Friday, September 3, 2010

Fangio and the Maserati 250F

Stirling Moss gives a Maserati 250F a run in 2006

A couple of days ago I put up a piece on a lovely little Stanguellini I used to own but never saw.  It was a half scale copy (with a 1 liter Fiat engine) of one of the great race cars of all time, the Maserati 250 F from the era when drivers sat bolt upright behind the engine.  Here's a wonderful video of Juan Manuel Fangio driving a Maserati 250F
        Tom Wheatcroft who owned the Donnington Circuit  thought they were so much fun to watch, he built a bunch of replicas and raced them in a championship series all their own.  Nobody cared. 
          Which may have proved Jackie Stewart's theory that people "don't pay good money to watch the cars.  They pay good money to watch people drive them with exceptional skill.  You'd have a hard time getting someone to pay a dollar to watch you drive, Bob"  

Fangio at Reims 1957 accelerating flat out, staring down the competition.
a fuzzy photo of Jesse Alexander's great photo, hanging on my wall. 
                  True.  But if Tom Wheatcroft had been able to find a bunch of Fangio replicas to drive his replica Maserati 250Fs, he'd have drawn millions to his track.   
                  The greatest F1 drive of all time was probably Fangio and the 250F at the Nurburgring in 1957.  Tom Wheatcroft bought that car and you can pay good money (7 quid) see it in the world's largest Formula One racing car museum, based on Tom Wheatcroft's collection.

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