Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.

Maserati

Maserati


A chronological day-by-day history of Maserati.

Tuesday 1st December 1914

102 years ago

The Italian luxury car manufacturer Maserati was established in Bologna. The company's headquarters are now in Modena, and its emblem is a trident. It has been owned by the Italian car giant Fiat S.p.A. since 1993.

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Saturday 25th April 1925

91 years ago

Alfieri Maserati's first car, the Tipo 26, made its racing debut by winning its class at the Targa Florio. Alfieri Maserati drove the car himself.

Maserati Tipo 26

Maserati Tipo 26

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Wednesday 14th April 1926

90 years ago

The first Maserati Tipo 26 racing car was first produced. It had a steel ladder-type frame supporting a supercharged inline-8 engine with a three-speed manual transmission and an aluminum two-seater bodywork made by Medardo Fantuzzi. The engine featured crankshaft-driven Roots supercharger, twin gear-driven overhead camshafts and a dry sump lubrication; to comply with the 1926 Grand Prix regulations the displacement was fixed to 1.5 litre.

Maserati Tipo 26B

Maserati Tipo 26B

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Sunday 5th May 1929

87 years ago

The 20th Targa Florio received 29 entries comprising eight Bugattis, four Alfa Romeos, three Maseratis, two each of Fiats and Salmsons. Bugatti with Divo, Minoia, Conelli and Wagner as official drivers, the Alfa Romeo team with Campari, Brilli Peri and Varzi, as well as the Maserati factory with Borzacchini and Ernesto Maserati emerged as the most potent entries. The 19 car field was completed by ten independent drivers without a real chance to win of which Lepori and Bittmann with Bugattis were the most prominent. Minoia and Divo in official Bugattis dominated the race although Borzacchini's Maserati held second and third place until falling behind. The race was then between the faster Bugattis and the factory Alfa Romeos of Brilli Peri and Campari. The exhausting race ended after more than seven hours with Divo victorious ahead of Minoia followed by the Alfas of Brilli Peri and Campari, who were the only other finishers.

Fernando Minoia, Targa Florio 1929. Bugatti T35C

Fernando Minoia, Targa Florio 1929. Bugatti T35C

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Sunday 23rd March 1930

87 years ago

Baconin Borzacchini in a Maserati V4 won the Tripoli Grand Prix at Mellaha.

Maserati V4

Maserati V4

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Sunday 4th May 1930

86 years ago

The 21st Targa Florio received entries from the entire French Bugatti équipe, to fight against factory teams from Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Officine Mecchaniche, plus many independents, totaling 17 cars at the start. The race developed not only into a duel between Alfa Romeo and Bugatti but more into a gigantic battle between two men: Varzi and Chiron. After almost seven tortuous hours through the mountainous Madonie, it ended with a narrow, well earned victory for Varzi, less than two minutes ahead of Chiron. When only 23 seconds behind on the last lap, Chiron broke two of his Bugatti's wheels and had to cope with a very sick mechanic. In his awesome drive, Varzi had lost the single spare wheel of his Alfa Romeo, sprung a fuel leak, and near the end the back of his car caught fire. The Italian survived all these difficulties in probably his most outstanding drive ever. By breaking the existing records, he ended Bugatti's 5-year string of victories. Conelli, Campari, Nuvolari, Divo, Williams and Morandi drove near the front but were clearly in a lesser rank than the two leading contenders. Maserati, D'Ippolito, Minoia, Borzacchini and Bittmann all survived the over seven-hour ordeal, while Maggi, Balestero, Arcangeli, Divo and Ruggeri retired.

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Sunday 25th May 1930

86 years ago

At the sixth Rome Grand Prix there were five Alfa Romeos, four Maseratis, four Bugattis, one Talbot and one Mercedes-Benz. From the 15 cars at the start, 10 were still racing at the end. It began with a battle between Arcangeli in the new 2500 Maserati and Chiron's Bugatti. After the Frenchman retired on lap three, Varzi with the Alfa Romeo took over the chase, only to retire after a few laps. That left Nuvolari with the second works Alfa Romeo to go after Arcangeli, taking the lead from him on lap seven. The battle between Nuvolari and Arcangeli kept the crowd on their toes, and lasted until lap 16, when the Alfa's engine lost power. Chiron, who had taken over Bouriat's Bugatti on lap five, had to overcome a 55 seconds deficit to the leader, which Chiron reduced consistently and eventually caught up with the leading Arcangeli. During the last two laps, the battle between the two kept the large crowd in great suspense. Chiron briefly took the lead on the last lap but Arcangeli fought back and won by 1.8 seconds in front of the cheering crowd. The German von Morgen (Bugatti) finished third, ahead of Biondetti (Talbot), Campari (Alfa Romeo), Caflisch (Mercedes-Benz), Tadini (Alfa Romeo) and Renzi (Bugatti) in eighth place. Nuvolari retired, as did Fagioli who held third place for many laps.

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Sunday 19th April 1931

85 years ago

Louis Chiron driving a Bugatti T51 won the Monaco Grand Prix. With 16 Bugattis in a field of 23 cars, the event was close to being a single-make race. Among the 16 were four factory-team Type 51s driven by the Monegasque Louis Chiron, the Italian Achille Varzi and the French Albert Divo and Guy Bouriat. The real challenge came from the Maserati 8C 2500's driven by Rene Dreyfus, the Italian Luigi Fagioli and Clemente Bondietti. Rudolf Caracciola with his huge Mercedes SSKL (Super Sport Short Light-Weight) was uncompetitive as his larger car performed poorly around the tight Monaco track. The race was between the blue cars from Molsheim and the red ones from Modena. When the start flag dropped it was Rene Dreyfus in his red Maserati who led into St. Devote, only to be passed by 'Williams' on the hill to the Casino, but his lead was short lived as the Brit was sidelined by a broken valve spring, and his race was over. Achille Varzi and Caracciola started closing on Dreyfus and Varzi managed to overtake the Frenchman on the 7th lap. Caracciola struggled with a slipping clutch that gave in on lap 53. Starting slowly, Louis Chiron eventually displayed his talents; gaining back ground with a new lap record time. He caught up with all his opponents and left them behind. Chiron, a native of Monaco, finished the race some 5 minutes ahead of Luigi Fagioli. Jean Bugatti couldn't control his joy and jumped over the parapet of the bleachers and fell into Louis Chiron's arms. For the Monegasque, this Monaco Grand Prix victory really confirmed his reputation.

Monaco Grand Prix - 1931

Monaco Grand Prix - 1931

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Sunday 10th May 1931

85 years ago

René Dreyfus was the only foreigner in the 22nd Targo Florio where just 13 cars arrived at the start. The Alfa Romeo factory entered five drivers the Maserati works just three and only one potent Bugatti was present, Varzi's personal car. Four independents with Alfa Romeos, a Bugatti and a Salmson filled the remaining places. On a dry road, Varzi immediately established a strong lead, which he sustained for three laps while the five Alfa team cars relentlessly hounded him. The Maseratis of Fagioli and Biondetti ended in the ditch early on, whereas Dreyfus' racecar was retired after ¾ race in hopeless position. Rain had started on lap two and after three laps torrential downpours turned some of the mountain roads into mud pools, resulting in the downfall of the grand prix racers like Varzi. Most cars of the Alfa Romeo team had front fenders fitted before the race to keep the splashing mud away from drivers, faces and goggles. It ended as a great success for Alfa Romeo who for the first time this year were victorious at one of the major races. Nuvolari and Borzacchini finished in the first two places, followed by the disenchanted Varzi in third place, car and driver almost unrecognizably covered in mud.

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Sunday 7th June 1931

85 years ago

The VII Reale Premio di Roma was held on the new high speed Littorio circuit around the airport. The contest was divided into four 100 km Heat races for the various classes and a 240 km Final to decide the overall winner. Heat 1 for cars up to 1100 cc was won by Scaron (Amilcar), who led from start to finish ahead of Decaroli (Salmson) and Ardizzone (Delage). The race for cars up to 2000 cc had Biondetti and Savi with Maseratis in front and Castelbarco (Bugatti) in third place. Heat 3 for cars up to 3000 cc was won by Varzi (Bugatti) with Fagioli and Dreyfus in 2500 Maseratis, filling the first three places. In Heat 4 Ernesto Maserati was the easy winner in the large 16-cylinder Maserati against an old Itala. The Final developed into an entertaining battle between Varzi's leading Bugatti fighting the various Maseratis. Varzi's demise began after the first quarter, after which the hounding Maseratis dominated, conquering the first three places with Ernesto Maserati, Dreyfus and Biondetti. Balestrero in an old Talbot finished fourth while Fagioli was slowed down with problems. Nuvolari, Varzi and Minozzi retired their Bugattis.

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Sunday 21st June 1931

85 years ago

The XVII Grand Prix of the AC de France was run to the 10-Hour International Formula, demanding two drivers per car. Three strong official factory teams from Alfa Romeo, Bugatti and Maserati provided the main battle. The early leader was Fagioli in the 2800 Maserati until Chiron in the twin-cam Bugatti passed him. After one hour, Luigi Fagioli was again in first place next came Louis Chiron, Rene Dreyfus, Albert Divo, William Grover-Williams, Marcel Lehoux and Giuseppe Campari, the fastest of the 2300 Alfa Romeo drivers, in seventh place. For the first time since WW I, there was a German entry in the French Grand Prix, the independent team of Rudolf Caracciola/Otto Merz in a huge Mercedes-Benz. They held eighth place after the first lap; then fell back to 13th before retiring later. The Rene Dreyfus/ Pieto Ghersi pair twice held second place, but maintained third position during most of the first half of the race.Out of 23 starters only 12 finished the long race. The independent drivers were the first to retire. Jack Dunfee (Sunbeam) broke down at the start. Ivanowski (Mercedes-Benz) and Lehoux (Bugatti) disappeared before the the second hour ended. Scott's 1920's Delage broke down during the third hour to be followed by the Caracciola/Merz Mercedes-Benz in the fourth hour. The first factory car to retire was Fagioli/E.Maserati with the 2800 Maserati during the fifth hour. Five Bugattis retired over the next laps, all caused by mechanical failures. Chiron/Varzi (Bugatti) dominated the race and won three laps ahead of Campari/Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo) and five laps in front of Clemente Biondetti/Parenti (Maserati). Henry Birkin/ George Eyston (Maserati) an idependent entry finished fourth. A total of 12 cars were classified but only 10 were still driving at the end while Divo/Bouriat and Tazio Nuvolari/Giovanni Minozzi made it on distance alone as their cars broke down near the end.

Chiron and Varzi pitting at the 1931 French Grand Prix

Chiron and Varzi pitting at the 1931 French Grand Prix

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Saturday 17th October 1931

85 years ago

Henry Birkin driving a Maserati 26M won the Mountain Championship at Brooklands.

Henry 'Tim' Birkin (1931)

Henry 'Tim' Birkin (1931)

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Thursday 3rd March 1932

85 years ago

Alfieri Maserati (44) Italian automotive engineer, known for establishing and leading the Maserati racing car manufacturer with the other Maserati Brothers, died from liver complications related to an accident in 1928.

Alfieri Maserati

Alfieri Maserati

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Sunday 17th April 1932

84 years ago

Tazio Nuvolari in an Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 won the Monaco Grand Prix at Monzae by just 2.8 seconds from the privateer Alfa of Rudolf Caracciola, who, despite having a contract for 1932, was not yet part of the official works team. Caracciola might have had an opportunity to pass Nuvolari for the lead, after the Italian's car developed fuel pick-up issues, but he decided instead to remain behind the Alfa Romeo team leader. The 1931 Monaco Grand Prix runner-up Luigi Fagioli completed the podium in third for the Maserati team.

Tazio Nuvolari at the 1932 Monaco Monaco Prix

Tazio Nuvolari at the 1932 Monaco Monaco Prix

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Sunday 24th April 1932

84 years ago

The Rome Royal Gran Prix was run. The Maserati works team and Scuderia Ferrari each started with two cars at Rome's autodrome, the Littorio airfield circuit. The 33 entries were divided into three categories. Heat 1 for 1100 cc cars was won by Decaroli's Salmson and Heat 2 by Minozzi's 2-liter Bugatti. Heat 3 and 4 were run together, won by Varzi in the 2.3-liter Bugatti and followed by Fagioli in the 5-liter Maserati. Then the monotonous Repechage was won by Dreyfus with ease against weaker cars. In the Final Fagioli had no serious opposition with the 16-cylinder Maserati, the only heavy machine. Without question the 5-liter Maserati was one of the fastest cars in Europe. Taruffi's Alfa Romeo finished second, followed by the Bugattis of von Morgen and Varzi, both slowed down by tire problems.

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Sunday 8th May 1932

84 years ago

Louis Chiron was the only foreigner in the 23rd Targa Florio where just 16 cars arrived for the race, two from the Maserati works, five Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeos and two Bugattis, entered privately by Chiron and Varzi. Seven other independents with Bugatti, O.M. and Fiat completed the field. Nuvolari who led from start to finish and Borzacchini with their Alfa Romeos dominated the race, which went over eight laps of a new shortened 72 km circuit. On the third lap Varzi's Bugatti dropped out after which he shared Chiron's car, bringing it home in third place behind Nuvolari and Borzacchini in Alfa Monzas. The 2.8-liter Maseratis had stayed in mid-field and while Fagioli retired his car after the first lap, Ruggeri was able to complete the entire distance and finished fifth. Only six cars were able to complete the hardest circuit race in the world on a very hot day.

Targa Florio - 1932

Targa Florio - 1932

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Sunday 22nd May 1932

84 years ago

From the elite of 16 international drivers only five finished the AVUS-Rennen, the fastest high-speed race in Europe. Dreyfus was the first leader and had to stop his 16-cylinder Maserati after lap one. Divo in the 5-litre Bugatti then held the lead until lap five when his engine started leaking oil badly. World record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell in the 4-litre V-12 Sunbeam also retired early. From lap six onwards Caracciola with his 2.3-litre Alfa Romeo was in front. The young German von Brauchitsch in his strange looking streamlined 7.1-litre Mercedes-Benz SSKL followed closely. This duo provided an exciting battle for the lead until the end when von Brauchitsch came out on top as a surprising winner. Behind Caracciola were the Swiss Stuber (Bugatti) in third place, then the Germans Stuck (Mercedes-Benz SSKL) and Kotte (2.5-litre Maserati). The remaining drivers all retired their cars, which did not hold up in this high-speed chase. Lewy (Bugatti) crashed on lap one, as did Czechoslovakian driver Prince Lobkowicz who died shortly thereafter in hospital.

