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1954 Maserati 250F Monoposto / CM4 Vehicle Information

1954 Maserati 250F photograph

1954 Maserati 250F photograph

1954 Maserati 250F photograph

1954 Maserati 250F photograph

1954 Maserati 250F photograph

1954 Maserati 250F photograph

1954 Maserati 250F photograph

1954 Maserati 250F photograph

1954 Maserati 250F photograph

1954 Maserati 250F1954 Maserati 250F1954 Maserati 250F1954 Maserati 250F1954 Maserati 250F1954 Maserati 250F1954 Maserati 250F1954 Maserati 250F1954 Maserati 250F
High bid of €475,000 at 2012 RM Auctions at Monaco. (did not sell)
When it comes to the 1950s there are only a few cars that immediately come to mind as greats in single-seater grand prix racing. And while there would be others that would be more successful perhaps none of those truly evoke the images, the sensory perception, the drama and the romance surrounding Formula One better than the elegant and simple Maserati 250F.

Undoubtedly one of the most elegant Formula One cars of all time, the 250F would live on in the memory of many Formula One fans forever remembered for those images of Juan Manuel Fangio putting it through its paces walking it sideways through corner after corner. A true performer, it made its living on the edge and made living on the edge seem so easy and tedious.

One of those iconic 250Fs would be offered at RM Auctions' event in Monaco on the 12th of May in 2012. Recreated by noted Maserati expert Cameron Millar, chassis CM4 would be based upon a 1954 Maserati 250F, the first year of the mighty grand prix, and would utilize a number of original parts including an engine from one of the original 250Fs built for 1954 that would achieve a rather illustrious grand prix career in its own right.

The longevity of the 250F would be the best indicator as to the ability and the sheer potency of the car. The car would continue to race from its debut in 1954 all the way into the very early 1960s. And while there would be other chassis that would earn more grand prix victories it would be the chassis that would help Juan Manuel Fangio earn two of his five World Championships and would be the car that would introduce many famous names in and outside the sport to Formula One.

British ex-Royal Air Force pilot, Squadron Leader Cameron Millar, was mesmerized by the allure of the Maserati 250F and became an avid fan of the car. A highly competent engineer in his own right, Millar would come to own a 250F for the first time in 1964. Having the car he loved in his possession he would set about building exact replicas. His attention to detail and his love affair for the car itself would cause his creations to earn high praise and as near to correct as one would ever find. In fact, his talents at building the 250F would receive the highest honor they could ever receive when Juan Manuel Fangio approached him about purchasing chassis CM3 for his own personal museum back in Argentina.

Millar would invest himself into the 250F. He would become an authority on the chassis and would eventually purchase all remaining cars and spares still held by the former Scuderia Centro Sud team. In addition, Millar would purchase chassis jigs and other factory tools that would make it possible for him to craft a whole new series of chassis based upon original factory production limitations.

The creations Millar would be able to produce would be so exact that his cars would be granted eligibility by the FIA to race right alongside original cars in historic races. Throughout 1972 to 1996 Millar would produce his replicas of the 250F mostly using components purchased from Scuderia Centro Sud. CM4, the fourth car created by Millar in his series would be built around 1979. In building the car, Millar would utilize numerous amounts of original parts. One of those original parts he would use is a 270 bhp, 2.5-liter 6-cylinder engine that had actually seen use in races and had earned an illustrious career.

Chassis number 2505 would be produced throughout the winter months of 1953 and into the very early part of January in 1954. The car would then be packed up and shipped to Argentina as part of Maserati's factory effort. Along with drivers Juan Manuel Fangio, Onofre Marimon, Luigi Musso and Prince Bira, chassis 2505 would make its way to Buenos Aires to compete in the Argentine Grand Prix, the first round of the 1954 Formula One World Championship. In that race, Fangio would start the car from the front row in 3rd place overall and would be able to out-maneuver the likes of Giuseppe Farina, Jose Froilan Gonzalez and Mike Hawthorn in the rain to come through and take the victory giving Fangio his first of six wins on the season. About five months later, Fangio would drive the same chassis to victory in the Belgian Grand Prix giving Fangio a clear stranglehold on what would be his second World Championship title.

