Juan Manuel Fangio, Mercedes Benz W196, French Grand Prix, Rheime, 1954
No 29/200 With Cert
Overall Size 22.75ins by 18.75ins
Image Size 11.25ins by 15.25ins
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Juan Manuel Fangio 24 June 1911 – 17 July 1995, nicknamed El Chueco (“the bowlegged one”, also commonly translated as “bandy legged”) or El Maestro (“The Master”), was an Argentine racing car driver. He dominated the first decade of Formula One racing, winning the World Drivers’ Championship five times.
From childhood, he abandoned his studies to pursue auto mechanics. In 1938, he debuted in Turismo Carretera, competing in a Ford V8. In 1940, he competed with Chevrolet, winning the Grand Prix International Championship and devoted his time to the Argentine Turismo Carretera becoming its champion, a title he successfully defended a year later. Fangio then competed in Europe between 1947 and 1949 where he achieved further success.
He won the World Championship of Drivers five times—a record which stood for 47 years until beaten by Michael Schumacher—with four different teams (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Maserati), a feat that has not been repeated. He is regarded by many as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time and holds the highest winning percentage in Formula One – 46.15% – winning 24 of 53 Formula One races he entered. Fangio is the only Argentine driver to have won the Argentine Grand Prix, having won it four times in his career—the most of any driver.
After retirement, Fangio presided as the honorary president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina from 1987, a year after the inauguration of his museum, until his death in 1995. In 2011, on the centenary of his birth, Fangio was remembered around the world and various activities were held in his honor.
The Mercedes-Benz W196 was a Formula One racing car produced by Mercedes-Benz for the 1954 and 1955 F1 seasons. Successor to the W194, in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss it won 9 of 12 races entered and captured the only two world championships in which it competed.
Firsts included the use of desmodromic valves and Daimler-Benz developed mechanical direct fuel injection adapted from the DB 601 high-performance V12 used on the Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighter during World War II.
The legendary 3-liter 300 SLR (Sport Leicht-Rennen, eng: Sport Light-Racing) was derived from the W196 for the 1955 World Sportscar Championship season. Its crash at Le Mans that year ended not only its own short-lived domination on the WSC circuit but spelled the end also for the W196, as Mercedes pulled out of competitive racing in 1955 and did not return for another three decades