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Sunday 5th June 1932

84 years ago

The tenth Gran Premio d'Italia was run at Monza to the 5-Hour International formula and was part of the 1932 European Championship. Fifteen of the best European drivers took the start. The prime battle occured between Nuvolari in the brand new lightweight 2.65-liter Alfa Romeo monoposto and Fagioli with the 16-cylinder Maserati. Continuous position changes made this a very exciting race to watch while all records were broken during this extremely fast race. The main contenders were Chiron and Varzi in 5-liter Bugattis, Nuvolari, Campari, Borzacchini and Caracciola with Alfa Romeos plus Fagioli with the 16-cylinder Maserati. Alfa Romeo proved to be superior and won. Fagioli's Maserati was consistently the fastest car but inadequate pit organization cost him the race, while the two Bugattis once more were a great disappointment and broke down as in the past.

Start of the 1932 Gran Premio di Monza

Start of the 1932 Gran Premio di Monza

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Sunday 26th March 1933

84 years ago

The Tunis Grand Prix was held at the Carthage Street Circuit in Tunis, the capital of colonial Tunisia. Tazio Nuvolari won the 37 lap race, driving for Scuderia Ferrari, Alfa Romeo's works team, while his teammate, Baconin Borzacchini, finished second. Third place was taken by the privateer Maserati of Goffredo Zehender.

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Monday 6th November 1933

83 years ago

English Racing Automobiles, the name by which E.R.A. was known until it was changed in 1954 to Engineering Research & Application Ltd., was founded in late 1933 by Humphrey Cook, a wealthy young Oxford graduate who had a passion for motor racing and was determined to construct a competitive British car to compete successfully on the international circuits. British successes in the Grand Prix road racing of the day had been few and far between. There had been no major British victory since Seagrave in the French Grand Prix in 1923 in a Sunbeam. By 1933 the huge investment being poured into Grand Prix racing by the major works teams of Auto Union, Mercedes Benz and Alfa Romeo made it more or less impossible for a small newcomer to compete successfully. A decision was therefore made to concentrate on the 1.5 litres supercharged voiturette class. Raymond Mays, one of the most successful amateur racing drivers of the day, became a director of the Company and, together with Cook, the works driver. The new Company relied on the engineering experience of Murray Jamieson and Peter Berthon, the former an engineer in the Austin racing department, the latter a gifted natural engineer. The first 1.5 litre ERA racing car was shown to the public on 22 May 1934 and competed at Brooklands in the British Empire Trophy race on 23 June. Several more races were entered in 1934 and numerous wins were recorded, often against more exotic Maserati and Bugatti opposition. Over the next five years, the A, B and C type ERA 1.5 litre and 2 litre supercharged cars became the most successful voiturette racing cars in Europe. As well as Raymond Mays, they were driven and owned by drivers such as Dick Seaman, Pat Fairfield and Earl Howe and, perhaps most famous of all, Princes Chula and Bira of Siam with their team of two ERA’s ‘Romulus and Remus’. During the war, racing came to an end, the Company site in Bourne was sold for aircraft component production and Company closed. In 1946, ERA Ltd was officially re-registered in Humphrey Cook’s home town of Dunstable, and premises occupied on the towns London Road. Development started on a new Grand Prix car, the ERA ‘E’ type, to compete in the new 1.5 litre formula. Three cars were built, GP1, 2 and 3, and showed great promise. However the promise was never really fulfilled, and the technical effort necessary proved too much for the small Company to overcome before the 1.5 litre formula was abandoned. An ‘F’ type Formula 3 car failed to get off the drawing board but the G type Bristol engined ERA began to show great potential in the hands of Stirling moss and others. In 1953 the project was sold to Bristol Cars who subsequently developed it into the successful Bristol 450 Le Mans car. Thus ERA’s connection with motor racing ended. The successful 1.5 and 2 litre A, B and C type ERA’s all survive intact today and many are regularly used in historic racing. They are often faster than in their pre-war days and compete remarkably well against 1950’s Maseratis, Ferraris and Aston Martins. After the sale of the G type cars to Bristol, ERA Ltd was sold to Zenith Carburettor Ltd. In turn Zenith was bought by Solex Carburettor, the name was changed to Engineering Research and Application Ltd, and for many years ERA became the Research & Development centre for these carburettor and fuel system companies.

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Sunday 3rd June 1934

82 years ago

The VIII ADAC Eifelrennen, an annual motor race organised by ADAC Automobile Club, held in Germany's Eifel mountain region (even before the Nürburgring was built there), was won by Manfred von Brauchitsch in a Mercedes-Benz W25/34.The start was delayed for several hours because of fog, rain showers and hail. At 3 PM the race was finally started with 44 cars in 3 classes flagged of after each other. A bunch of cars arrived together into the Südkehre on the first lap and Austrian driver Emil Frankl (Bugatti) touched another car and went, with damaged wheel, into a wild spin just missing the Mercedes cars, before overturning, killing the unfortunate driver. After the first lap it was Fagioli in front of von Brauchitsch, Stuck, Chiron, Tadini, Penn-Hughes, zu Leiningen and Pietsch. Then Neubauer gave order to Fagioli to let the other Mercedes car by and at Bergwerk on the second lap von Brauchitsch took over the lead from his team mate. On the third lap Momberger was out of the race with fuel pump failure and the problems for the Auto Union team continued. A flying stone has created a leak in zu Leiningen's fuel tank and he fell far back while the tank was repaired and refilled. Von Brauchitsch had opened up a 46 second lead over Fagioli who was ferociously attacked by Stuck. Nuvolari was out of the race after a series of technical problems.Halfway through the race the Mercedes cars came in for tanking and a furious Fagioli started a bilingual verbal fight with team leader Neubauer over the team orders. Fagioli went off again but then, with one lap to go, simply abandoned his Mercedes on the track in disgust, giving Neubauer a taste of things to come.The Alfas did not need to come in for refueling but they were not able to keep up with the superior roadholding of the German cars. The Nürburgring took its tolls, Maserati drivers Rüesch och Siena were out with engine problems and zu Leiningen was also out, leaving only one Auto Union in the race. However, Stuck was now in the lead and opened up a gap of almost one minute to von Brauchitsch. The Mercedes team was worried: Was Stuck trying to do a nonstop race? Finally Stuck went in for tanking, tyres and new plugs and after a lengthy pitstop he rejoined the race 87 seconds behind von Brauchitsch. With such advantage the Mercedes driver had no problem to keep the lead from then on and he went on to win. He could hardly have got off to a better start as a works driver. Neither could the Mercedes-Benz team have had a better comeback, winning the first time out.

1934 Auto Union Type A, VIII ADAC Eifelrennen

1934 Auto Union Type A, VIII ADAC Eifelrennen

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Sunday 3rd June 1934

82 years ago

The first and only Montreux Grand Prix was held and won by Carlo Felice Trossi, in an Alfa Romeo B/P3. The Montreux "round the houses" street race was a new addition to the Grand Prix calendar. Unfortunately it was run the same weekend as the Eifelrennen but Ferrari entered the trio of Varzi, Moll and Trossi. The main opposition consisted of some private Maseratis and Bugattis. On race day not only every grandstand but also every window and balcony of downtown Montreux was filled with spectators. There had been a storm before the race but the track had had time to dry out. Etancelin had been fastest in practice with his own blue painted Maserati and when the starter dropped the flag at 2 p.m. Etancelin took the lead followed by Straight, Moll and Falchetto. Moll was soon up to second position but on lap 11 he had to do a lengthly pitstop with oil feed problems, spoiling any chances for a good position. Varzi was going well, climbing to 3rd followed by teammate Trossi and Hamilton.By half distance Étancelin held a 65 seconds lead over Varzi with Trossi a further 13 seconds behind. Straight had dipped to fourth as oil from a leak sprayed over his goggles and he had been forced to do several pit stops to clear them. The Ferrari duo was catching Étancelin, who had brake troubles. But at lap 69 Varzi had to make a fast pit stop, falling down to third position. With five laps to go Étancelin was still leading with 13 seconds but an inspired Trossi, always at his best on street circuits, was catching him fast, making faster laps than the pole time, and on the last but one lap he passed the Maserati to the flag from Étancelin with Varzi's Ferrari entered Alfa third. Maserati cars driven by Straight, Hamilton and Zehender took the next places.

Montreux Grand Prix - 1934

Montreux Grand Prix - 1934

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Saturday 13th October 1934

82 years ago

The Brooklands Mountain Championship was won by Willard Whitney-Straight, driving a Maserati 8CM.

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Thursday 27th December 1934

82 years ago

“The Border 100" - the first road race in South Africa, run over six laps of the 16-mile Marine Drive Circuit, on the west bank of the Buffalo River at East London, was won by Whitney Straight in a Maserati 8CM.

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Tuesday 6th August 1935

81 years ago

Mrs. Gwenda Stewart, driving a Derby-Miller, set the all time fastest lap for a woman at Brooklands (England) at 135.96mph. She had served during World War I as an ambulance driver, and as a result of her skill and endeavours on both the Russian Front and Rumanian Front during 1914-1918, she was awarded both the Cross of St. George and the Cross of St. Stanislaus and was also mentioned in despatches. Gwenda competed on two occasions, with little success, in the 24 Hours of Le Mans event, at the wheel of a Derby car using a Maserati engine. She took up work in an armaments factory to help the war effort during World War II, and died in 1990 at the age of 96.

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Sunday 1st March 1936

81 years ago

The Pau Grand Prix held at Pau, France was won by French driver Philippe Étancelin in his Maserati V8. Three cars entered by Scuderia Ferrari were due to race but were stopped at the French border by Benito Mussolini, stating that no Italian team should race in France until after the meeting of the League of Nations on the 10 March.

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Saturday 6th May 1939

77 years ago

The Maserati 4CL race car debuted in the Brooklands International Trophy dash in Surrey, England. The entry of private owner Reggie Tongue, finished third.

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Sunday 14th July 1946

70 years ago

Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari became the oldest Grand Prix winner (in pre-World Championship days) when he won the Albi Grand Prix at Albi, France, aged 53 years 240 days, driving a Maserati 4CL. First he raced motorcycles and then he concentrated on sports cars and single-seaters. Resident in Mantua, Italy he was known as 'Il Mantovano Volante' (The Flying Mantuan) and nicknamed 'Nivola'. His victories—72 major races, 150 in all - including 24 Grands Prix, five Coppa Cianos, two Mille Miglias, two Targa Florios, two RAC Tourist Trophies, a Le Mans 24-hour race, and a European Championship in Grand Prix racing. Ferdinand Porsche called him "the greatest driver of the past, the present, and the future." Nuvolari started racing motorcycles in 1920 at the age of 27, winning the 1925 350cc European Championship. Having raced cars as well as motorcycles from 1925 until 1930, he then concentrated on cars, and won the 1932 European Championship with the Alfa Romeo factory team, Alfa Corse. After Alfa Romeo officially withdrew from Grand Prix racing Nuvolari drove for Enzo Ferrari's team, Scuderia Ferrari, who ran the Alfa Romeo cars semi-officially. In 1933 he won Le Mans in an Alfa Romeo as a member of Ferrari's team, and a month later won the Belgian Grand Prix in a works Maserati, having switched teams a week before the race. Mussolini helped persuade Ferrari to take Nuvolari back for 1935, and in that year he won the German Grand Prix in Ferrari's outdated Alfa Romeo, defeating more powerful rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. It was the only time a non-German car won a European Championship race from 1935 to 1939. The relationship with Ferrari deteriorated during 1937, and Nuvolari raced an Auto Union in that year's Swiss Grand Prix. He rejoined the Auto Union team for the 1938 season and stayed with them through 1939 until Grand Prix racing was put on hiatus by World War II. The only major European race he never won was the Czechoslovakian Grand Prix. When Nuvolari resumed racing after the war he was 54 and in poor health. In his final appearance in competition, driving a Cisitalia-Abarth Tipo 204A at a Palermo hillclimb on 10 April 1950, he won his class and placed fifth overall. He died in 1953 from a stroke.

Tazio Nuvolari

Tazio Nuvolari

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Sunday 28th July 1946

70 years ago

Robert Mazaud (39) was killed when his Maserati 4CL crashed during the Nantes Grand Prix - the first racing fatality in major post-World War II competition. The race was won by 'Raph' driving a Maserati 6CM.

Robert Mazaud

Robert Mazaud

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Sunday 27th October 1946

70 years ago

The first major post-World War II race, the revived Pena Rhin Grand Prix staged in Barcelona, Spain, was won by Giorgio Pelassa in a Maserati 4CL.

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Thursday 13th March 1947

70 years ago

The Maserati A6 1500. the marque's first production car, was unveiled at the Geneva Show. This first prototype was a two-door, two-seat, three window berlinetta with triple square portholes on its fully integrated front wings, a tapered cabin and futuristic hidden headlamps. The car was put into low volume production, and most received Pininfarina coachwork. For production Pininfarina toned down the prototype's design, switching to conventional headlamps; soon after a second side window was added. Later cars received a different 2+2 fastback body style.

