IN 1957, #3069 WON ITS FIRST DOCUMENTED RACE DRIVEN BY JUAN FANGIO, at the Mansanto race track in Portugal. It had been entered under Giambertone’s Scuderina Madunina. Faced with some formidable competition including Masten Gregory in a Ferrari 290MM, Fangio won the race and took fastest lap. #3069 was then exported to South America, where it was again famously driven by Fangio. On successive weekends at Sao Paolo and Interlagos in dual heats, the team of Fangio and #3069 proved undefeatable.
Fangio’s wins in #3069 had drawn the attention of Brazilian playboys and gentlemen drivers and the car passed through the hands of several including Severino Gomez-Silva and Henrique Casini, who raced it at the inaugural Barra da Tijuca race in September 1958, where he won. Fernando Barreto was the next to saddle up, running it at the Triangular Tournament in Interlagos and 1000km of Buenos Aires among other races.
In the 1970s the car came to the attention of noted car historian and restorer Colin Crabbe, who returned the car to Europe. The Brazilian export documents and the UK import documents describe a car Chassis #3069, less bodywork skin but with original chassis, body hoops and frames, 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.
Since then, the car has been a front runner in historic 1950s sportscar racing, including being raced at the Le Mans Classic, winning numerous Ferrari/Maserati historic races as well as being raced at Goodwood, Laguna Seca, Monza, Silverstone, Pau, Nuremburg as well as campaigned in numerous Mille Miglias.
One of the definitive sports cars of the period, the Maserati 300S has always been highly prized for its handling. From 1956 to 1958 the British superstar driver Stirling Moss started 13 races in Maserati 300S cars. He described the 300S as being “…strong and dependable, also quite like an Aston Martin DB3S in its general feel and responsiveness, but it was even better balanced and, in my experience, almost unburstable. Today, people rave about Ferrari’s fantastic reliability. True, they used to spread it wider across the board amongst all their customers, but a decently-prepared 300S had a chassis which was infinitely superior to any front-engined sports Ferrari and although it lacked their wonderfully smooth and powerful V12 engines, its 6 cylinder was always man enough for the job…”.
Stirling Moss wrote in his diary after a particularly challenging Buenos Aires 1,000Kms race in Argentina in which he started in a 450 S Maserati but finished in a 300S when the 450S had mechanical failure: “It had been a wonderful race for me which I enjoyed enormously…This was my greatest drive. Car (300S) fabulous – 6,400rpm and I braked at 250 metres, in 450S braking at 500 metres…”. This is a most personal testimonial from one of the greatest drivers of all time which absolutely underlines the fabulous Maserati 300S’s stature within racing at that time, and within the Historic and Vintage scene today.
One of the great definitive sports racing cars of all time, a 300S offers eligibility to almost every major retrospective historic event, including the desired tickets of circuit meetings including Goodwood Revival, endurance events such as the Le Mans Classic, and of course, the Mille Miglia, thereby enabling it for spinoffs such as the Colorado Grand. 3069 presents a fabulous opportunity to compete and to be competitive as proven by an active racing career for almost all of its life.
One of the stars of Bonham’s Quail Lodge Auction on August 18th, 2017, the estimate on #3069 is $6-7 million. Any Maserati 300S is a great car, and it will be interesting to see what premium the Fangio history may bring. Horacio Pagani – are you looking for a historic racer?