1956 Ferrari 290 MM sells for $28 million

Race-derived Ferrari was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio at 1956 Mille Miglia

A 1956 Ferrari 290 MM, once driven in competition by five-time Formula 1 World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, sold for $28 million (£18.5 million) at an action in New York yesterday.

The Ferrari becomes the third most expensive car to be sold at an auction in history. Ahead of it is another of Fangio's race cars, his Mercedes W196 F1 car from 1954 which sold for $29.6 million in 2013, and a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta that went under the hammer at $38,115,000 last year.

The car is "such a rare and important model that it almost seems unfair to add famous names," says the Telegraph, who add that Fangio, who raced the car in the 1000 mile Mille Miglia road race in 1956 is "widely considered to be the greatest racing driver of all time."

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Fangio's record of five Formula 1 world titles stood from 1957 until Michael Schumacher won his sixth championship in 2003.


As for the car itself, it placed fourth in the 1956 edition of the Mille Miglia and was under the private ownership of collector Pierre Bardinon for 34 years until 2004. Ferrari built four of them and a different one driven by Eugenio Castellotti won the race, says Motorsport.com. It is powered by a 320bhp 3.5 litre V12.

As well as the Ferrari 290 MM, the action in New York, "Driven by Disruption" hosted by RM Sotheby's, saw several other interesting sales, including a child's sized Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, which sold for $89,000.

The Guardian highlights the sale of Janis Joplin's crazily painted 1964 Porsche 356C Cabriolet, which went for $1.76 million. It was bought by the singer in 1968, before being painted as a tribute to counter culture.


Other highlights include a 1972 Lamborghini Miura, a 1981 BMW M1, and an Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato which sold for $14.3 million, making it the most expensive British car ever.

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