Most expensive car ever auctioned goes for $30 million

2:02 PM, Jul 15, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Thirty million dollars.

That's just a little less than the GDP of the island nation of Tuvalu, the amount of money Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning made last year and how much Billy Joel's house is estimated to be worth.

It's also how much one bidder paid for a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196F Formula 1 Single-Seater, making it the most expensive car ever sold.

It happened on Saturday at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale. The record-setting car took five-time champion Juan Manuel Fangio to the second of his Formula 1 titles.

"If he were here today, Fangio would shake his head and smile his slow smile," racing historian Doug Nye said in a news release.

The car's design marked the successful introduction of the following technologies to Formula 1:
-Fuel-injected engine
-Mercedes-Benz all-independent suspension
-Multi-tubular 'spaceframe' lightweight chassis design
-All-round inboard-mounted brakes
-The in-line or 'straight-8' engine 'lay-down' configuration to minimize the car's overall height
-Power take-off from the center of the engine's long 8-cyclinder crankshaft to minimize vibration

The car beats the previous world record of $16.4 million for a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa that was sold at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2011.

Only 10 of the 14 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196F Formula 1 Single-Seaters produced still exist today. Three of those are in international museums and the remaining six are in the Mercedes-Benz museum.

"It was a personal privilege to preside over the sale of this vehicle, which is not only one of the most significant motor cars of the 20th century, but also the most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered for sale," Bonhams Chairman Robert Brooks said in a news release.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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