London: Auction house Bonhams unveiled a “forgotten” 1954 Formula One car driven by five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio which is expected to sell for £5 million at auction in July.
Bonhams chairman Robert Brooks would not reveal where the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 was found, but said he hoped it would find its way home to Germany and eventually back to the race track.
“It’s been stored in a warehouse and largely forgotten about for nearly 30 years,” he said.
“Before it went into storage it had been recently run and run well.
“It’s complete, and essentially a trip back to the Mercedes-Benz works – which would be the perfect place to get the thing running again – would probably see it back on the track or on the road in demonstration. It’s all there to be put back together.”
The car will be sold in its current blemished condition at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, but that will not deter racing enthusiasts.
Racing historian Doug Nye said: “The fist time I saw this car I needed oxygen. It’s landmark technology and it was driven by a landmark driver.
“Some people think it looks grotty – that’s not the point – the really rare cars today are the unrestored ones.
“Nothing’s been obliterated on this, it’s just a beautiful survivor,” he added.