1956 Maserati 250F

The Maserati 250F was made by Maserati of Italy used in ‘2.5 litre’ Formula One racing between January 1954 and November 1960. Only twenty-six examples were ever made. The 250F is recognised as racing legend Sir Stirling Moss’ favourite racing car. Recommendations don’t come much grander than that, and it goes some way to explaining why the Maserati 250F is often cited as the archetypal front-engined Formula One car.

Mark Hales, British Racing star, shared his first-hand driving experience of the Maserati 250F owned by Stiring Moss, in which he won the Monaco GP in 1956. Mark provided a very insightful look into the difficulties and challenges of driving an old racing car.

The 250F looked like every postwar schoolboy’s idea of the perfect racing machine – a low snout, a long bonnet, a shapely tail and a bright red paint-job – but its charisma turned out to be timeless. Two dozen of them survive today, some in museums, others still being raced.

It was raced in period by two of the all-time greats, British racing tyro Stirling Moss and the Argentinian maestro Juan Manuel Fangio. Moss started his frontline F1 career in a privateer Maserati 250F, at the suggestion of Mercedes racing boss Alfred Neubauer; Fangio took his fifth and final driver’s title in his in 1957.

The 250F’s career spanned a golden though often difficult and dangerous era of Grand Prix racing, debuting in 1954 and still battling hard in 1960. It was a car that the greats could make dance, in long, delirious full-throttle powerslides, but also one that the less gifted could still succeed with.

In total, the 250F competed in 46 Formula One championship races with 277 entries, leading to eight wins. It remains as one of the last front engined grand prix cars.

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