Silverstone Auctions are very proud to have been chosen by the family of the late, great, Juan Manuel Fangio to present his prized IKA Torino; a car very special to him and his family. Few may know the importance of the Torino to the Argentine people, and fewer still may know that the great racer himself was actually influential in the design and existence of the enormously popular Argentinian crafted Torino creating, as he did, the Torino in partnership with the IKA manufacturer and his friend, Battista "Pinin" Farina.
By successes and percentages Juan Manuel Fangio can be regarded as the greatest race driver of all time. His Five World Championships came with four manufacturers during a narrow window in the Fifties, the most evocative era of Grand Prix and Sports Car Racing. His Formula One record percentages still eclipse any other driver. From 52 entries he won 24, achieved 29 pole positions and 48 front-row starts. He won the Argentinian Grand Prix four times, and not surprisingly "El Maestro" (''The Master'') would become one of the most important figureheads for his homeland throughout the world. After all, he had represented Europe's finest automotive giants and endeared himself in the most gladiatorial battle of subsequent motorsport globally.
With just 1,558 units of the 380S Torino built between 1968 and 1970, this is in itself a very rare car, made all the more special on European shores and laced with Fangio history. His family tell us that he was gifted this car by the manufacturer, IKA (Industrias Kaiser Argentina, later IKA-Renault), in respect of his contribution to the creation of what is commonly referred to as Argentina's national car, or perhaps in recognition of his input to the minor racing success of the Torino. In 1974, Fangio was appointed President of Mercedes-Benz Argentina, and its Honorary President for Life in 1987. This appointment and his continued association with the marque meant that he could no longer be seen behind the wheel of his Torino, albeit he remained the owner. Records with the car from 1975 show the inclusion of both his brother-in-law and a family friend to his insurance policy to be able to drive the car.
An Argentinian magazine celebrating the importance of the Torino accompanies the car and within is shared a story recounting the Torino's most notable international racing success at the 84 hour Nürburgring race of 1969, with a Torino finishing in fourth place. The factory shipped three cars to Germany and after the three and a half days of racing, the #3 Torino driven by Eduardo Copello, Alberto Rodriguez Larreta, and Oscar Mauricio Franco, had covered the most laps of all - 334, but lost the top position because they accumulated various penalties during the race. The drivers' recounted that their success was largely due to the presence of Fangio as team manager, saying that "with Fangio in our corner, doors just opened". IKA Torino became the pride and joy of Argentine car enthusiasts when their country's team showed that it could run with the best of Europe on Europe's toughest circuit.
Be under no doubt that, whilst deeply original, this treasured possession of the great racing driver has succumbed to some of the vagaries of time, and as such requires light cosmetic rectification in places on the paint and brightwork. That said, the car presents in exceptionally good order for the year, and has been unmolested by the family since the passing of its first owner in 1995, meaning you can enjoy it in the same way that he did. Mechanically the car is sound, albeit we would recommend having the car professionally inspected should you fancy your hand at emulating some of the impressive driving displayed in the career of its famous past-owner.
Included with the Lot are many documents showing the ownership trail and reference of Fangio to this important motor car, which include a Titulo Del Automotor (Vehicle Title), insurance documents, Argentinian vehicle green card, Automovil Club membership, handbook, service book, Fangio's International licence, and even a business card of the man himself as President of Mercedes-Benz Argentina.
We are enormously honoured to offer this car Without Reserve to the global market from our sale at the Lancaster Insurance NEC Classic Motor Show and wish to thank the family of the late Juan Manuel Fangio for their faith in our suggestion of offering this car in the UK.
European taxes and duties shall be payable on completion of a successful purchase should the car remain in the EU, and Silverstone Auctions respectfully recommend that all interested parties satisfy themselves as to the implications of the registration of the vehicle before they bid.