Chassis #: 3069
Engine #: 3058
The Maserati 300S was one of the greatest sports racing cars of the 1950s and helped catapult Maserati as one of the greatest race car manufacturer of all time.
The history dates back to the 1920s when the Maserati brothers of Bologna founded their racing car manufacturing company. They built real, pure-bred racing cars for their clientele. In 1937, the company was purchased by the Gruppo Orsi organization. After the brothers completed their service contracts, they left in 1947-1948 to found OSCA. The Maserati marque continued without the brothers, with competition being their primary focus; road car production was slowly beginning to emerge.
Maserati's line of 2.0-liter A6GCS sports-racing cars was popular and competitive during the early 1950s. Power was from a 6-cylinder twin overhead camshaft engine developed by engineer Vittorio Bellentani. The cars were lightweight, reliable, powerful, and offered good handling.
Although the company had much success within the smaller capacity classes (up to 2-liters), the management team visualized an entry in the larger capacity class of sports car competition. For 1954-1955, Vittorio Bellentani developed the 300S. It was a 3-liter, 6-cylinder model that combined the best attributes of the 2-liter A6GCS with those of the latest 2.5-liter Formula 1 Maserati 250F.
Maserati built at least 26 examples of the 300S Sports-Racer from 1955 to 1959. There were three broad variants, the first being the prototype 2.5-liter sports car. This was followed by the full 3-liter 300S which had 240 horsepower. Juan Manuel Fangio and Onofre Marimon co-drove the prototype upon its debut in the Supercortemaggiore Grand Prix at Monza Autodrome.
Three of the first five 300S cars constructed were sent to the American market and to their new owner, Briggs Cunningham. The first three frames were considered too flexible and so modifications were made to numbers four and five.
The British driver Stirling Moss drove the Maserati 300S in 13 races from 1956 to 1958. (Taking into account that at other races, he had started in different models then switched to the 300S, the total would be 16 events). During this time, the Maserati 300S helped him earn nine race victories, three second places, a third and a fifth and only two retirements.
It is believed that this car, chassis number 3069, was a factory works car in 1956, however the results are not known. In 1957, it was purchased by its first privateer owner, Italian Armando Zampiero.
The car was upgraded by the factory to the latest and most up to date specifications for the 1957 race season and the factory sold 3069 to Marciello Giambertone, for the use by the racing driver Juan Manuel Fangio. Fangio joined the Maserati team for the 1957 Formula 1 season. He piloted their 250F Single Seaters, but was also contracted for the factory for sports racing car and raced for private teams.
Chassis number 3069's first documented race was at the Mansanto race track in Portugal where Juan Fangio drove it to victory and set the fastest lap. It had been entered under Giambertone's Scuderia Madunina.
By the fall, Giambertone exported this Maserati to South America, where it would be used again by Fangio. It was raced in successive weekends at Sao Paolo and Interlagos in dual heaters, where Fangio and #3069 proved undefeatable.
The engine currently in 3062 is likely that of another 300S that had been owned and shipped to Brazil by Giambertone, and was switched in this period of its life. At this point the team sold the car and would mark the start of a succession of ownerships by South American privateers. Brazilian Severino Gomez-Silva acquired it from Giambertone. Privateer Henrique Casini raced it at the inaugural Barra da Tijuca race in September 1958, which he won. Fernando Barreto then raced it at the Triangular Tournament in Interlagos and 1000km of Buenos Aires among other races. The car's racing career would continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s. During this time, its body was re-configured several times, even to the point where it resembled a 330TRI.
On August 12th of 1978, Colin Crabbe acquired the car from a Brazilian named Adolfo Netto for $13,700. At the time, it was without bodywork skin but with the original chassis, body hoops and frame, engine gearbox and wheels. By 1983 it was fully restored and would pass through the hands of a series of noted UK and European racers. It would come into the care of Michel Seydoux who sold it at public auction to racer Lord Laidlaw in the United Kingdom.
The current owner acquired it in 1998 and used it extensively in historic racing. It was a regular sight on the European grids competing in the Ferrari/Maserati Shell Historic Challenge. The list included the Le Mans Classic, Goodwood, Laguna Seca, Monza, Silverstone, Pau, Nuremburg, and numerous Mille Miglias.
The current owner had the car restored at DL George & Son in Pennsylvania and the engine was rebuilt by Paul Lanzante in England. It has been in the care of its present ownership for the past 19 years. The engine in the bay is number 3058, numero interno 31, which has been with the car for probably 50 years at least.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2017