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.