Maserati A6 1500

Maserati A6 1500

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Sunday 28th September 1947

69 years ago

Alberto 'Ciccio' Ascari recorded his first automobile racing victory at Modena, Italy driving a Maserati. In today’s corporate-driven, spit-and-polish world of Formula 1, Italian champion Alberto Ascari would never make it as a driver. Carrying enough extra pounds to earn the nickname “Ciccio” (Chubby) from his legions of fans, Ascari’s superstitions alone would be enough to keep him out of racing’s highest levels. Things were different in the early 1950s, and Ascari would prove to be a champion of the people, beloved for his flaws as much as for his calm and fearless demeanor behind the wheel. That his superstitions would fail to save his life, and that his death so closely resembled that of his Grand Prix champion father, remains among racing’s oddest stories. His driving career began with the 1940 Brescia Grand Prix, where family friend Enzo Ferrari helped Ascari earn a ride in an Auto Avio Construzioni 815, the first car to be designed and built by Ferrari himself. Ascari’s day would end early with mechanical troubles, but his path was set, and his attention turned to racing automobiles. The outbreak of the Second World War intervened, and Ascari found himself tasked with servicing and repairing military vehicles in the family’s garage in Milan. As a sideline, Ascari formed a transport business with racing driver Luigi Villoresi, another family friend who also served as Ascari’s racing mentor.By the conclusion of the war, Ascari found himself with a wife, Mietta, a daughter, Patrizia, and a son, Antonio, named in honor of Alberto’s beloved father. Racing again beckoned, but Ascari was torn between the desire to drive and the responsibilities of being a father. By 1948, however, the temptation to resume his career proved to be too great. Though the season would produce a single non-championship win, driving a Maserati at San Remo, Ascari seemed to have convinced himself that his cautious ways would reduce the sport’s inherent risks to an acceptable level. His 1949 season began with Maserati, and he delivered a win in the season-opening Buenos Aires Grand Prix. It was not a championship points race, however, so the victory counted for little more than glory. Shortly after, his old friend Luigi Villoresi lured him to the Ferrari team, where Ascari would produce wins at the Swiss Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix, both championship points races. He’d also post a victory at a non-championship race at Silverstone, along with a win at the season-ending race in Argentina. Though Ascari would go winless in 1950, the year that would mark the start of the modern Formula One era, he still posted second-place finishes at Monaco and Monza, solidifying his position with Scuderia Ferrari. In 1951, Ascari won the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring and the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Second-place finishes in Belgium and France helped Ascari end the season with 25 championship points, enough for a second-place standing but not enough to overcome championship-winner Juan Manuel Fangio‘s 31 points. Though rule changes for the 1952 season would favor the Ferrari team, which had well-developed normally aspirated 2-liter engines mandated by the new competition rules, Ascari utterly dominated the competition, winning six of eight races and capturing his first World Championship. Ascari’s winning streak carried over into the 1953 season as well. After producing six consecutive wins in 1952, Ascari opened 1953 with a win in Argentina and back-to-back wins in the Dutch and Belgian Grands Prix. Excluding the Indianapolis 500, which Ascari did not contest, that was an unbroken string of nine consecutive wins, and his lucky streak would have extended beyond this had Mike Hawthorne not won the French Grand Prix. With wins in five of the season’s nine races, Ascari easily accumulated enough points to capture his second World Championship, but all was not well at Scuderia Ferrari. Unhappy with the salary that Ferrari offered him for the 1954 season, Ascari opted to leave the team in favor of Lancia, which had been working hard on developing a class-leading race car. The team was nowhere near ready for testing by the start of the season, so Lancia permitted Ascari to drive in two races for Maserati and a single race for Ferrari. All three ended in DNFs, as did the season-ending Spanish Grand Prix, from which Ascari also retired early. By anyone’s definition, 1954 was a disastrous year for the two-time champion, and the single bright spot may have been that Ascari’s Lancia took pole position in Spain and set the fastest lap. That performance set the stage for 1955, and fans began to speculate that Ascari would once again be in a position to challenge Juan Manuel Fangio for the title. Though he retired early at the season-opening Argentine Grand Prix, Ascari took wins at non-championship races at Valentino Park, Italy, and at Posillipo, Italy. Monaco, Ascari fans believed, would be the turning point in the driver’s season, and it may have been had the champion not missed a chicane while leading the race. The ensuing crash saw Ascari’s Lancia tumble over the barrier and into the harbor, and a stunned crowd held its breath until the driver’s familiar blue helmet bobbed to the surface. Despite the severity of the crash, he emerged with only a broken nose, bruising and badly shaken nerves. Four days later, Ascari showed up at the Monza circuit, where his friend Eugenio Castellotti was testing a Ferrari 750 Monza that the pair would drive in the upcoming Supercortmaggiore 1000 Kilometers. No one expected Ascari to drive, especially not without his lucky blue helmet (damaged in his crash at Monaco) and short-sleeve blue jersey, but the champion wanted to prove that his accident had not shaken his nerve behind the wheel. Dressed in slacks, a sport coat and a tie, Ascari borrowed a helmet from Castellotti and set out for a few laps in the Ferrari. Exiting Curva Del Vialone, a fast left-hand bend, Ascari lost control of the car, which rolled twice and tossed Ascari onto the track. His injuries were severe, and Ascari died on Monza’s asphalt before help could arrive. Ascari’s death bore an eerie resemblance to the death of his father, Antonio. Both died at age 36 (although Alberto did live four days longer than his father); both died on the 26th day of the month (Antonio on July 26, Alberto on May 26); both died exactly four days after experiencing severe crashes; both had amassed 13 championship wins; and both died while exiting high-speed, left-hand corners. Sadly, both left behind a wife and two children as well. Ascari’s superstitions (which reportedly extended to black cats and unlucky numbers) weren’t enough to save him, and it’s unlikely that his “lucky” blue helmet would have made any difference in the outcome of his fatal crash. It was Ascari’s policy to adhere to self-imposed safety margins, always leaving a bit in reserve and never driving a car harder than it needed to be driven to produce a victory. This sensibility likely prolonged Ascari’s life, but it wasn’t enough to save him on that fateful May day in Monza.

Alberto 'Ciccio' Ascari

Alberto 'Ciccio' Ascari

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Saturday 17th January 1948

69 years ago

The Juan Perón & Buenos Aires Grand Prix held at Palermo Park was won by Luigi Villoresi driving a Maserati 4CL.

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Saturday 24th January 1948

69 years ago

The General San Martín Grand Prix at Mar del Plata was won by Giuseppe Farina in a Maserati 8CL.

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Saturday 14th February 1948

69 years ago

The Eva Duarte Perón Grand Prix held over 50 laps of the 3.032 miles Palermo Park road circuit was won by Luigi Villoresi in a Maserati 4CL.

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Monday 29th March 1948

69 years ago

The modern era of Formula 1 began with the Grand Prix de Pau (France), which was won by Nello Pagani in a Maserati 4CL. Yves Giraud-Cabantous finished second and Charles Pozzi third.

Grand Prix de Pau (France) - 1948

Grand Prix de Pau (France) - 1948

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Sunday 2nd May 1948

68 years ago

The second Grand Prix des Nations run over 44 laps of the 1.8 mile urban race track located between the lake (Geneva) and the Nations square was won by Giuseppe Farina in a Maserati 4CLT, at an average speed of 64.6 mph (103.9 km/h).

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Sunday 16th May 1948

68 years ago

From 1938 to 1947, the Monaco Grand Prix could not be held due to both financial difficulties and a shortage of competitors as well as a deteriorating international climate. Finally on this day, the almost forgotten roar of the engines was once more heard on the streets of the Principality. The race was won by Giuseppe Farina in a Maserati 4CLT.

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Sunday 27th June 1948

68 years ago

The San Remo Grand Prix, a non-Championship Voiturette motor race was held at the Autodromo di Ospedaletti, in San Remo, Liguria, Italy. Contested over 85 laps, it was won by Alberto Ascari in a Maserati 4CLT/48, starting from pole position. Luigi Villoresi finished second also in a Maserati 4CLT/48 and Clemar Bucci third, driving a Maserati 4CL 1502.

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Saturday 7th August 1948

68 years ago

The first race meeting at the Zandvoort circuit in Holland was organised by the British Racing Driving Club. The principle event the Zandvoort Grand Prix was won by Prince Birabongse, 'Bira', in a Maserati 4CL at 73.25 mph.

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Sunday 15th August 1948

68 years ago

At Pescara, Italy, an OSCA sports care was raced for the first time. Sadly the car driven by Franco Cornacchia, suffered engine failure. Officine Specializzate Costruzioni Automobili - Fratelli Maserati SpA was founded in 1947 by Ernesto Maserati (engineering manager) and his two brothers Ettore, and Bindo (operations managers) who had all left Maserati.

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Saturday 18th September 1948

68 years ago

The first race meeting took place at the Goodwood race circuit, West Sussex, England organised by the Junior Car Club and sanctioned by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. The winner of the first race was P. de F. C. Pycroft, in his 2,664 c.c. Pycroft-Jaguar, at 66.42 m.p.h. Stirling Moss won the 500cc race (later to become Formula 3), followed by Eric Brandon and "Curly" Dryden, all in Coopers. The race lasted only three laps but he won by 25.8 seconds. Dudley Folland, in a single-seater MG K3, took the Madgwick Cup for Formula 2 cars.The highlight was the five-lap race for another new category; Formula One. Reg Parnell's latest model Maserati 4CLT/48 was pressed hard by Bob Gerard's pre-war ERA but Parnell won by four-tenths of a second, even though Gerard set the fastest lap, leaving with the outright lap record at 1'42.8", 83.39mph. A total of 10,478 paid at the gates, 1,000 club members also entered and an estimated 3,000 sneaked in. Goodwood became famous for its Glover Trophy non-championship Formula One race, Goodwood Nine Hours sports car endurance races run in 1952, 1953 and 1955, and the Tourist Trophy sports car race, run between 1958 and 1964. The cars that raced in those events can be seen recreating (in shorter form) the endurance races at the Goodwood Revival each year in the Sussex Trophy and the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy (RAC TT).

Goodwood circuit - 1948

Goodwood circuit - 1948

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Saturday 2nd October 1948

68 years ago

The Royal Automobile Club International Grand Prix was staged at Silverstone Airfield in Northamptonshire. Although commonly cited as the first British Grand Prix of the modern era, it did not have official Grande Épreuve status. Italian Luigi Villoresi, in a Maserati 4CLT/48 won the 239 mile race run over a ‘figure 8’ 3.67 mile circuit of runways and perimeter track, at an average 72.28 mph. The race meeting marked the opening of the Silverstone Circuit, although at the time the site was only on a one-year loan to the RAC from the Air Ministry, having been a bomber station during World War II.

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Sunday 30th January 1949

68 years ago

The Juan Perón & Buenos Aires Grand Prix at Palermo Park was won by Alberto Ascari in a Maserati 4CLT/48

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Sunday 27th February 1949

68 years ago

The General San Martín Grand Pix in Mar del Plata was won by Juan Manuel Fangio driving a Maserati 4CLT/48.

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Sunday 27th March 1949

68 years ago

The Rio de Janeiro Grand Prix at Gávea was won by Luigi Villoresi in a Maserati 4CLT/48.

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Sunday 3rd April 1949

67 years ago

The San Remo Grand Prix held at San Remo was run over two heats, and won by Juan Manuel Fangio in a Maserati 4CLT/48.

San Remo Grand Prix - 1949

San Remo Grand Prix - 1949

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Monday 18th April 1949

67 years ago

Juan Manuel Fangio driving a Maserati 4CLT/48 won the Paul Grand Prix.

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Saturday 14th May 1949

67 years ago

The 1949 British Grand Prix held over 100 laps (288.870 miles) of Silverstone was won by Emmanuel de Graffenried driving a Maserati 4CLT.

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Monday 10th April 1950

66 years ago

The Pau Grand Prix, a Non-Championship Formula One motor race was held at the Pau circuit, in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France. It was the first race of the 1950 Formula One season, and was conducted on the same day as the 1950 Richmond Trophy. Maserati driver Juan Manuel Fangio won the race, contested over 110 laps, after starting from pole position. Luigi Villoresi finished second in a Ferrari, and Louis Rosier third in a Talbot-Lago.

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Monday 10th April 1950

66 years ago

The 2nd Richmond Trophy, a non-championship Formula One race held at Goodwood Circuit, West Sussex, England. It was a short race of only 11 laps and was won by Reg Parnell in a Maserati 4CLT/48.

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Sunday 21st May 1950

66 years ago

The very first multiple first lap pile-up in the World Championship took place at the Monaco Grand Prix. Waves crashing over the harbour front caught out Farina who skidded, stalled, and helplessly took out eight other cars. Juan Manuel Fangio picked his way through the wreckage to win the race by two miles! The victory was the first of the 24-Grand Prix victories in his illustrious Formula One career. Born in 1911, near Balacarce, Argentina, Fangio started his professional career as a mechanic. At age 23, he drove his first race in a converted Ford taxi that fell apart during the event. Fangio struggled early on in his career as a racer, but his passion for the sport led him to continue racing while he supported himself as a mechanic. Just before World War II, Fangio began racing a Chevrolet stock car. He won the Gran Premio Internacional del Norte, a race from Buenos Aires to Peru and back. Winning the 6,000-mile race brought Fangio instant notoriety in his home country. At 36, Juan Manuel Fangio was considered too old to race. Undeterred, he began a career as a Formula 1 driver. In 1949, his first full season, he won six times in 10 races. The next year he was invited to drive for the prestigious Alpha Romeo team. He finished second in the World Driver's Championship. The next year he won it. Fangio then bounced between the Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, and Ferrari teams en route to establishing himself as the world's best driver. He became a national hero in his adopted Italy as well as at home in Argentina. He won four World Driver's Championships in the 1950s, but his fine results do not do justice to his extraordinary talent. In 1957, the 46-year-old Fangio returned to the Maserati team. Maserati's equipment was nearly obsolete at the time, and Fangio raced with a considerable handicap. Fellow racer Phil Hill evaluated Fangio's racing ability: "With most drivers, you figure 25 percent driver, 75 percent car. With the old man, you know it's 40 percent driver, 60 percent car, so he's already got us beat with that something extra that's inside of him." The German Grand Prix that year was apt testament to Fangio's genius. Racing against the tighter Ferraris in his weak-kneed Maserati, Fangio decided not to take a full load of fuel in his car. His plan was to build a huge lead on his competitors with a lighter car, and then to pit to take on more fuel. The other cars would run the race without stopping. Fangio was 28 seconds ahead when he pitted, and 28 behind when he came out of the pits. He passed leader Mike Hawthorn on the final lap, and won the race by four seconds. Juan Manuel Fangio is often considered the most talented driver to ever race. One wonders what his career would have been like had he had the opportunity to race early in his life.

