ROMAN chariots and soapboxes will take to the Hill Climb at Goodwood this year to celebrate the 20th year of the Festival of Speed.
Goodwood launched its new season today (March 20), as it gets set for two of its biggest festivals, Revival and Festival of Speed.
And as an added bonus, one of ‘the most important historic Grand Prix racing cars’ will be auctioned at the Festival of Speed.
Bonhams auctioneers unveiled the car this week – which is expected to fetch up to £5m at Goodwood’s motoring festival on July 12.
The ‘forgotten’ car, a 1954 2.5 litre straight-8 Mercedes-Benz W196, had been left in a shed for 30 years.
It was driven to victory by five-times world champion driver Juan Manuel Fangio in both the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races, the first two successive wins to be achieved by the Mercedes-Benz factory Formula 1 team in its post-war racing comeback.
Robert Brooks, chairman of Bonhams, who is handling the sale, said: “My motoring auction career spans five decades and I have been privileged to have handled some of the world’s most desirable and important motor cars.
“To handle the sale of this legendary W196 Grand Prix Car – the only one out of captivity – could well be the pinnacle.
“Our Goodwood Festival of Speed auction is shaping up to even eclipse the record-breaking sale of last year.”
The sale is described by Bonhams as ‘a classic car auction first’.
Before the auction, there are several days of viewing for collectors and the public.
Visit the auctioneers’ website for more details at www.bonhams.com
The Festival of Speed already has several famous faces on its guestlist, including Peter Fonda, Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees and Alain Prost.
For more on what to expect from Goodwood this summer, see next week’s Observer (March 28).