A Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 sports car driven to two Grand Prix victories is to be sold at auction by its owner, the Emir of Qatar, and could fetch up to $15m.
According to Bloomberg, the silver Mercedes W196 is to be auctioned by Bonhams in July and deals with knowledge of the matter predict it will make £5m to £10m. Bonhams has yet to conduct a formal evaluation of the car.
The dealers have identified the vehicle’s seller the Qatari ruler, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who is said to have acquired it from German industrialist Friedhelm Loh eight years ago.
The W196 was driven to victory by Argentinian-born Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix.
“This is a fabulous car,” the Geneva-based adviser Simon Kidston told Bloomberg. “I’ve been contacted by various serious collectors who barely know what it is. The collecting world will be watching.”
Mercedes-Benz is said to have made 15 examples of the W196 for the 1954 and 1955 Grand Prix seasons, a number of which have been retained by the car maker.