1950 Monaco Grand Prix - 'the flood'

1950 Monaco Grand Prix - 'the flood'

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Sunday 4th June 1950

66 years ago

The first World Championship pit stop fire occurred in the 1950 Swiss Grand Prix. Felice Bonetto's Maserati pressure system expoded and the whole pit was demolished. Happily no-one was injured - and Bonetto was classified fifth overall!

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Saturday 29th July 1950

66 years ago

British racing driver Joe Fry (34), a distant member of the Fry's Chocolate family died. He became the primary driver for the highly successful Shelsley Special "Freikaiserwagen", created by his cousin David Fry and Hugh Dunsterville, with help from Dick Caesar. Tragically, Fry was killed at the wheel of the Freikaiserwagen at the 1950 Blandford hillclimb, less than two months after driving a Maserati 4CL in the 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Raymond Mays said: "The death of Joe Fry, from injuries received while practicing for a Blandford hill-climb, was a great blow to me and to British motor sport in general."

Joe Fry

Joe Fry

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Monday 26th March 1951

66 years ago

The Richmond Trophy at Goodwood was won by 'Bira' in a Maserati 4CLT/48

Prince Bira of Siam

Prince Bira of Siam

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Saturday 14th July 1951

65 years ago

The British Grand Prix, contested over 90 laps of the Silverstone circuit was the first victory for José Froilán González, and was also the first of many for the Scuderia Ferrari team. Both the team and driver also achieved their first ever pole position during the weekend. José Froilán González was one second quicker than Juan Manuel Fangio in qualifying, achieving the first pole position of his career. It was also the first pole position for the Ferrari team, and the first in the World Championship (excluding the Indy 500 races) not scored by an Alfa Romeo. Nino Farina and Alberto Ascari qualified in third and fourth positions, completing the front row. González and Fangio shot away almost parallel from the front row of the grid, closely followed by the other Alfa Romeos and Ferraris. Alfa Romeo driver Felice Bonetto, who started in seventh position, was the first man at the first corner, with the Ferrari of González in second position. González took the lead from Bonetto on the second lap with Fangio chasing. The BRM cars of Reg Parnell and Peter Walker were in hot pursuit of the leaders. The team had arrived at the last minute, and had not practiced or even qualified for their debut race, and had started in 19th and 20th positions. Bonetto's Alfa Romeo team-mates of Fangio and reigning World Champion, Nino Farina, managed to overtake him to move into second and third places. On lap 6, Fangio began to close in on González; he passed him on the straight on lap 10, and slowly began to draw away. Consalvo Sanesi then pulled into the pits for fuel and new tyres. The Maserati of John James became the first retirement of the race on lap 23 with a radiator problem, but was soon joined on the sidelines by Louis Chiron, both his Maserati team-mates, the Ferrari of Alberto Ascari and Farina. Farina pulled up at Abbey curve after 75 laps with a slipping clutch and his engine on fire. He had set the lap record on lap 38, with a time of 1 minute 44 seconds, an average speed of 99.99 mph, ensuring he still left the weekend with one point. González retook the lead on lap 39 with an overtake at Becketts corner. He kept his lead for the remainder of the race (excluding one lap when he pitted just before Fangio did) extending it to 1 minute and 5 seconds with 5 laps to go, before easing off at the end of the race. The BRM drivers of Parnell and Walker were still battling on, despite the fact they were suffering from hand and feet burns, and would eventually finish fifth and seventh respectively. The Alfa Romeos of Fangio and Farina pitted twice for fuel, owing to the awful fuel consumption of their cars. They were doing 1 1/2 miles to the gallon, and needed to take on 70 gallons for every stop. Both drivers needed to stop twice, and, owing to the lengthy, minutes-long pit stops of Formula One in 1951, the more fuel efficient Ferrari of González (who only needed to make one stop) was able to overtake the Alfa Romeos and pull out a considerable lead. González eventually took his own and Ferrari's first victory in a World Championship race by 51 seconds. It was the first World Championship race (excluding the Indy 500) that was not won by an Alfa Romeo. An Alfa Romeo was still in second place though, in the form of the year's eventual champion Fangio. Luigi Villoresi became the second Ferrari on the podium after he finished in third place, two laps behind. Bonetto and Parnell were the other two point scorers at the race, finishing in fourth and fifth positions respectively. As it turned out, González had actually raced with an older chassis and engine than his team-mates, Villoresi and Ascari.

1951 British Grand Prix

1951 British Grand Prix

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Sunday 18th May 1952

64 years ago

Italian driver Piero Taruffi scored his only win in a World Championship race, driving for Ferrari, at Swiss Grand Prix was a Formula Two race held at Bremgarten Circuit. With the withdrawal of Alfa Romeo from the World Championship, Ferrari were left as the sole competitive team under the existing regulations. It was therefore decided to run the Championship to Formula Two regulations. The works Ferrari team brought three drivers to the Swiss Grand Prix, namely Farina, Taruffi and Simon. Regular Ferrari drivers Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi were both unavailable, the former due to his participation in the Indianapolis 500, and the latter because of his having had a road accident. Also running Ferraris were Rudi Fischer and Peter Hirt of Ecurie Espadon, and veteran Frenchman Louis Rosier. Gordini also had a three-car team for this race, consisting of Robert Manzon, B. Bira and the debutant Jean Behra. The HWM team, returning to the World Championship for the first time since the previous race at Bremgarten, fielded the all-British quartet of Abecassis, Collins, Macklin and Moss. Maserati had planned to enter defending World Drivers' Champion Juan Manuel Fangio and fellow Argentinian José Froilán González, but this did not come into fruition. Completing the field were the sole AFM entry of Hans Stuck and a number of privately run cars representing various constructors. Former Alfa Romeo driver Nino Farina took pole position, alongside Taruffi and Manzon on the front row of the grid. Simon and Fischer started from the second row, in front of Collins, Behra and Toulo de Graffenried, who was driving an Enrico Platé-entered Maserati. Polesitter Farina led the race until his car broke down. His Ferrari teammate assumed the lead, which he held for the remainder of the race. Moss was impressively running in third place in the early stages, behind Farina and Taruffi, before he had to stop. The main battle was between Behra and Simon, for second place (once Farina had retired). When Behra had to stop, due to his exhaust pipe having fallen off, Farina, who had taken over Simon's car, assumed second place. However, further problems meant that he once again had to retire, on lap 51, handing second to local driver Rudi Fischer. The Swiss driver took his first Championship podium, being the only driver not to be lapped by Taruffi, who took his first (and only) World Championship race victory. Behra completed the podium, taking third on debut, while Ken Wharton (fourth) and Alan Brown (fifth) took the first points finishes for Frazer Nash and Cooper, respectively.

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Sunday 3rd August 1952

64 years ago

The 18-lap German Grand Prix at Nürburgring was won by Ferrari driver Alberto Ascari after he started from pole position. His teammates Giuseppe Farina and Rudi Fischer finished in second and third places. The Maserati factory team finally appeared with their new car, the A6GCM, which was driven by Felice Bonetto. Also racing A6GCMs were the Escuderia Bandeirantes drivers Bianco and Cantoni. Ferrari once again entered the successful trio of Alberto Ascari, Nino Farina and Piero Taruffi, while there were privateer Ferrari entries for Rudi Fischer and Rudolf Schoeller of Ecurie Espadon, Roger Laurent of Ecurie Francorchamps, and Piero Carini of Scuderia Marzotto. Jean Behra returned to action for the Gordini team, having recovered from his shoulder injury. He replaced Prince Bira, and was partnered by teammates Robert Manzon and Maurice Trintignant. HWM entered three cars, with regular Peter Collins joined by the Belgian pairing of Paul Frère and Johnny Claes, while Australian Tony Gaze drove a privateer HWM. Bill Aston drove an Aston Butterworth, and the field was completed by a plethora of privateer German cars (Veritas, AFM and BMW). Ferrari were once again fastest in qualifying, with Ascari and Farina being joined on the front row of the grid by the Gordinis of Trintignant and Manzon. The remaining works Ferrari driver, Taruffi, started from the second row, alongside the Ecurie Espadon-entered Ferrari of Fischer and Paul Pietsch in a Veritas. Bonetto's works Maserati made the third row, along with the Gordini of Jean Behra, and a pair of local entrants: Hans Klenk's Veritas, and Willi Heeks in an AFM. The race turned out to be rather a processional event, with Ascari leading Farina all the way in the first 16 laps. Two laps from home, he had to dive into the pits for oil, emerging 10 seconds behind Farina-which he rattled off on the next lap, catching Farina just a mile from home to win by several seconds after an otherwise dull race. Piero Taruffi had been running in third behind his teammates, but he lost the position to Rudi Fischer towards the end of the race when he encountered problems due to his suspension breaking. Fischer's podium and Taruffi's fourth place-finish ensured that it was a Ferrari 1-2-3-4. Manzon, who had been running in fourth for much of the first half of the race, between Taruffi and Fischer, was forced to retire when a wheel fell off his car. This meant that his teammate Behra was left to take the final points in fifth position in his Gordini, ahead of Roger Laurent's Ferrari. Felice Bonetto, of the factory Maserati team, was disqualified for receiving a push start after his first lap spin. Ascari, who had taken his fourth consecutive victory, along with a fourth consecutive fastest lap, had now scored the maximum of 36 points for the season, as only a driver's four best results counted. As a result, he clinched the world championship, making him the first driver to win the championship with two races left to go.[1] The date was 3 August, the earliest anyone would claim the Championship until Jim Clark seized the crown on 1 August in 1965, also at the Nürburgring. Ascari's teammates, Taruffi and Farina, remained in second and third, respectively, in the Drivers' Championship, while Swiss driver Fischer's second podium of the season raised him up to fourth in the standings.

Alberto Ascari - Ferrari 500, 1952 German Grand Prix

Alberto Ascari - Ferrari 500, 1952 German Grand Prix

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Sunday 7th September 1952

64 years ago

José Froilán González emerged in first place at the start of Italian Grand Prix at Monza, ahead of Alberto Ascari in second. The Argentine remained in the lead for the first 36 laps of the race, until a slow pit stop allowed the Ferraris of Ascari and Luigi Villoresi to pass him for first and second, respectively. Ascari held the lead for the remainder of the race, and, in so doing, took his sixth consecutive World Championship race victory. González caught up with Villoresi and passed him to take second place in his only Championship race of the season. Villoresi completed the podium by taking his second consecutive third place finish. Farina was not far behind in fourth place, while the second Maserati of Felice Bonetto took the final points position in fifth, finishing a lap down on the leaders. The remaining works Ferraris of Andre Simon and Piero Taruffi finished in sixth and seventh place, respectively

Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi in action at the 1952 Italian GP. Both are driving Ferrari Tipo 500s.

Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi in action at the 1952 Italian GP. Both are driving Ferrari Tipo 500s.

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Sunday 22nd March 1953

64 years ago

Emmanuel de Graffenried in a Maserati A6CGM won the Syracuse F2 Grand Prix.

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Monday 6th April 1953

63 years ago

The Lavant Cup, F2 race at Goodwood was won by Emmanuel de Graffenried driving a Maserati A6CGM.

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Sunday 21st June 1953

63 years ago

A record crowd of over 100,000 spectators crammed into the forest track Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to watch the Belgium Grand Prix.The Maseratis (Juan Manuel Fangio, José Froilán González and Johnny Claes) definitely capable of matching the Ferraris ( Luigi Villoresi, Alberto Ascari, Nino Farina) sheer speed – Fangio put in a record-shattering practice lap of 117 mph, breaking Ascari's run of five consecutive pole positions (excluding the Indianapolis 500). The defending World Champion had to settle for second place on the grid this time. González completed the front row, while row two consisted of the Ferraris of Farina and Villoresi. On the third row were Marimón in a Maserati, the remaining works Ferrari of Hawthorn, and Trintignant in the leading Gordini. Toulo de Graffenried, in his own Maserati, out-qualified the fourth works Maserati of Johnny Claes, with both starting from row four, while the remaining Gordinis were split between the fifth and sixth rows of the grid. At the flag, Fangio waved González past and stunned everyone with another blitzkrieg lap of 110 mph from a standing start. After 11 laps, González had pulled out a full minute's lead, but it had taken its toll on his engine which expired, leaving Fangio half a minute clear. On lap 13, it was the other Argentine's turn to fall prey to engine troubles and so Ascari inherited the lead, initially ahead of Farina, before his race was ended by engine problems, handing second place to Hawthorn, while Marimón and Villoresi were third and fourth, respectively. Engine problems for Marimón allowed Villoresi to move up to third on lap 28, and a fuel leak for Hawthorn meant that Villoresi inherited second place on the following lap. Shortly after his own car had retired, Fangio took over Claes's, and made something of a charge through the field: before Fangio retired on lap 14, Claes had been in ninth; by lap 30, Fangio had taken the car to third, behind only Ascari and Villoresi, who took another 1–2 victory. However, Fangio crashed heavily on the final lap of the race, giving his teammate Onofre Marimón his first podium position in the process. The remaining points were taken by the privateer Maserati of de Graffenried and the Gordini of Trintignant, while Hawthorn, in sixth place, just missed out. Alberto Ascari, who had taken his ninth consecutive World Championship victory (ignoring the Indy 500), already had a large lead in the points standings. He was twelve points ahead of his teammate Villoresi, while Bill Vukovich, who won at Indianapolis, was third. González, who took the fastest lap point for this race, now had seven points, putting him eighteen points behind Ascari, and the remaining Ferraris of Farina and Hawthorn only had six points each.

Alberto Ascari, Ferrari 500, winner of the 1953 Belgian Grand Prix, Francorchamps

Alberto Ascari, Ferrari 500, winner of the 1953 Belgian Grand Prix, Francorchamps

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Sunday 5th July 1953

63 years ago

Mike Hawthorn's Ferrari beat Fangio's Maserati by just 1 second after two and three quarter hours of racing at the 1953 French Grand Prix at Reims. This was the first victory for a British driver in the World Championship. time record with a run of 4.595 seconds at Topeka, Kansas, USA.

