Monday, 8 February 2016

Mercedes-Benz W196

The Coys International Historic Festival meeting at Silverstone in July 1994 featured a tribute to Juan Manuel Fangio with a display of some of the cars that he drove to win his five World Championships, for two of which, in 1954 and 1955, he was a member of the Mercedes-Benz team.
This is one of the Mercedes-Benz W196 cars that he drove in those two seasons and in which I remember seeing him finish in second place to his team-mate Stirling Moss in the 1955 British Grand Prix at Aintree.
The programme of the event had this to say about Fangio:

'The five times World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio is to be honoured by the British Racing Drivers' Club this weekend. Now aged 83, Fangio is no longer able to travel long distances, so he will be represented by his nephew, the 1992 & 1993 IMSA GTP Champion Juan Manuel Fangio II. On his uncle's behalf, he will receive one of the BRDC's prestigious Gold Stars for lifetime achievement.
This will be presented on Sunday by Lord Hesketh, President of the BRDC, on the grid. Juan Manuel Fangio II will also be seen in action on the track when he takes to the wheel of the Maserati 250F that his uncle used to win the 1957 German Grand Prix and thereby clinch his fifth and final World Championship.
The younger Fangio will lead the demonstration of famous racing cars, together with Stirling Moss who will drive a 1955 Mercedes-Benz W196, the type that both he and Fangio raced so successfully.'

This is Stirling Moss at Luffield corner during the demonstration run.

The car behind the W196 here is, of course, the Mercedes-Benz 300SLR with which Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson won the 1955 Mille Miglia. Fangio finished in second place in that race.

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