by the technology-rich Mercedes-Benz factory Formula One team during its post-war comeback. Moreover, the particular chassis on offer has special significance as the first open-wheeled slipper-bodied post-war Mercedes to win a Grand Prix race, which it secured at the German event.
The innovative W196 design marked the introduction of a host of new technologies to F1 including fuel injection, all-independent suspension and a multi-tubular ‘spaceframe’ lightweight chassis.
The car also gained all-round inboard-mounted brakes, the ‘lay-down’ configuration of the ‘straight-eight’ engine to reduce the car’s overall height and power take-off from the centre of the engine’s long eight-cylinder crankshaft to minimise vibration.