Although the renowned Niki Lauda secured three Formula 1 titles during his career, not all the vehicles he piloted were Formula 1 cars.
A 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16, driven by Lauda in the Race of Champions at Nürburgring, will be auctioned at an RM Sotheby’s event in St. Moritz, Switzerland, slated for September 15. The event was a unique race organized by Mercedes-Benz on May 12, 1984, to inaugurate the newly constructed Grand Prix circuit at the track. The race featured 20 prominent drivers, each piloting identical cars for a 12-lap contest.
Within the cadre of racers, which included Lauda who would secure his third championship later that year, nine of the then-living 12 Formula 1 champions participated. Additionally, future champions Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna were also part of the competitive field.
The event also served to spotlight the 190 E 2.3-16 sports sedan—a high-performance variant of the 190 E compact sedan designed explicitly for touring car racing. The vehicle featured a 16-valve inline-4 engine specially tuned by Cosworth. For the Race of Champions, these vehicles underwent further modifications by Mercedes-Benz Sport-Technik, including a new exhaust system, revised suspension, a 4.08 final drive, a bolt-in roll cage, fire extinguisher, Recaro racing seats with 6-point harnesses, quick-release hood, central circuit breaker, and broader wheels equipped with Pirelli racing tires.
In the race, Lauda crossed the finish line in second place, trailing Senna by 1.58 seconds. Most of the 21 cars modified specifically for the race were later reverted to their original roadworthy state and sold to dealerships or VIPs affiliated with the brand. However, the cars piloted by Lauda and Senna were preserved in their racing configurations. While Senna’s vehicle found a home at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, Lauda’s car remained the sole Race of Champions 190 E held in private ownership. Niki Lauda was reacquainted with this particular vehicle in 2016, leaving his autograph on its roof. Subsequently, the car underwent restoration by Mercedes-Benz Classic in 2017.
Previously listed for sale in 2018, the 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 driven by Lauda is estimated to fetch between 400,000 and 500,000 Swiss francs at the auction, approximately equivalent to $450,000 to $565,000 according to current exchange rates. Although this is a steep price tag for an early 190 E 2.3-16 model, it is presumably more affordable than acquiring one of Lauda’s historical Formula 1 cars.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Niki Lauda’s 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190 E Auction
What car is being auctioned and who was its famous driver?
The car being auctioned is a 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16, and it was famously driven by the late Niki Lauda, a three-time Formula 1 champion.
Where and when will the auction take place?
The auction is scheduled to occur at an RM Sotheby’s event in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on September 15.
What is the significance of this particular race car?
This car was driven by Niki Lauda in the Race of Champions at the Nürburgring in 1984. It is the only Race of Champions 190 E still in private ownership, making it a unique collector’s item.
What are the notable features or modifications of this 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16?
The car boasts a 16-valve inline-4 engine tuned by Cosworth and underwent additional modifications for the Race of Champions. These include a new exhaust system, revised suspension, bolt-in roll cage, fire extinguisher, Recaro racing seats with 6-point harnesses, and more.
Who else competed in the Race of Champions where this car was driven?
In addition to Niki Lauda, the race featured nine of the then-living 12 Formula 1 champions and future champions Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.
What is the estimated value of the car at auction?
The car is estimated to fetch between 400,000 and 500,000 Swiss francs, which is approximately equivalent to $450,000 to $565,000 according to current exchange rates.
What happened to the car after the Race of Champions?
Most of the cars used in the Race of Champions were converted back to road cars, but this particular car was kept in its racing specifications. It was also autographed by Niki Lauda in 2016 and underwent restoration in 2017.
Is this car more affordable than Niki Lauda’s Formula 1 cars?
While the exact pricing of Niki Lauda’s Formula 1 cars is not provided, it is suggested that the 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 is likely to be more affordable.
More about Niki Lauda’s 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190 E Auction
- RM Sotheby’s Upcoming Auctions
- Niki Lauda’s Career Highlights
- History of the Race of Champions
- Nürburgring Grand Prix Circuit
- Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 Specifications
- Formula 1 Champions List
- Mercedes-Benz Classic Restoration Services
- Currency Exchange Rates
- Investment in Classic Cars