A 1956 Ferrari 290 MM driven by F1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio sold for a heart-stopping US$28.05m at last week’s Driven to Disruption event, held by RM Sotheby’s in New York.
One of four examples created, chassis 0626 has the unique distinction of never having been crashed during its competition career, retaining its original chassis, engine, gearbox and body, but its providence is largely due to the legendary motorsport figures who raced it during its time as a works car.
Heading that list is five-time F1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio, for whom the car was created. He raced the 3.5-litre V12 sports car to fourth in the 1956 Mille Miglia 1000, while other prominent racing figures, like Wolfgang Von Trips and Phil Hill, competed in races like the Nurburgring 1000km.
Upon its retirement in 1964, 0626 spent time in a private American collection before being bought by Pierre Bardinon, who owned it for 34 years before relinquishing it to the unknown figure who helped make this news.
Its staggering price makes this landmark Ferrari the second most expensive car ever sold at auction, sitting above a ’67 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider (US$27.5m, 2013) and below an even more famous Fangio racer, the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Grand Prix car(US$29.65M, 2013).
While it was clearly the run-away star of the day, accounting for 38 per cent of sales at the Driven to Disruption auction, it wasn’t the only multi-million dollar lot. An Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato went for US$14.3m, while Floyd Mayweather’s Enzo sold for US$3.3m.