Fangio's 300 SL Roadster Could Be Yours
Imagine sitting in the same seat as one of the greatest racing drivers of all time, feeling the same gearshift that was in the hand of the most successful driver of his time. That is what RM Sotheby’s is presenting when they offer Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster for sale between February 28 and March 4.
Fangio was gifted the car by Mercedes-Benz, possibly for his 47th birthday, and was known to favor it over most other cars. He retired from Formula 1 racing shortly after receiving the 300 SL Roadster and subsequently drove it on tours in Europe and South America, covering more than 70,000 km – very possibly the greatest distance he covered in any car. Fangio kept the car until his passing, he was that enthralled with it.
Cleverly declared as a “trophy” upon import to Argentina to avoid taxes, the 300 SL Roadster was maintained by one mechanic, who went to the Mercedes-Benz factory in Stuttgart to learn everything about mechanical workings of the car at Fangio’s request. It was loved and driven so much by the world champion that his nephew said, “That car identified my uncle after his retirement.”
Fangio’s 300 SL Roadster was on display at the Juan Manuel Fangio Museum since 1986 and retains its numbers-matching engine, gearbox, chassis, top and more. Clearly in unrestored condition, sporting the factory color combination of Metallic Light Blue paint and Cream leather interior, it’s easy to imagine the car when it was new with Fangio behind the wheel pushing it to its limits.
RM Sotheby’s is offering this incredible 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster to a winning bidder who will become on its second registered owner. Considering the ownership history – come on, it’s Juan Manuel Fangio’s car! – a new owner will have a big question waiting for them: restore it or leave it as-is? Maybe just get it mechanically sound? We wouldn’t want to make that decision, but regardless of the new owner’s intentions we expect this will sell for a fair bit more than your average 300 SL Roadster.
This sale is being conducted by RM Sotheby’s Private Sales division so we won’t see it crossing an auction block, but there will be a closed bidding process. While we may not hear an official sale price, we’re confident that it will take some real money to bring Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster home.