Mike Hawthorn

Mike Hawthorn

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Sunday 23rd August 1953

63 years ago

Alberto Ascari won the Swiss Grand Prix at Brengarten driving a Ferrari 500. With his victory at this race, Ferrari driver Ascari won his second World Driver's Championship in a row; as teammates Nino Farina and Mike Hawthorn, and Maserati driver Juan Manuel Fangio (who failed to score) now could not beat Ascari's total points score.The race marked the brief return of Grand Prix-era legend Hermann Lang. He was given a chance to participate in Formula 1 racing driving for Officine Alfieri Maserati after one of their team drivers was injured. He raced in two World Drivers' Championship events overall—one in 1953 and one in 1954—and his result here, a fifth-place finish, was his best result.

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Sunday 17th January 1954

63 years ago

The Maserati 250F recorded its first racing victory as Juan Manuel Fangio won the Argentine Grand Prix in Buenos Aires - Giuseppe Farina, who finished second in a Ferrari 625, qualified for the pole position, at age 47 years, 80 days the oldest driver to accomplish this feat in a Formula 1 championship race. It was the Italian sports car manufacturer’s second victory in Formula 1, duly commemorating their 100th participation at a Grand Prix.

Juan Manuel Fangio

Juan Manuel Fangio

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Sunday 20th June 1954

62 years ago

The Belgian Grand Prix was held at Spa-Francorchamps. Despite Nino Farina having an arm in plaster after a crash in the Mille Miglia he managed to lead his Ferrari away from the start. Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati soon overtook him, but lost the lead whilst adjusting his rain visor. A frantic duel ensued, with the Argentine coming out in the lead. Farina battled furiously, but an engine blow-up cost him a chance of a race win. Juan Manuel Fangio cruised home an easy winner from Trintignant and Moss in his privately entered Maserati.

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Sunday 4th July 1954

62 years ago

The long-awaited Mercedes-Benz team arrived at the French Grand Prix with the new W196 cars for Juan-Manuel Fangio, Karl Kling and Hans Herrmann. With Giuseppe Farina out of action after an accident Gianni Lancia agreed to release Alberto Ascari to drive for Maserati, ensuring that there was an Italian driver in the race. Ferrari fielded Froilan Gonzalez, Mike Hawthorn with Maurice Trintigant. In practice Fangio was fastest from Kling with Ascari on the front row alongside the silver cars. Gonzalez shared the second row with Maserati's Onofre Marimon while Prince Bira did well in his Maserati to record a faster time than Herrmann and Hawthorn. Ascari's race was short as he retired with transmission failure during the first lap which left Fangio and Kling to run away with the race. There was a lively battle for third place with Hawthorn battling with Marimon before he had to retire. The Argentine also had to stop for a change of plugs and dropped to the tail of the field and so Prince Bira battled with Jean Behra's Gordini and Trintigant's Ferrari. Behra made a mistake and went off and Trintigant lost time trying to avoid his countryman and so Bira was able to escape but on the final lap he ran out of fuel and was overtaken by Robert Manzon in a Ferrari who had inherited fourth place when Trintignant went out with engine trouble.

Start of the 1954 French Grand Prix

Start of the 1954 French Grand Prix

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Friday 30th July 1954

62 years ago

George Lister in Cambridge, England founded Lister Cars. Inspired by Cooper, he used a tubular ladder chassis, de Dion rear axle, and inboard drum brakes. Like others, he used a tuned MG engine and stock gearbox. It made its debut at the British Empire Trophy at Oulton Park in 1954, with former MG pilot Archie Scott Brown at the wheel. Later, Lister swapped in a Moore-tuned Bristol two-litre engine and knockoff wire wheels in place of the MG's discs to improve performance. For the sports car race supporting the 1954 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Scott Brown won the two-litre class and placed fifth overall behind only works Aston Martins. In 1955, a handful of Lister-Bristols were built with a new body built by an ex-Bristol employee with the aid of a wind tunnel. Despite its new fins and strakes, it was less successful than the original Lister-Bristol of 1954. Lister moved up to a six-cylinder motor from a Formula 2 Maserati A6GCS for their own car, while customers continued to receive the Bristol motor, sold for ₤3900. Lister also attempted single-seater racing with a multi-tube chassis powered by a Coventry-Climax motor and using an MG gearbox, but the car was a failure. For 1957, Lister redesigned the car around a Jaguar D-type inline-six, with an aerodynamic aluminium body; it was tested by racing journalist John Bolster, performing a 0–100 mph (0–160 km/h) run in 11.2 seconds. Driver Archie Scott Brown won the 1957 British Empire Trophy in the new Lister-Jaguar. Refined again in 1958, the Lister-Jaguar entered international competitions. Brown was killed that season when he crashed the Lister-Jaguar at Spa-Francorchamps. Lister also developed another single-seater car based on the Lister-Jaguar, for use in the unique Race of Two Worlds at Monza. Cars from this era are affectionately known as the "Lister Knobbly" cars, due to their curved bodywork. For 1959, Lister hired aerodynamicist Frank Costin who produced entirely new bodywork built around a new Chevrolet Corvette powerplant. However, the front-engine layout of the new Lister-Chevrolet was quickly eclipsed by the rear-engine layout of the new Cooper sports car. By the end of 1959, Lister withdrew from competition, although production of sports cars continued for customers. In 1963 Brian Lister was chosen by the Rootes Group to prepare the Sunbeam Tiger for the prototype category of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Ford V8-powered Tiger was still in the early stages of development while Lister were constructing the chassis at the Jensen factory. Lister beefed up the suspension and brakes, added an aerodynamic fastback hardtop with a more sloping windscreen and a Kamm tail. The 260 cu in (4,300 cc) Ford V8 engine was tuned by Carroll Shelby to give it 275 hp (205 kW) instead of the stock 160 hp (120 kW). The cars were designed with a top speed of 170 mph (270 km/h), but were developed in too short a time frame and both suffered engine failures. Rootes later received a refund for the engines. The two cars and one prototype mule still exist. The Lister company returned in 1986 as Lister Cars Ltd. based in Leatherhead, Surrey, with engineer Laurence Pearce tuning approximately 90 Jaguar XJSs, improving their capable top speed to over 200 mph and with an asking price of over £100,000. Success at this endeavour led the company to design a new sports racer, the Lister Storm. Launched in 1993, it would use the largest V12 engine ever fitted to a production road car up to that time, a 7.0 L Jaguar unit. The Storm was later developed for motorsport in various guises, winning the FIA GT Championship in 2000. Lister later developed a bespoked Le Mans Prototype, the Storm LMP in 2003. Brian Lister died in December 2014 aged 88.

Lister Jaguar Costin

Lister Jaguar Costin

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Saturday 31st July 1954

62 years ago

Onofre Marimon (30) died during practice for the 1954 German Grand Prix, becoming the first driver to be fatally injured at a World Championship Grand Prix. Marimon's Maserati left the Nürburgring race course at the Wehrseifen curve after he lost control attempting to improve his qualifying time. He died at the bottom of a steep and treacherous incline. Travelling fast on an incline he failed to negotiate a sharp turn at the bottom. Marimon hit a ditch, his Maserati shearing off a tree and rolling over a number of times. He was pinned underneath the car as it came to rest on its top with the wheels spinning in the air. Marimon was given the last rites by a priest before dying a few minutes after rescue workers freed him. It was thought that his braking unit failed.

Onofre Marimon

Onofre Marimon

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Sunday 1st August 1954

62 years ago

The German Grand Prix at Nürburgring was won by 1951 World Champion, Juan Manuel Fangio driving a Mercedes-Benz W196. Ferrari 625 drivers Mike Hawthorn (in a shared drive with José Froilán González) and Maurice Trintignant finished second and third, respectively, for Scuderia Ferrari. The race was lengthened from 18 to 22 laps, bringing the German Grand Prix up to the approximately 500 kilometre race distance used by the majority of Formula One Grands Prix at the time. Mercedes had brought to the Nürburgring their new open-wheeled version of the W196 for Fangio, Kling and Hermann Lang (in a one-off drive) after Mercedes's defeat at Silverstone in their streamlined cars. Hans Herrmann drove a streamlined W196s. Qualifying saw Fangio take pole position from Hawthorn, but practice was marred by the death of official Maserati driver Onofre Marimón. Going into the Wehrseifen slight right hand/sharp left hand turn, Marimón's Maserati 250F failed to negotiate the corner while going down the downhill run to the corner, plunged down an embankment, the car somersaulted and he was killed instantly. Marimón's team mate Luigi Villoresi withdrew from the race, as did Owen Racing entered Maserati of Ken Wharton but the team's third car for Sergio Mantovani made the race start. Stirling Moss qualified third in his privately entered Maserati 250F ahead of Hans Herrmann (Mercedes-Benz W196s), Gonzalez and Paul Frère (Gordini T16). Fangio and Karl Kling led the way in their two Mercedes. Hawthorn was an early retirement with a broken axle as were Moss, Frère and privateer Maserati driver Roberto Mieres. Hermann Lang, one of the pre-war stars of the Mercedes 'silver arrows' spun out of his final Grand Prix appearance after ten laps. Gonzalez started and was running third but was so upset by Marimón's death he was called in after 16 laps to hand over to Hawthorn, who set off in pursuit of the Mercedes. He moved into second when Kling pitted and pursued Fangio relentlessly. Late in the race, drizzle forced him to slow and he held second from Trintignant. Kling finished fourth ahead of Mantovani, the last driver to travel the full race distance, getting some points for a saddened Maserati. Kling claimed the fastest lap point. Just ten of the 23 qualifiers finished the grueling race. With an elapsed time of 3 hours 45 minutes 45.8 seconds this was the longest (non Indy 500) F1 championship race in history, until the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, which lasted just over four hours. The win pushed Fangio further ahead in the championship, now to the point where he had more than double the points of his nearest rival Gonzalez. A win in the next race at the Swiss Grand Prix could wrap up his second championship.

A packed grandstand watches Juan Manuel Fangio at the German Grand Prix in 1954.

A packed grandstand watches Juan Manuel Fangio at the German Grand Prix in 1954.

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Monday 11th April 1955

61 years ago

Roy Salvador won the Glover Trophy at Goodwood driving a Maserati 250F.

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Monday 11th April 1955

61 years ago

The Pau Grand Prix held in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, southwestern France was won by Jean Behra driving a Maserati 250F. Italian Mario Alborghetti died during the race; his death announced spectators after the race.

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Monday 25th April 1955

61 years ago

The IV Grand Prix de Bordeaux was won by Jean Behra driving a Maserati 250F.

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Sunday 19th June 1955

61 years ago

Despite a track made slippery by continuous drizzle, the record crowd were treated to some outstanding driving as the masters slid their machines through the sand-dunes at the Dutch Grand Prix held at Zandvoort. The 100-lap race was won by Mercedes driver Juan Manuel Fangio after he started from pole position. His teammate Stirling Moss finished second and Maserati driver Luigi Musso came in third. Fangio and Moss again took up the lead with Musso's Maserati in pursuit. Kling and Behra were chasing furiously until the German spun into the sand and retired. Mieres then took up the challenge, passing Behra and closing the gap.However, Musso was too far ahead and was even catching the Mercedes pair who were having to go at full pelt to keep ahead. It was only when he spun off and dropped back that they could relax slightly. It was another impressive 1-2 for them, despite Moss sustaining a smoking engine late on in the race. Musso had given them a hard challenge and Fangio was the first to congratulate him on his podium finish.

1955 Dutch Grand Prix

1955 Dutch Grand Prix

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Saturday 30th July 1955

61 years ago

The London Trophy at Crystal Palace was won by Mike Hawthorn driving a Maserati 250F. The race comprised two heats each of 10 laps, followed by a final of 15 laps and then the Club Trophy Consolation Race of 10 laps.

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Friday 25th November 1955

61 years ago

Stirling Moss and Peter Collins concluded a week of testing BRMs at Silverstone aimed at helping Moss make a decision as to which team he would drive for in 1956. "After their success in a Mercedes in the Targa Florio, the pair decided they would race in the same team," reported the Times, but it the end Moss accepted an offer from Maserati while Collins joined Ferrari.

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Saturday 7th January 1956

61 years ago

The New Zealand Grand Prix run over 100 laps of the 2 mile Ardmore was won by Stirling Moss in a Maserati 250F.

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Sunday 22nd January 1956

61 years ago

The story of Luigi Musso's first Grand Prix victory is a curious one. Taking an early lead in the 1956 Argentine Grand Prix, he fell back behind Oscar Gonzalez, Carlos Menditeguy, Stirling Moss and Eugenio Castellotti. Meanwhile Ferrari team-leader Juan Manel Fangio encountered mechanical problems and was forced to retire on lap 23. In those days the rules allowed drivers to switch to another car during the race and so Musso was ordered to the Ferrari pit to hand over his car to Fangio. And the maestro put in one of his startling drives closing in on Moss' Maserati which was trailing oil. After two-thirds of the distance Fangio overtook the Brit and, despite a quick spin, took the win for himself and, of course, for the delighted debut winner Luigi Musso. The two drivers shared the 8 points!

Luigi Musso

Luigi Musso

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Sunday 22nd April 1956

60 years ago

Stirling Moss, in a privately entered Maserati 250F, won the Aintree 200, a non-championship Formula One race.

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Sunday 13th May 1956

60 years ago

Stirling Moss driving a Maserati 250F, starting from the middle of the front row, took the lead at Gasworks on the first lap and led every lap of the Monaco Grand Prix. On lap 86 Perdisa’s brakes locked when being lapped by Moss, the resulting contact caused Moss’ bonnet to lift allowing second placed Fangio to close the gap by two seconds each lap but Moss won with a 6 second cushion.

Stirling Moss

Stirling Moss

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Sunday 20th January 1957

60 years ago

A Ferrari driven by Cesare Perdisa, Masten Gregory, Eugenio Castellotti and Luigi Musso won the Argentine 1000 Kilometers World Sports Car Championship race on the Costanera circuit. The four drivers covered the 1000 km in 6 hours, 10 minutes. The talk of the race was the V8 Maserati and Stirling Moss built a huge lead in the car before handing over to Juan Fangio. The then four time World Champion proceeded to lap all but Castellotti, only to retire with clutch failure.

