Stirling Moss’ Winning 1956 250F Maserati Loaned to Lime Rock Park for Historic Festival 41 by Collector Lawrence Auriana
Auriana set to bring five rare Maseratis including a 1953 Fiat 642/RN Transporter. Photo via Lawrence Auriana Collection
Renowned rare car collector Lawrence Auriana has loaned 17 of the world’s most elusive and sought-after automobiles from his private collection to Lime Rock Park for Historic Festival 41 (Aug. 31-Sept. 4) to be showcased throughout the race weekend in Paddock A, while a special highlight awaits on Sunday’s Concours as they line Sam Posey straight.
In a four-part series, Lime Rock Park will shine a spotlight on each of the cars that will receive honorary recognition during the upcoming Historic Festival. In part one (Story), five rare Alfa Romeos were reviewed, in part two, four historic Ferraris were highlighted.
Part three will review the history of four rare Maseratis, two of which were driven by famous Formula 1 driver Sir Stirling Moss, along with the history of a bonus truck.
1928 Maserati Tipo 26 B M Grand Prix
The Maserati Tipo 26 B M Grand Prix, initially raced in 1928 by Marquis de Sterlich, was a prominent participant in early motorsport history. Originally equipped with a two-liter engine featuring new magnesium components, the car made its debut at the Targa Florio. It later competed in various events such as the Reale Roma Grand Prix, Circuit di Mugello, San Sebastian, and Marseilles, achieving modest results under Sterlich’s ownership.
In 1930, the car returned as a factory team vehicle, now powered by a 2.5-liter engine and entrusted to driver Luigi Archangeli. Archangeli’s impressive debut saw him finish second in the Tripoli Grand Prix. He continued to compete in races like Monaco and the Targa Florio, securing his first major victory at the Grand Prix of Rome and finishing second in the Monza race against notable rivals.
As the 1931 season approached, financial constraints led to the car’s use by new drivers Luigi Fagoli and Rene Dreyfus. Dreyfus, after re-stamping the chassis as 2515, faced reliability issues and varied results, including a sixth place at Monaco. The car’s engine was upgraded to 2.8 liters for the Monza race, yielding better performance. The car continued to be raced in the subsequent seasons by different drivers, achieving mixed results in races like Tunis, Reale Roma, Grand Prix di Marseille and Nimes.
During World War II, the car found refuge in Algeria and resurfaced in 1945, eventually changing hands and countries. It was acquired by Alan de Cadanet and then found a place in Auriana’s collection in 2000. Today, it stands as a cherished artifact of automotive history, regarded as one of the oldest operational Maserati vehicles still in existence.
1956 Maserati 250 F
From the 1950s heyday of Grand Prix racing, the precision of the pretty 250F was the weapon of choice for Sir Stirling Moss. During the 1956 German Grand Prix, Juan Manuel Fangio showcased the dominance of the Lancia-Ferrari D50. Stirling Moss qualified fourth in a Maserati 250F, secured a second-place finish behind Fangio in the race. Ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Maserati introduced a significantly revised 250F, this car, chassis 2525, lowering the center of gravity for better handling. This move was a response to the competitive nature of the Lancia-Ferraris.
The Monza race saw participation from Lancia-Ferrari, Maserati, and British Vanwall teams, while BRM was absent. Fangio, Peter Collins, Luigi Musso, Eugenio Castellotti, the Marquis de Portago and Wolfgang Von Trips represented Lancia-Ferrari. Maserati’s lineup included Moss and Jean Behra. Rain prior to the race affected conditions on the 10km circuit, which combined banked curves with traditional layout.
In the race, Stirling Moss initially battled with Lancia-Ferraris, but they suffered tire tread issues, allowing Moss to take the lead. Collins handed his car over to Fangio. Despite mechanical challenges for others, Moss maintained his lead, albeit with a near-fuel-empty tank. He urged another driver to push him to the pits, refueled quickly and continued, even setting the fastest lap record and securing victory. Fangio’s second place earned him another World Drivers’ Championship title.
This victory resonated with passionate Italian fans and stood as a significant achievement in his racing career. This is the exact car Moss drove to victory in 1956.
1956 Maserati 300S
This Maserati 300s also known as a Maserati Works Car holds a storied history in the world of motorsport. Coming in second in the World Sports Championship 1956 the Maseratis World Sports Car Team including Stirling Moss, won the following races; Bueno Aires, Nurburgring, Venezuelan Grand Prix, Nassau Trophy and the Australian Tourist Trophy.
In 1957 this car, chassis number 3062, is believed to have been driven to victory by Juan Manuel Fangio at the Boa Vista and Interlagos circuits in Brazil.
The car’s racing history continued with appearances in prestigious events, such as the 1957 Gran Premio de Cuba, where it was driven by Harry Schell. Unfortunately, spark plug troubles prevented it from finishing the race. However, its legacy was far from forgotten.
Acquired by Auriana in July 1997, the car underwent an extensive frame-up restoration by Epifani Restorations in Berkeley, California which paid off when the car claimed the top spot in its category at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August 1999.
1962 Maserati Tipo 151
Originally manufactured for the 1962 Le Mans 24 Hour race, chassis 006 stands as the sole surviving example of the Maserati Tipo 151 series.
Entered by Briggs Cunningham and driven Bill Kimberly and Dick Thompson and qualified third. A mechanical failure removed them from the race on lap 62.
Chassis 006 features a 4-liter V8 engine that is closely aligned with the V8 found in the Maserati 450S. Designed under the guidance of Giulio Alfieri, the overall design of the car retained its unique identity, notably characterized by the innovative de Dion suspension system, a creation attributed to the young Gianpaolo Dallara. The vehicle enjoyed a prolonged 23-year display at Peter Kaus’ Rosso Bianco’ Collection near Frankfurt. However, in 2006, Lawrence Auriana acquired the car and embarked on a comprehensive restoration project, ultimately reviving it for vintage racing purposes.
Auriana Racing made a triumphant return to the 2011 Goodwood Revival with the restored Tipo 151. Racing in the competitive RAC TT and piloted by Derek Hill and Joe Colasacco, they qualified eighth, and impressively clinched third by the end of the race. In 2014 the were back at the Revival with Hill and Colasacco in the RAC TT, this time they qualified fourth and finished second. This successful comeback highlighted the enduring legacy of the Tipo 151 and its prowess on the track, a testament to its historical significance and the dedication of those who revived it.
BONUS 1953 Fiat Maserati Transporter
This Fiat 642/RN truck was used in the 1950s to carry all the great Formula 1 and sportscars around Europe. Complete with a workbench and vice, it was also transport for the dedicated mechanics who looked after the cars. After its years of service at Maserati, it was sold to one of the marque’s customers Lance Reventlow, who at the time raced a 200S. When Reventlow set up his own company to make Scarabs, the old Fiat truck took on a new lease of life in America. Discovered in a debilitated state, it was purchased by Auriana, who entrusted the restoration to Adolfo Orsi in Modena.
Celebrating its 41st year, the Lime Rock Park Historic Festival launches into action over Labor Day weekend (Aug. 31-Sept. 4) with a 17-mile tour through the area with Thursday’s Vintage Race Car and Sports Car Parade. Friday, Saturday and Monday feature non-stop, on-track competition across a diverse set of historic racing classes. This year the Festival’s featured marque is Chrysler Performance with featured races from MG, Formula Junior and Sports 2000.
On Sunday, the Lime Rock Concours and Gathering of the Marques event displays more than 1,000 enthusiast cars and motorcycles arranged around the Lime Rock circuit. Fore more information, visit limerock.com/events/historic-festival-41