Over the course of the 1954 season chassis 2505 would go on to be driven by some well known drivers and would earn some very strong results. Drivers like Sergio Mantovani, Onofre Marimon, Alberto Ascari, Luigi Musso, Harry Schell, Roberto Mieres, Andre Simon and others would all have time behind the wheel of the car. Besides Fangio's two World Championship victories, it would provide Onofre Marimon back-to-back victories in the Gran Premio di Bari and the Gran Premio di Roma, Alberto Ascari would use it to start from the front row at the French Grand Prix right beside the two W196s from Mercedes-Benz and would go on to score victory in the Circuit di Pescara for Luigi Musso in August of that year.

After the 1954 season, the car would be sold to Andre Simon and later Joakim Bonnier and would be campaigned all the way up through 1957. Then, in 1958, the car would be returned to the factory where it would be rebuilt and then given to the Biscaretti Museum in Turin, Italy. However, many years later, Millar would manage to purchase the engine from the chassis along with a number of other mechanical components.

Millar would use many of the components from 2505 to build a Tipo 1 style chassis that would have been produced between 1954 and 1956. He would use the engine, gearbox, axles and brakes and many other smaller components to make the car. By the time he would finish he would have yet another mostly original 250F on his hands. But this replica would be infused with a very interesting racing pedigree that could not be artificially created in any way.

The ultimate final touch to the car would come in 1988 when the car received its FIA paperwork enabling it to be able to compete in historic races with other original grand prix cars, and rightly so, given what the engine and the majority of the other components managed to achieve back in 1954. In fact, if there was one of Millar's productions that should have certainly been given its FIA eligibility paperwork it would have to be this particular chassis. And the reason for that is simple. As a result of most of that which comprises CM4 the Maserati 250F legend would be birthed and a whole generation of motor racing enthusiasts would fall in love with Formula One. Just one glance at this incredible recreation by Millar and it would be instantly understood why the 250F would be voted the greatest racing car ever.

At the time the 1954 Maserati 250F by Cameron Millar headed to auction, with its Italian red finish, it was estimated the iconic Formula One car would draw between 540,000 and 620,000EUR.

Sources:
'Lot No. 341: 1954 Maserati 250F by Cameron Millar', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=MC12&CarID=r381&fc=0). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=MC12&CarID=r381&fc=0. Retrieved 8 May 2012.

'Maserati 250F is Voted the Greatest Racing Car Ever', (http://www.maserati.com/maserati/en/en/index/passion/news-events/2009/01/250f-greatest-racing-car-ever.html). Maserati: Excellence Through Passion. http://www.maserati.com/maserati/en/en/index/passion/news-events/2009/01/250f-greatest-racing-car-ever.html. Retrieved 8 May 2012.

Capps, Don. 'Classic Red Redux: A Case History of the Maserati 250F', (http://8w.forix.com/250f-redux.html). 8W: The Stories Behind Motor Racing Facts and Fiction. http://8w.forix.com/250f-redux.html. Retrieved 8 May 2012.

'1954-56-Type 2.5-Liter Maserati 250F Tipo 1 Historic Grand Prix Racing Single-Seater', (http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/18297/lot/147/). Bonhams. http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/18297/lot/147/. Retrieved 8 May 2012.

'1954 World Drivers Championship', (http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/1954/f154.html). 1954 World Drivers Championship. http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/1954/f154.html. Retrieved 8 May 2012.

'1954 Non-World Championship Grands Prix', (http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/nc/1954/1954.html). 1954 Non-World Championship Grands Prix. http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/nc/1954/1954.html. Retrieved 8 May 2012.

By Jeremy McMullen



2012 RM Auctions at Monaco

Pre-Auction Estimates :
€540,000-€620,000 
High Bid (Lot was not sold)
€475,000

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1954 sales)

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1954 Maserati 250F's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1954 Maserati 250F by Cameron MillarCM42012 RM Auctions at Monaco$475,000$540,000$620,000

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