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Tuesday 29th January 1957

60 years ago

Stirling Moss teamed with local hero Carlos Menditeguy in a 3.0 litre Maserati to win the Argentine 1000 Kilometers World Sports Car race. The race was a battle between Ferrari and Maserati teams since the Jaguar and Aston Martin teams did not enter the event. The 4.9 liter Ferrari Bolidos of Peter Collins/Luigi Musso and Juan Fangio/Eugenio Castellotti led, but both chewed up their rear axles, forcing retirement.

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Thursday 14th March 1957

60 years ago

World preview of the Maserati 3500GT 2+2 seater sports coupé at the Geneva Motor Show, that also saw the launch of the Ferrari 250TR.

Maserati 3500GT

Maserati 3500GT

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Monday 22nd April 1957

59 years ago

Jean Behra in a Maserati 250F won the Pau Grand Prix run over 110 laps of the Pau temporary street circuit in France.

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Sunday 7th July 1957

59 years ago

Juan Manuel Fangio won the French Grand Prix in a Maserati 250F. The shared drive of Mike MacDowel (30 laps) and Jack Brabham (38 laps) in a Cooper-Climax came in seventh.

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Sunday 4th August 1957

59 years ago

The Argentine racing driver Juan Manual Fangio won the German Grand Prix at Nürburgring to clinch his record-breaking fifth, and last, world title. The race was also the 24th and last Grand Prix win of his career, at the time a record. Unlike the other drivers Fangio started the race with the fuel tank of his Maserati half full. He drove carefully until the halfway stage at which point he refuelled. He came out of the pits with a deficit of 45 seconds to make up. The 46 year old proceeded to break the track record in lap after lap, eventually overhauling the race leaders to take the chequered flag.

Juan Manuel Fangio

Juan Manuel Fangio

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Sunday 17th November 1957

59 years ago

Carroll Shelby, best known by many for his Shelby Cobras and his modified Mustangs, drove John Edgar's Maserati 450S to victory in an SCCA National race at Riverside, California, USA.

Carroll Shelby

Carroll Shelby

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Sunday 19th January 1958

59 years ago

The crowd's expectation for the 1958 Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina was to see local hero Juan Manuel Fangio demolish the gringo opposition, as the man from Balcarce had done so often in the past. However, victory went to one of his former teams-mates in a car that the incredulous Argentine public attending the race would only describe as 'the thing'. The season-opener in Buenos Aires saw a rather tiny grid of just ten cars lining up for the 1958 Argentine GP. A number of teams dreaded the long trip to South America because the introduction of Avgas as the only allowed fuel by regulation had caused serious problems on some engines. Among those refusing to face the long and costly trip, fearing engine failure as the outcome, was the Vanwall works-team, so Stirling Moss made a one-off arrangement with Rob Walker to drive one of his Cooper Climax. What looked like a silly idea at first, the literally powerful opposition of Ferrari and Maserati lapping two seconds quicker in qualifying, dropping Moss down to 7th on the grid, would pay out in the end. Pole-sitter and local hero Juan Manuel Fangio led from the start with Moss already in 5th by the end of the first lap. The expected heat was causing all sorts of problems for the heavier and more powerful cars upfront and their drivers were forced to pit for new tires and to catch a drink. Moss and Walker had discussed a different strategy. Not only needed they to recover the lack of pace to the leaders, a pit stop to change tires would take far too long due to the Cooper's four studded cast alloy wheels. So the Brit simply kept an eye on his tires, treating them gently and as the race progressed, the Cooper's lightweight chassis helped to limit tire wear. While the front-runners went into the pits for their scheduled stops Stirling simply kept going. He moved into the lead, was way ahead of the opposition and crossed the line first in his tiny Cooper-Climax as the first driver ever to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix at the wheel of a rear engined car.

Gran Premio de Argentina 1958

Gran Premio de Argentina 1958

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Sunday 26th January 1958

59 years ago

Ferrari and Porsche were the only European teams on hand for the "Argentine 1000 Kilometers", the first World Sports Car Championship race run under 3.0 litre regulations and opening round of the 1958 campaign. The Ferrari of Peter Collins and Phil Hill led from start to finish. Five time F1 World Champion Juan Fangio tried to take the lead at one point, but overdid it and crashed the privateer Maserati he was sharing with Francesco Godia-Sales. Luigi Musso's Ferrari had steering failure on lap 1, but the other Ferrari of Wolfgang von Trips and Olivier Gendebien went on to finish 2nd. Stirling Moss and Jean Behra drove their 1.6 liter Porsche to third. Collins and Hill covered the 1000km in 6 hours, 19 minutes, 55 seconds, averaging 98.57 mph.

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Saturday 14th June 1958

58 years ago

The Belgian Grand Prix was was held at Spa-Francorchamps, over 24 laps of the 14 kilometre circuit for a race distance of 339 kilometres.The Belgian Grand Prix returned to the calendar after being off the calendar the year previous, and the 8.7 mile Spa circuit had been slightly modified. The pits had been rebuilt, the pit straight had been widened and straightened and the entire track had been resurfaced. The race distance had been shortened from 36 to 24 laps. The race was won by British driver Tony Brooks in a Vanwall. It was Brooks first solo Grand Prix victory after his car won the 1957 British Grand Prix in a shared driver with Stirling Moss. Brooks finished 20 seconds ahead of fellow Briton Mike Hawthorn driving a Ferrari 246 F1. Brooks' Vanwall team mate Stuart Lewis-Evans finished third in a career-best finish, the first of just two podium finishes to his short Grand Prix career. The race also marked the first World Championship race start (and finish) by a woman, Maria Teresa de Filippis driving her privately entered Maserati 250F. She finished tenth and last, two laps behind Brooks' Vanwall. On the last lap, Tony Brooks came out of La Source to end the race, and his gearbox seized as he crossed the line. When Mike Hawthorn was coming out of the same corner to end his race in second, his engine failed as he was coming to the finish line. Stuart Lewis-Evans's suspension collapsed on the way into La Source, and he crawled to the line in third.

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Sunday 15th June 1958

58 years ago

The Belgian Grand Prix was held at Spa-Francorchamps over 24 laps of the 14 kilometre circuit for a race distance of 339 kilometres.The race was won by British driver Tony Brooks in a Vanwall. It was Brooks first solo Grand Prix victory after his car won the 1957 British Grand Prix in a shared driver with Stirling Moss. Brooks finished 20 seconds ahead of fellow Briton Mike Hawthorn driving a Ferrari 246 F1. Brooks' Vanwall team mate Stuart Lewis-Evans finished third in a career-best finish, the first of just two podium finishes to his short Grand Prix career. The race also marked the first World Championship race start (and finish) by a woman, Maria Teresa de Filippis driving her privately entered Maserati 250F. She finished tenth and last, two laps behind Brooks' Vanwall.

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Sunday 24th August 1958

58 years ago

Stirling Moss led home Mike Hawthorn and Stuart Lewis-Evans for a British 1-2-3 at the Portuguese Grand Prix. Mike Hawthorn was at first disqualified during this race, losing seven points. However, Championship rival Stirling Moss had seen the incident which caused the disqualification and went to the judges to revert the decision since he felt Hawthorn had done nothing wrong. Eventually, Hawthorn was classified and retained his seven points. Maria Teresa de Filippis became the the first woman ever to compete in Formula One racing, when she drove a Maserati at Oporto, but was forced to quit the race due to engine troubles.

Maria Teresa de Filippis with Stirling Moss

Maria Teresa de Filippis with Stirling Moss

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Saturday 1st August 1959

57 years ago

Jean Behra (38) was killed driving for Porsche in a Formula 2 support race at the German Grand Prix. Behra could have been France's first title winner, but despite having the talent never won a world championship grand prix. A fighter in the Gilles Villeneuve mould, with courage and car control to spare, he became a national hero leading the Gordini team after winning the non-championship Grand Prix de la Marne at Reims in 1952.His days with Maserati were only slightly less frustrating. In 1955, he had little chance against the all-conquering Mercedes W196s, then played second fiddle to superstar team-mates Stirling Moss and then Juan Manuel Fangio in 1956 and 1957. Punching Ferrari team manager Romolo Tavoni after retiring on his Ferrari debut in 1959 was a bad career move, and he was promptly sacked. A few weeks later, he was killed after being thrown from his Porsche RSK and hitting a flagpole during a sportscar race at Avus

Jean Behra

Jean Behra

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Sunday 31st January 1960

57 years ago

Phil Hill and Cliff Allison teamed to give Ferrari another easy 1-2 victory in the Argentine 1000 Kilometers World Sports Car Championship race. Richie Ginther and Wolfgang von Trips placed second in another Ferrari. Driving a 2.8 litre Maserati entered by "Lucky" Casner, Dan Gurney and Masten Gregory led the first 32 laps and turned the fastest race lap. Though no match for the Ferraris, the Porsche RSK entries performed well with the Jo Bonnier/Graham Hill entry finishing third.

Phil Hill

Phil Hill

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Saturday 27th February 1960

57 years ago

Racer Ettore Chimeri (35) was killed during a practice run for the Cuban Sports Car Grand Prix, after his Ferrari 250TR crashed through barriers and plunged 150 feet into a ravine. He participated in one Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, the 1960 Argentine Grand Prix on 7 February 1960, in his Maserati 250F (a car he owned, previously raced by Juan Manuel Fangio and Francisco Godia, prepared in Venezuela and sold to an Italian buyer sometime after his death) failing to finish the race having experienced electrical problems. He scored no championship points.

Ettore Chimeri

Ettore Chimeri

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Saturday 26th March 1960

57 years ago

Porsches finished 1-2 in the Sebring 12 Hour World Sports Car Championship race, with the duo of Olivier Gendebien and Hans Herrman coming home first. The Casner Camoradi Maserati entry of Dan Gurney/Stirling Moss built a huge lead before breaking the rear axle with 4 hours to go. The Ferraris and Corvettes performed poorly. The winners covered 1,019 miles in the winning 1.5 liter Porsche, averaging 84.92 mph.

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Sunday 3rd April 1960

56 years ago

Carrol Shelby drove a Birdcage Maserati to victory in the Los Angeles Examiner Herald-Express International Grand Prix at Riverside, California, US.

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Saturday 9th April 1960

56 years ago

Jack Hinkle, driving a Maserati Tipo 60, won the preliminary race of the Carrera del Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

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Sunday 15th May 1960

56 years ago

Walt Hansgen beat Gus Andrey when their Maserati Tipo 61s, better known as Birdcage Maseratis, finished first and second in the Modified Class in the SCCA National event at Cumberland, Maryland.

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Sunday 16th October 1960

56 years ago

Bill Krauss drove a Maserati Tip 61 to victory in the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix sports car race at Riverside, California, USA.

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Sunday 11th December 1960

56 years ago

Jim Hall, driving a Maserati Tipo 61, won the feature race at Las Vegas, Nevada, US.

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Saturday 25th March 1961

56 years ago

Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien won the Sebring 12 Hour World Sports Car Championship race in a works Ferrari. Masten Gregory led early in a rear-engined Camoradi Maserati before Pedro & Ricardo Rodriguez took over in a Ferrari. Stops put the Ferrari Dino of Wolfgang von Trips out front, but his steering broke to move the Rodriguez' brothers back into the lead. Defective rear lights cost the Rodriguez's badly after dark, giving the lead to Hill/Gendebien.

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Sunday 30th April 1961

55 years ago

Walt Hansgen led a Maserati 1-2-3 finish in the SCCA National sports car event at Virginia International Raceway in Danville, Virginia, USA.

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Sunday 28th May 1961

55 years ago

"Lucky" Casner and Masten Gregory drove the Camoradi Maserati Tipo 61 to victory in the 1000 kilometre sports car race on the Nuburgring in Germany using only one set of tyres.

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Saturday 5th August 1961

55 years ago

Walt Hansgen drove a Maserati Tipo 63 V12 to victory in the SCCA National event at Bridgehampton, New York, US.

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Sunday 28th January 1962

55 years ago

Alan Connell, driving a Ferrari-engined Maserati Tipo 61, won a SCCA National sports car race in Daytona, Florida, USA

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Sunday 10th June 1962

54 years ago

Jack Hinkle drove a Maserati Tipo 61 "Birdcage" to victory in a sports car race at Ponca City, Oklahoma, US.

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Sunday 22nd July 1962

54 years ago

Bill Krause won a sports car race in Pomona, California, US driving a Maserati Birdcage. Jack McAfee, in his last race, finishes second in a Porsche RSK.

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Saturday 1st September 1962

54 years ago

Bill Krause drove a Maserati Tipo 61 "Birdcage" to victory in a sports car race in Santa Barbara, California, US.

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Sunday 4th August 1963

53 years ago

Count Agusta purchased O.S.C.A. from the Maserati brothers.

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Wednesday 30th October 1963

53 years ago

The 350 GTV, Lamborghini's first prototype design and forerunner of the later 350GT, the marque's first production model, was unveiled at the Turin Auto Show. Lamborghini had not completed the prototype in time for the deadline, and the 350 GTV was presented with a crate of ceramic tiles in place of an engine. Lamborghini's first car was not particularly well received, and only one GTV was ever completed. In 1964 a drastically redesigned 350GT capable of achieving 155mph with a maximum 320hp went into production, and Lamborghini managed to sell over 100 of the expensive cars. The elegant Lamborghini 350GT provided a smoother ride than most of its Ferrari counterparts, and Lamborghini’s old tractor factory, located just a few miles from the Ferrari factory, began constructing some of the most desirable cars the world had ever seen, such as the Miura, the Espada, and the legendary Countach. The Maserati ‘Tip 107’ Quattroporte was also unveiled at the Turin Motor Show joining two other notable grand tourers, the Facel Vega and the Lagonda Rapide, which could comfortably do 200 km/h (124 mph) on the new motorways of Europe. However, the Quattroporte was the first car specifically designed for this purpose.

