On this day in auto history - July 17th

Sat 17th Jul 2021

It was on this day in 1995 that legendary Argentinian Formula One racing driver Juan Manuel Fangio passed away at the age of 84.

Considered by many to be the greatest racing driver of all time, Fangio won an astonishing 24 Grand Prix races from just 53 entered - a win ratio which enabled him to land the F1 World Drivers Championship for four different teams (Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, Maserati and Ferrari) between 1951 and 1957.

Having survived a high-profile kidnapping at the hands of Cuban revolutionaries ahead of the Cuban Grand Prix in 1958, Fangio retired at the end of that year and was later named as the honorary president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina.

Such is his iconic status, the Mercedes-Benz W196R racing car driven by Fangio to clinch his second World Championship, became the most valuable racing car ever sold at public auction when fetching a staggering sum of almost £20 million at the Bonhams 'Goodwood Festival of Speed' sale in 2013.