Fangio favourite up for auction: 1958 Mercedes 300 SL


The stunning Mercedes 300 SL given to Formula 1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio as a retirement present from Mercedes, and described by his nephew as his uncle’s “preferential” car, is going up for auction.

The – almost – priceless convertible, finished in metallic light blue with cream leather seats, was gifted to the Argentinian by the Stuttgart marque in 1958 as a thank you for putting it back on the racing map after his two world championships in ’54 and ’55.

RM Sotheby’s are now auctioning the car on behalf of the family from February 28 to March 6. Whilst no estimate has been given, a 300 SL Gullwing recently sold for almost $7m (£5.1m).

A 300 SL with such a provenance as this could go for even more. The five-time world champion was presented with his car at The Dorchester Hotel in London on his 47th birthday (June 24, 1958), and it instantly became one of his most prized possessions. Fangio wasted no time in putting the 300 SL through its paces, immediately setting off on a driving tour of Europe in the car with his girlfriend Andrea Berruet, fulfilling his role as an ambassador for the Mercedes. The rarefied roadster would carry on doing the rounds with Fangio until it was shipped – as a ‘trophy’ to avoid car import tax – to Argentina in 1960.

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