Lamborghini 350GTV

Lamborghini 350GTV

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Wednesday 30th October 1963

53 years ago

The Maserati Quattroporte was unveiled. The name translated from Italian literally means "four doors". Regular production began in 1964. The Quattroporte joined two other grand tourers, the Facel Vega and the Lagonda Rapide, capable of traveling at 200 km/h (124 mph) on the new motorways in Europe. It was equipped with a 4.1-litre (4,136 cc or 252 cu in) V8 engine, producing 260 hp (194 kW; 264 PS) DIN at 5,000 rpm, and either a five-speed ZF manual transmission or a three-speed Borg Warner automatic on request. Maserati claimed a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph). The car was also exported to the United States, where federal regulations mandated twin round headlamps in place of the single rectangular ones found on European models. There have been six generations of this car, with the first introduced in 1963, and the current model launched in 2013.

Maserati Quattroporte

Maserati Quattroporte

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Tuesday 7th January 1964

53 years ago

Reginald Harold Haslam Parnell (52), Formula One driver and team manager from England died. Parnell successfully raced a private Maserati 4CLT/48 and an E-Type ERA which led to an invitation to drive for the Alfa Romeo team in the very first World Championship Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1950, finishing third and later winning the Silverstone International Trophy in 1951, he was also a test driver for BRM and their V16 project. He later became the team manager for Aston Martin and oversaw the famous 1-2 at Le Mans in 1959 when Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby led home Maurice Trintignant and Paul Frere. Parnell then led the team into F1 but at the end of 1960 the programme was abandoned. 1962 saw the formation of the Reg Parnell Racing Team taking Lola into Grand Prix racing. He died at the age of just 53 due to a thrombosis after a routine appendix operation.

Reg Parnell

Reg Parnell

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Sunday 3rd April 1966

50 years ago

Battista "Pinin" Farina (72), founder of the Pininfarina coachbuilding company, and synonymous with some of the best-known classic Italian sports cars, died. At the age of 12, he began working beside his brother; five years later, when Giovanni set up his own shop, Stablimenti Industriali Farina S.A., to repair and build automobile bodies, young Pinin followed him as an apprentice. In spite of his youth, Farina was put in charge of design, which is how he came to meet Agnelli and win the older man's respect. His curiosity took him across the sea to America, where he met Henry Ford. He was offered a job with the Ford Motor Company, but chose to return to Italy, carrying with him an appreciation for the free enterprise system and the creativity it inspired. Farina took up racing, to the consternation of his wife and mother, and in 1921 drove his own car to victory in the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo race, beating prepared race cars and setting a course record that would stand for 11 years. It was during his racing days that he met a number of influential people, among them Vincenzo Lancia.In 1930, Farina decided the time had come to set out on his own. With the support of Lancia and a wealthy aunt, he opened a shop on Corso Trapani in Turin, and hired 100 employees. Already well known by his childhood nickname, he christened his new business Carrozzeria Pinin Farina, and chose as its emblem the familiar rectangle with a lower-case "f" (for "Farina") set off by red triangles in the upper left and lower right corners and topped with a crown.His plan was to construct custom bodies to order, as well as to produce small runs of six to a dozen examples of special models that he would sell directly to the public. Much of the carrozzeria's earliest work was on Italian chassis-those of his friend Lancia, as well as Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Isotta Fraschini and others. Farina's earliest designs were well-proportioned, conservative efforts in the Italian style, with heavy emphasis on unbroken horizontal lines. Intent on expanding the influence of the coachbuilder on chassis design, he persuaded Vincenzo Lancia that his radiators should be tilted back in the aerodynamic style then being pioneered in Europe. As his style developed, he would often be influenced by his peers, finding inspiration in Pontiac's Silver Streaks, Gordon Buehrig's Cord 812, and the Grand Prix cars of Mercedes-Benz. By 1939, he had 500 workers and was producing two cars per day. After World War II, when the Paris Auto Show barred him from participating as a citizen of a former Axis power, Farina and his son, Sergio, were audacious enough to drive two new cars, an Alfa Romeo Sport 2500 and a Lancia Aprilia cabriolet, to Paris, parking the cars outside the entrance to the motor show. "This devil Farina has opened his own personal anti-salon," grumbled the French press, but the crowds loved the cars.It was after the war that Farina was able to design what many consider his masterwork, and one of the most influential designs of all time, the Cisitalia 202 coupe of 1947. He had been involved in the design of the chassis from the beginning, and was able to realize many of his long-held dreams, including the horizontal radiator and seamless integration of the fenders with the body sides. Immortality arrived quickly; in 1951, the Museum of Modern Art in New York named the Cisitalia one of the ten great automotive designs of all time, and put the car on display. The company grew and prospered through the 1950s. Carrozzeria Pinin Farina now could not only design models for major manufacturers, but could build them in quantity as well. He created models based on the Lancia Aurelia, Alfa Romeo 1900 and 6C2500, Fiat 1100, and Maserati A6; he designed the 1952 Ambassador for Nash, and the Nash-Healey sports car as well. Designs for the British Motor Corporation and Peugeot flew off his drawing board. In 1958, he relocated the company to a larger site at Grugliasco, outside Turin. Of course, the single marque most closely associated with Farina is Ferrari, and it is probably inevitable that he and his fellow Italian, Enzo, would meet. Sergio has said that both men were too stubborn to visit the other's factories, and that their first meeting was at a restaurant midway between Turin and Maranello. Did Enzo really give Farina one minute to decide whether he would work for Ferrari or for Maserati? If that often-told story isn't true, it certainly could be. In 1961, by decree of the president of Italy, he was granted the last name Pininfarina, to recognize his industrial and social contributions to the nation. He turned control of the company over to his son, Sergio, and his son-in-law, Renzo Carli, and devoted his later years to travel, filmmaking, and cultural and charitable works. Among his many honors, he received the key to the city of Detroit

Battista

Battista "Pinin" Farina

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Thursday 3rd November 1966

50 years ago

The Maserati Ghibli, a two-door, two-seater coupe debuted at the Turin Motor Show. The V8-powered Ghibli was the most popular Maserati vehicle since the automaker withdrew from racing in the 1950s, and it outsold its two biggest rivals, the Ferrari Daytona and the Lamborghini Miura. The Ghibli's steel body, renowned for its low, shark-shaped nose, was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. Giugiaro, who today works for ItalDesign, worked at coachbuilder Ghia when he designed the Ghibli. The car was powered by a front-placed quad-cam 370hp V8 engine. It had a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 6.8 seconds, had a top speed of 154 mph and could be operated by either a five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. Maserati fitted the car with two fuel tanks, which could be filled via flaps on either side of the roof pillars. The car also featured pop-up headlamps, leather sport seats and alloy wheels.

Maserati Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli

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Monday 11th September 1967

49 years ago

Peter Monteverdi introduced his first automobile, the Monteverdi 375 S High Speed, at the Frankfurt Automobile Show. The car used a heavy and simple steel frame provided by Stahlbau Muttenz GmbH with an aluminium body designed by Pietro Frua. It looked quite similar to other Frua creations of that time, particularly the Maserati Mistral Coupé and the British AC 428. There are rumours that all the three shared some details like windows etc. The elegant looking car was powered by a 440c.i. (7.2 Litre) Chrysler V8 engine delivering up to 375 bhp (according to SAE standards) and had a luxurious interior finished to the highest standards. Eleven copies of the Frua-designed Monteverdi coupé were built from 1968 to 1969, then the alliance of Monteverdi and Frua split in anger. Not long before, Frua had built two 2+2 coupés with a stretched wheelbase. One of them was presented as Monteverdi 375/L, the other one stayed for some years at Frua before, in 1971, it was slightly modified and sold to AC where it was presented as a one-off AC 428.

Monteverdi 375 S High Speed

Monteverdi 375 S High Speed

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Monday 4th November 1968

48 years ago

Grand Prix driver, Horace Gould (50) died. Gould was a burly motor trader from Bristol who graduated from a Cooper-Bristol to the ex-Prince Bira Maserati 250F and then a newer version of the same model. The resourceful Gould based himself for much of the racing season at Modena, scrounging odds and ends from the Maserati factory parts bin. He was an indefatigable, larger-than-life personality with enormous enthusiasm and determination to surmount any setback. He survived to retire from racing, dying some years later from a heart attack.

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Thursday 11th March 1971

46 years ago

Maserati launched the Bora, a two-seater, mid-engined Grand Tourer at the Geneva Motor Show. Produced from 1971 to 1978, it had a top speed of 171 miles per hour (275 km/h). Classified as a supercar, it is considered by some to be the pinnacle of Maserati performance. Other vehicles unveiled at the show included the Citroen SM, Lamborhini Countach, and Monteverdi 375.

Maserati Bora

Maserati Bora

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Sunday 11th June 1972

44 years ago

International race driver Joakim Bonnier (42) died. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, he was a wealthy gentleman driver of the competitive kind and a very likable personality, Jo Bonnier started in Formula 1 in 1957 with a Maserati and his greatest claim to fame was to claim BRM's maiden Grand Prix victory at Zandvoort in 1959. He continued as a GP regular in private entries, although with decreasing success, and was one of the driving forces behind the Grand Prix Drivers' Association. He was also highly competitive in endurance racing winning the Targa Florio twice (1960 and 1962) and the 1962 Sebring 12 Hours race. He was killed at age 41 while participating in the 1972 Le Mans 24 hours race when his private Lola-Cosworth T280 took off after colliding with Swiss amateur Florian Vetsch's Ferrari Daytona and was shattered in the trees on the roadside.

Joakim Bonnier

Joakim Bonnier

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Wednesday 20th December 1972

44 years ago

Adolfo Orsi (84), Italian industrialist, known for owning the Maserati marque, died. In the late 1920s he started his own business as scrap iron, steel mill and farm equipment manufacturer, eventually employing hundreds of people from Modena and the surrounding area. Orsi soon started pursuing interests outside of the company, including running the trolley company of Moden, and being involved with the local soccer team, Modena F.C. in its successful early years. With his brother, Marcello, he was also involved in a Fiat dealership, the Fiat A.M. Orsi (1935). In 1937 Orsi bought the financially troubled Maserati company, employing his son, Omar Orsi, as managing director; three of the Maserati Brothers were retained on ten-year contracts on the engineering team (1937–47). In 1940 Orsi moved the Maserati headquarters from Bologna to Modena, near the premises of his steel plants and spark plug manufacturing company, Fonderie Riunite. In 1949, with Maserati temporarily closed for restructuring, a steel mill workers' strike action following Orsi's refusal to hire communist workers resulted in a series of hard encounters on 9 June 1950, leaving a few protesters dead.[5] When the foundries were reopened in 1952, Orsi decided to sell the company, splitting it with his siblings. Adolfo kept the Maserati car manufacturing business, his brother Marcello kept the foundries, and their sister Ida Orsi took charge of the motorbike manufacturing (the Società Anonima Fabbrica Candele Accumulatori Maserati, 1953–60). The 1950s proved to be a successful decade for Maserati. Orsi hired his brother in-law Alceste Giacomazzi as new general director, and succeeded in luring Ferrari employee Alberto Massimino to Maserati (1944–52), as well as hiring the Argentine driver ace Juan Manuel Fangio (1953). Fangio went on winning the Formula One World Championship for Maserati in 1954 and 1957. In 1954 Orsi made a lucrative deal with Juan Perón when the motor racing enthusiast president of Argentina placed a large order for machine tools to be imported in his country. However, following the Revolución Libertadora and the exile of Perón, receiving payments for the order turned out to be problematic. Orsi encountered similar issues with the Spanish government, and the ensuing financial problems resulted in Maserati entering administration.[6] The remnants of Maserati was handled by the creditor, Credito Italiano. Orsi remained active within the management of Maserati until 1968, when he decided to sell his remaining shares to Citroen, who at the time was a major stakeholder.

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Saturday 24th February 1973

44 years ago

Two breeds of AMC Gremlin appeared in the 1973 Chicago Auto Show, including one fitted with the new "Levi's" interior. The Levi's edition featured seats and door panels in blue spun nylon, with copper rivets to resemble the familiar blue jeans. Nothing else at that year's show looked anything like the Citroen SM-Maserati, blending the French company's air-oil suspension with a Maserati V-6 engine. Front-wheel drive assured better winter traction, thus, the model was displayed with a set of skis mounted on a roof rack. Plymouth had thoughts of warmer weather, displaying it's Gold Duster as a "spring special" in an attempt to attract customers to dealerships after a hard Chicago winter.

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Tuesday 28th June 1983

33 years ago

Pietro Frua (70) was one of the leading Italian coachbuilders and car designers (AC Frua, Maserati Mistra, Glas GT) during the 1950s and 1960s, died.

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Friday 10th May 1985

31 years ago

Antoine 'Toni' Branca (68), a Swiss amateur who, legend has it, financed his motor racing thanks to the donations of an admiring Belgian countess, died. He made his Formula 1 debut in 1950 at the wheel of a Scuderia Achille Varzi Maserati at the Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten in 1950 and raced again at the non-championship Grand Prix des Nations in Geneva. That year he also raced in an F2 Simca-Gordini and led the race in Geneva. His only major finish was fourth at Aix-les-Bains. He raced again in the Belgian Grand Prix and the following year reappeared in a privately-run Maserati at the German Grand Prix. He was sixth in the non-championship Pescara Grand Prix but had little success in F2 and he disappeared from racing at the end of the 1951 season.

Toni Branca

Toni Branca

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Friday 8th November 1985

31 years ago

Racer Masten Gregory (53) died. A race winner at SCCA racing level in the US, Masten Gregory’s big international break came by winning the 1957 Buenos Aires 1000km race sharing the car with Luigi Musso, Eugenio Castellotti and Cesare Perdisa. This led to his Formula 1 debut shortly after with Mimmo Deiís Scuderia Centro Sud at Monaco. Driving the privateer Maserati 250F to a great 3rd place, he became the first American to stand on the podium of a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Injury made him miss a number of races in 1958, but driving for Cooper in 1959 he finished 3rd at the Dutch Grand Prix and 2nd in Portugal. Still he was dropped at the end of the season and the privateer teams he raced with, like Centro Sud, Camoradi International, UDT Laystall and Reg Parnell Racing, never allowed a break through in F1. So Masten concentrated on his sports car career winning the 1961 Nurumburging 1000km race in a Birdcage Maserati with Lucky Casner and in 1962 the Canadian Grand Prix sports car race at Mosport Park in a Lotus-Climax. After the 1964 season as Ford works driver he won the 1965 Le Mans 24 hours race sharing a North American Racing Team Ferrari with Jochen Rindt. That same year came his debut at the Indianapolis 500 where he was running fifth when he retired. After his friend Jo Bonnier was killed at Le Mans in 1972, Masten got disenchanted with the sport becoming a diamond trader. He succumbed to a heart attack during a holiday trip in Italy in 1985.

