Did you hear F1 racing legend Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1954 Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow sold for a record-setting $31.6 million recently? This W196 is famous and it led Fangio to victory in the German and Swiss Grands Prix back in 1954. It’s a true legend in F1 racing history. But even more fantastic will be how much Andy Warhol's Mercedes-Benz silkscreen of the famous car will fetch at auction next month.
Andy Warhol's silkscreen art of the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 is expected to bring up to $16 million USD at the New York City auction. The Long Island Newsday reports that Christie's has confirmed the "Mercedes-Benz W 196 R Grand Prix Car (Streamlined Version, 1954)" is being offered by the Daimler art collection on November 12 at the NYC auction.
Andy Warhol's 14-foot-high work shows the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 repeated 12 times on the canvas. It was created in 1986 for the hundredth anniversary of the motor car. Warhol, a key figure in the Pop Art movement, created 35 pictures and 12 large silkscreen prints showing eight different models before his death in 1987. This rare art of the famous Mercedes-Benz F1 racer was one of only 35 that were created for the 100 anniversary collection.
The Daimler Art Collection was established by Daimler in 1977 and currently includes about 1800 works by German and international artists. The collection focuses on abstract and geometrical pictorial concepts, from which it derives its distinctive character. Christie's says the proceeds from the sales of Warhol's Mercedes-Benz W196 masterpiece will be used to secure the Daimler art collection's long-term future.
The actual car was sold by Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. It now holds the distinction of being the most expensive F1 car ever sold and the most valuable Mercedes-Benz in the world. The 2.5-liter straight-eight cylinder engine racer was driven by Fangio to the first successive wins by the Mercedes-Benz F1 team in the German racing crew’s post-World War II comeback.
“The result of the auction just goes to show the exceptionally high level of respect enjoyed by historical Mercedes-Benz vehicles among collectors”, said Michael Bock, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic. “We would like to congratulate the unidentified bidder on their purchase and will be only too happy to lend them support – if they so wish – during the next stages of their acquisition.”
Now we’ll see how much this famous artwork of Andy Warhol's silkscreen of the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 will bring at the NYC auction next month. Stay tuned.