1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R, Chassis 196 010 00006/54
Auctioned by Bonhams in Chichester, England, on July 12, 2013
Streamlined and sleek in the national German racing shade of silver, the W196R was meant to restore German contention to the top levels of international motorsport—this time in the new Formula One series, four years old at the time. It was also only Mercedes-Benz’s third racing season since World War II, and the W196Rs stunned crowds with their enclosed fenders that swallowed the traditionally open-wheel designs.
Of twelve World-Championship-qualifying Grand Prix in 1954 and 1955, W196Rs won nine. A pair finished one and two in their debut race at Reims-Gueux in the French Grand Prix, the first German victories of a major sporting victory since 1939. This example is the most successful of all surviving W196Rs, and the only one not relegated to a museum.