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Friday 26th January 1990

27 years ago

Frederick Roberts "Bob" Gerard (76) passed away. Bespectacled Leicester garage owner Bob Gerard was one of the dogged British Formula 1 privateers who began racing in a Riley in 1933 but did not make his name until the immediate postwar era with a private ERA. He won the Ulster Trophy in 1947 and the British Empire Trophy on the Isle of Man on three occasions. He finished second place behind de Graffenried's Maserati in the 1949 British Grand Prix at Silverstone and later switched to Cooper-Bristols and competed in most British rounds of the World Championship until 1957. He retired as a driver in 1961 but continued to enter cars until the early 1980s. His wife Joan, who died in 1999, was also an accomplished competitor in her own right.

Bob Gerard

Bob Gerard

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Saturday 26th December 1992

24 years ago

Jan Flinterman died in the Netherlands, he was 73. He entered just one grand prix - the 1952 Netherlands Grand Prix - but drove two cars. He started the race, at Zandvoort, in a Maserati A6GCM but retired when his differential failed after six laps. He took over the similar car driven by Chico Landi bringing it home ninth - all be it seven laps down.

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Sunday 28th November 1993

23 years ago

Joseph Kelly died in Nelson, Ireland. A larger-than-life motor dealer from Dublin, Kelly became the first Irish Formula 1 driver when lining up for the 1950 British GP in Silverstone, the first ever race under F1 regulations. Kelly – using his own Alta GP car, the last built – participated in the 1950 and 1951 British rounds of the Formula One World Championship. He also owned and raced a Jaguar C-Type sports car which he raced as well as a Maserati and a Ferrari. His own full-time driving

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Sunday 5th February 1995

22 years ago

Frank Costin, car and aircraft designer and the "cos" in Marcos, died of cancer aged 75. Costin was an engineer with the de Havilland Aircraft Company when, in 1954, his brother Mike, a former de Havilland engineer then working for Lotus Engineering Ltd., asked him to design an aerodynamic body for a new racing car. Intrigued by the idea of applying aerodynamics to racing cars, Costin designed the body for the Lotus Mark VIII Unlike his brother, Costin was never a Lotus employee; his work there was either as a paid consultant or as a volunteer. In 1956, when Chapman was commissioned by Tony Vandervell to design a Grand Prix racing car to challenge Maserati and Ferrari dominance of the formula, Chapman recommended Costin to Vandervell as the body designer. Costin designed the body for the Vanwall that won the first Grand Prix Constructors' Championship. Later, Costin used his aeronautical knowledge to design and build a chassis from plywood. This led to a lightweight, stiff structure, which he could then clothe with an efficient, aerodynamic body, a huge advantage in the low-capacity sports car racing of the immediate postwar period. He was also involved in a number of road car projects for various manufacturers including Lister and Lotus, where he contributed to the early aerodynamic designs; Marcos, which he co-founded with Jem Marsh (MARsh and COStin); and racecar chassis for Maserati, Lotus, and DTV. He also designed the Costin Amigo, the TMC Costin, and the Costin Sports Roadster. He also created an ultra-light glider with Keith Duckworth, an old friend and his brother's business partner.

Frank Costin

Frank Costin

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Tuesday 1st July 1997

19 years ago

Ferrari acquired 50% of Maserati and total managerial control.

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Wednesday 30th September 1998

18 years ago

The Paris Motor Show celebrated its 100th anniversary. It was the first motor show in the world, started in 1898 by industry pioneer Albert de Dion. The Show saw the launch of Ford Focus, the all-new Maserati 3200 GT and the Smart City Coupe.

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Monday 26th October 1998

18 years ago

The Maserati 3200GT was officially introduced at the Paris Motor Show. Jaguar also exhibited its XK180 concept car.

Maserati 3200GT

Maserati 3200GT

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Sunday 7th February 1999

18 years ago

Umberto Maglioli, who gave Porsche their first overall Targa Florio win, died at the age of 69, after a long illness, in Monza, Italy. An accomplished and versatile sports car racer, Maglioli won the 1953 Targa Florio and 1954 Carrera Panamaricana for the Lancia team and 14 years later posted the last major win of his career in the Targa Florio, this time sharing a factory Porsche with Vic Elford. In between, Magioli competed as an occasional reserve driver for the Ferrari factory team, finishing third in the 1954 Italian Grand Prix (sharing with Froilan Gonzalez) and third in the 1955 Argentine Grand Prix (sharing with Giuseppe Farina and Maurice Trintignant). In 1956 he had three races in a Maserati 250F and his final Grand Prix outing came at the Nurburgring in a 1.5-liter Porsche the following season.

Umberto Maglioli

Umberto Maglioli

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Sunday 18th April 1999

17 years ago

Robert Drake (70), a Los Angeles based automobile restorer who then went on to build a reputation as a stunt driver and performing car preparation work for the movie industry, died. He also used to race Aston Martin, Cooper sports car and, more famously, a Type 61 Birdcage Maserati as a privateer. He gained some prestige by finishing 2nd in the 1960 Riverside Grand Prix driving an Olí Yaller Mk.II. Bob Drake died in 1990 at 70 years of age in California.

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Sunday 27th January 2002

15 years ago

John James (87), British racing driver died in Malta. He participated in one Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, the 1951 British Grand Prix, where he retired his Maserati 4CLT/48 with radiator problems.

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Wednesday 20th March 2002

15 years ago

Giulio Alfieri (77), the Italian automobile engineer, affiliated with Maserati in Modena, Italy since 1953, where he was central to the development of racing and production cars in the 1950s and 1960s, died.

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Tuesday 9th September 2003

13 years ago

The Frankfurt Motor Show, opened it’s doors, with the simultaneous launch of the 5th generation of VW Golf and Opel Astra. Ford unveiled the first production models based on next year’s new Focus platform – the Mazda 3 and new Volvo S40 sedan. The 2003 Show was also a significant event for BMW, with the debut of the new 5-Series saloon and 6-Series coupe, while the X5 was updated for 2004 and joined by the smaller, all-new X3. Mercedes showed the production version of the SLR McLaren; Jaguar the X-Type Estate and Maserati returned to the luxury saloon fold with the premiere of the new Quattroporte. Leading the concept car debuts from Europe were the Citroen C-Airlounge, Renault Be-Bop, Peugeot 407 Elixir, SEAT Altea, and Saab 9-3 Sporthatch, together with surprises from Lancia with the Fulvia Coupe concept and Skoda with the Roomster. Japanese makers were also strongly featured with concepts such as the Toyota CS&S, Nissan Dunehawk, Mazda Kusabi, Mitsubishi ‘i’, and Suzuki S2.

VW Golf (5th generation)

VW Golf (5th generation)

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Wednesday 16th February 2005

12 years ago

Fiat SpA announced that it would purchase the Maserati sports car marque from Ferrari, a company in which it already had a majority stake, just three days after winning independence from General Motors Corporation.

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Friday 9th September 2005

11 years ago

Driving a red Maserati V8 Gransport, Hein Wagner notched up 269 km/h (167mph) along an airstrip in north-west South Africa, to become the world's fastest blind driver. "It is an absolutely awesome feeling. It was over so fast," the 33-year-old said, after breaking the previous 233km/h (144 mph) record. Blind from birth, Mr Wagner was a motivational speaker from Cape Town and was raising funds for the South African National Council for the Blind. "We've raised 60,000 rand ($9,500) so far and I'm aiming to get 100,000 rand ($15,500)," he told the BBC News website on his arrival back in Cape Town. The record was set on an airstrip because blind people are not allowed to drive on public roads, he said. "I had five hours training in the car before I made the attempt," he said. He said he had to drive the sports car, owned by the car dealer Viglietti, without any insurance.

Maserati V8 Gransport

Maserati V8 Gransport

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Thursday 23rd March 2006

11 years ago

The incredible 1,000 bhp Bugatti Veyron made its first appearance at a UK event when it roared up the Goodwood hillclimb during the annual Festival of Speed press launch. There were also debut appearances for the Maserati GranSport Spyder, Prodrive P2 and Range Rover Sport Supercharged HST.

Bugatti Veyron

Bugatti Veyron

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Monday 22nd January 2007

10 years ago

The last surviving starter from the inaugural Formula One World Championship race, the 1950 British Grand Prix, Toulo de Graffenried (92), died in Lausanne, Switzerland. He participated in 23 World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 13 May 1950, and scored a total of nine championship points. He also participated in numerous non-Championship Formula One races. De Graffenried began his racing career in 1936, driving his own Maserati voiturette. Some of his most memorable results came at his home track: the challenging, cobbled, street circuit at Bremgarten near Bern. He won the 1949 British Grand Prix, a year before the FIA World Championship began. In that inaugural year de Graffenried contested five of the season's seven races, with mixed results. He continued to drive in occasional races over the next six years, with his best finish being fourth place at the 1953 Belgian Grand Prix. Following his retirement from racing, de Graffenried managed his car dealership in Lausanne, featuring Alfa Romeo, Rolls-Royce and Ferrari automobiles. He also acted as stunt double for Kirk Douglas during the filming of The Racers. Later, he became a common figure at Formula One events during the 1970s and 1980s as the corporate ambassador for Phillip Morris' Marlboro cigarette brand. In recognition of his win at the first British Grand Prix, de Graffenried made his last appearance at the wheel of a racing car during the 1998 celebrations of Silverstone's 50th anniversary at age 84.

Toulo de Graffenried

Toulo de Graffenried

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Wednesday 31st January 2007

10 years ago

Cars.com named its top 10 most memorable TV cars; a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am named KITT from the show "Knight Rider" topped the list. The second-place vehicle on the Cars.com list was the the General Lee, a souped-up 1969 Dodge Charger featured on "The Dukes of Hazzard." Third place on went to the mythical Mystery Machine, a multicolored van from the cartoon "Scooby-Doo." Coming in fourth was the Ferrari 308 GTS from "Magnum, P.I." Fifth on the list was the Batmobile, a modified 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car that was featured on the show "Batman." Rounding out the second half of the list were the 1975 Ford Gran Torino from "Starsky and Hutch," the 1973 Chevrolet El Camino from "My Name is Earl," the 1983 GMC G-Series from "The A-Team," the Mach 5 from the animated show "Speed Racer" and the 2005 Maserati Quattroporte seen on "Entourage."

KITT

KITT

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Thursday 21st June 2007

9 years ago

The new Maserati GranTurismo was officially unveiled in Britain at London’s Royal Horticultural Halls. Maserati invited a host of celebs along. With a 4.2 litre V8 producing 405bhp, coupe looks, and genuine seating for four, the new Maser offered an intriguing and – on paper at least – appealing blend of qualities. An Executive GT version of the Quattroporte Automatic was also on display, flanked by a 1953 Maserati A6GCS - one of four in the world, and also designed by Pininfarina. Launch included an A6GCS. The GranTurismo went on sale with a starting price of £78,500.

Maserati GranTurismo

Maserati GranTurismo

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Tuesday 25th September 2007

9 years ago

Pagani claimed a new record for production supercars using the Pagani Zonda F Clubsport by completing the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in 7 minutes 27.82 seconds. This record has since been beaten by other cars, including the Maserati MC12 and the Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR.

Pagani Zonda F Clubsport

Pagani Zonda F Clubsport

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Sunday 5th May 2013

3 years ago

Legendary custom car builder, painter, and Hollywood stuntman Dean Jeffries passed away at the age of 80. Dean Jeffries was a ‘50s cultural icon, contributing to the teen culture of the ‘50s through his paint and pinstriping—first working with George and Sam Barris in Lynwood—where he was born in ‘33, but also through images he created that became mass art for teen book covers, locker doors, and car windows. Dean Jeffries was the subject of many custom paint and pinstripe articles throughout the ‘50s, seeming to be attached to everything that was California Cool culture; from painting “Little Bastard” on the Porsche Spyder James Dean would lose his life in, to repainting over and over Carroll Shelby’s only Cobra prototype to help give the impression Carroll had built a fleet of them. Later he took the car customising to new heights with his seminal Manta Ray, based on a Maserati Grand Prix racecar. Once the world got an eyeful of the Manta Ray, exposing what his custom capabilities were, Jeffries was building elaborate custom vehicles for the car manufacturers, TV and film, including the Monkeemobile for the Monkees TV show, and the Green Hornet’s “Black Beauty” Imperial. Since he built some of the cars used in numerous movies and TV, Jeffries also became a de-facto stuntman. Also during the height of his TV/movie car period he reinterpreted the dune buggy with his Kyote fibreglass kits.

Dean Jeffries

Dean Jeffries

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Saturday 31st May 2014

2 years ago

A car and jewellery belonging to Miley Cyrus were stolen after her home in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles was burgled. A Maserati and an unspecified amount of jewellery were taken in the raid.

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Saturday 9th January 2016

1 years ago

Maria Teresa de Filippis, the first woman to compete in a world championship Formula One Grand Prix, passed away at the age of 89. The Italian made three Grand Prix starts for the Maserati team in 1958, with a best result of 10th at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. She also failed to qualify for the 1958 and 1959 Monaco Grands Prix, her second attempt being in a Behra-Porsche, and she walked away from the sport after the death of team boss Jean Behra later that year. Naples-born De Filippis began racing after her brothers bet that she wouldn’t be fast enough, the result being that she won her first event in a Fiat 500. She went on to enjoy success in sports cars, before getting her F1 chance with Maserati.De Filippis returned to a motorsport role in 1979 when she joined the Club Internationale des Anciens Pilotes de Grand Prix F1 for retired drivers, eventually going on to become its honorary president. She was also a founding member of the Maserati Club. Only one other woman has recorded an F1 race start. The late Lella Lombardi, also Italian, started 12 Grands Prix between 1974 and ’76.

Maria Teresa de Filippis

Maria Teresa de Filippis

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