Historic F1 Racing Car Brings Italian Glamour to French Chateau

Tuesday 5 May 2015

A Formula One marque, once described by the legendary Stirling Moss as "the best front-engined car" he ever drove, joins the line up at the Hill Climb.

The 2.5 litre, six-cylinder Maserati 250F/2518, one of only 26 models ever produced, was originally driven by Argentinian racing driver Onofre Marimón who participated in 11 Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, following his debut in July 1951.

Tragically, just three years later, Marimón was killed driving the car during practice at the Nürburgring ahead of the 1954 German Grand Prix, becoming the first driver ever to be fatally injured at a World Championship GP.

Following the crash, the 250F was rebuilt by the carmaker as the Monza Streamliner and finished fourth in the 1955 Italian Grand Prix driven by Frenchman Jean Behra. However, the car’s rebirth was short lived as it was virtually destroyed in a fire at the Maserati factory in the summer of 1956. 

What salvageable parts remained were bought from the factory by restorer Cameron Millar in the mid-sixties, who subsequently sold the parts on as a whole car in component form to Ray Fielding, an avid collector who owned a number of other Maserati racing cars. He commenced the restoration and rebuilding of 2518, and while he eventually managed to complete the car, sadly it never turned a wheel in competition during its time under the Fielding family’s ownership.

The 250F changed hands once more in 2011 and was rebuilt for a third time, with the intention that the car would be used in competition once again. The work was carried by Hertfordshire-based DK Engineering and was sold to the current owner Niall Dyer in early 2014.

The Maserati 250F’s summer appearance at Chateau Impney follows its recent outing at the 73rd Goodwood Members Meeting where it started third on the grid ahead of three other 250Fs and 20 other assorted GP cars. Driven by Simon Diffey, the 250F challenged for the lead throughout the race before achieving a respectable third place despite a dramatic spin on the second lap.

The Maserati will compete in the Pre-1961 Racing Cars over 1500cc class at Chateau Impney, driven by Sussex-based Oliver Way, and will take on the likes of the US 1957 Indy 500 Kurtis Kraft 500G and the UK’s BRM P48. A restorer by trade, Oliver spent last winter carrying out further development and testing the car, something he feels made all the difference at Goodwood in March.

Oliver thinks they have the car running well but the higher gearing could make the corners of the Hill Climb course more exciting. 

  • Maserati 250F, Chateau Impney Hill Climb, Droitwich
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