At the age of 63, A Man discovers he is the son of an F1 Legend and has inherited millions

Juan Manuel Fangio
Juan Manuel Fangio
Modified 14 Jul 2018

For Buenos Aires native Ruben Juan Vasquez, it was business as usual at a seaside hotel where he worked when a customer remarked that he looked similar to five-time Formula One Champion Juan Manuel Fangio.

This wasn't the first time that Ruben had heard the comment from someone, and this time around, sought the truth after all. It was only around five years later that his mother Catalina Basili actually revealed the truth. He was indeed, the son of a racing icon.

Juan Manuel Fangio was one of the most decorated drivers of the 1950s, winning five Formula One Driver's Championship crowns during the decade and etching his name in motorsport folklore long before the likes of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were even in the picture. His record of five Championship victories was only broken by Michael Schumacher who won seven titles of his own.

But for Ruben Vasquez, his own true identity was only just becoming clear. After a lengthy legal battle that included DNA testing and even voice matches, it was clear to all involved that Fangio did indeed have an illegitimate son who had his own rights to the Fangio legacy.

Fangio amassed a lot of wealth thanks to his racing accolades and his worth was estimated at over $50 million, with his heir legally entitled to his own share of the earnings. But when asked about this overnight miracle, Ruben simply told BBC Brazil, "I was thrilled my true identity had been acknowledged and of course, for being the son of a racing legend, the man who won the Formula 1 World Championship five times."

What's more, at the age of 70 Ruben found out that he had a half-brother all this time too and he was a racing driver in his own right. Oscar 'Cacho' Fangio was also found to be the son of the illustrious Champion, and was a Formula 3 driver in his younger days. The two now stay in touch and are officially the only recognised heirs of Juan Manuel Fangio.

Published 14 Jul 2018, 18:48 IST
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