1954-56-type 2.5-Litre Maserati 250F Tipo 1 Historic Grand Prix Racing Single-Seater by Cameron Millar Chassis no. CM4 Engine no. 2505
C'est à la fin des années 60 que l'histoire des Maserati 250 F version Cameron Millar débute.
A cette époque, ce dernier ayant racheté un châssis puis l'ancien stock de pièces détachées de l'écurie Centro Sud, se lance dans la reconstruction de voitures. Au total 12 exemplaires seront fabriqués, tous portant un numéro de châssis débutant par CM. Il est important de noter que les premières versions sont construites avec un maximum de pièces d'origine, telle que l'auto présentée, châssis CM4.
Cette 250 F a été engagée en course dès sa sortie des ateliers de 'Millar', par Stephen Griswold (pour le compte du propriétaire Corrado Cupellini). Elle passera ensuite dans les mains de différents collectionneurs Italiens avant d'être acquise par Jacques Iuri vers 1988. Le propriétaire actuel a acheté la voiture en 1999.
Provenant d'une collection privée Italienne, 'CM4' nous est présentée comme en très bon état de fonctionnement (seule la synchro du premier rapport de boîte semble usée).
La carrosserie présente une très belle patine et n'a pas été engagée en compétition par le propriétaire actuel. Elle a néanmoins été conduite sur circuit il y a environ 18 mois.
Voici donc une très belle voiture de Grand Prix Historique créée par le maître incontesté des 250 F.
Son nouveau propriétaire éprouvera à son bord les sensations que l'illustre Fangio a pu connaître.
This magnificent Historic-racing Cameron Millar Maserati is a fine and very well-known car produced by this absolute master of the art of creating 1-to-1 scale Maserati Formula 1 cars which are built absolutely 'from the heart'. It was, as its chassis serial indicates, the fourth of the twelve such 250Fs which this veteran British ex-Royal Air Force pilot master-minded between 1972 and 1996.
It had been during the mid-1960s that after heated debate the British Vintage Sports Car Club decided to alter the cut-off date for its 'Historic' class of racing cars, moving it forward to 1960. This instantly made the Maserati 250Fs of the 1950s eligible to compete in VSCC events.
British enthusiasts had already initiated the search for redundant and obsolescent 1950s Formula 1 cars, and the fact that they now had a place to race added urgency. Squadron-Leader Cameron Millar was one of the first off the mark and, in 1964, buying Maserati 250F serial '2516' which he had located in Australia. He would later import further original cars into the UK before in effect - reviving the Maserati 250F production line.
The Cameron Millar Maseratis have long been recognised by the FIA and national Clubs as being eligible to receive FIA paperwork, and one 'CM' series car was campaigned by a sometime President of the FIA Historic Commission.
Of far greater significance, car 'CM3' was acquired by none other than the 250F's greatest contemporary exponent, Juan Manuel Fangio himself, for his Museum in Balcarce, Argentina.
The great five-times World Champion Driver professed himself lost in admiration for what Cameron Millar had achieved in the quality and 'good faith' embodied in these outstanding machines.
The 'CM' series cars have in fact appeared in almost every guise ever adopted by Maserati for their definitive open-wheeled, slipper-bodied 6-cylinder 250F machines. In 1969 Mr Millar bought what he believed to be original 250F chassis number '2504' from New Zealand. During restoration work he discovered it was in fact the car which had been labelled '2523' in its later life. He worked assiduously to collect available original 250F components, and bought a large quantity of spares thought at that time to be all that remained of the Scuderia Centro-Sud stock. He also acquired the factory's 250F chassis jigs, and became the man to whom other 250F owners turned for parts and help.
Former US GP-winning Formula 1 driver Innes Ireland had bought the wreck of car '2527' from the Hon. Patrick Lindsay and approached Cameron Millar for a replacement chassis. British frame specialist Frank Coltman constructed a fresh frame, plus two further chassis, one of earlier-style specification.
The whereabouts, and even the survival, of original chassis '2511' and '2522' were unknown at that time, and Mr Millar considered himself justified in so numbering the two 'recreations' that he then assembled. He was perfectly open about what he was doing, and when the original cars subsequently emerged from obscurity these two 'recreations' became accepted as Millar replica cars.
Receiving demand for similar machines Cameron Millar sold four more, and completed another for his own use. 'In the metal' these cars were effectively indistinguishable from the original-series machines. Mr Millar completed three himself while the others were sold effectively as customer kits for completion.
Two were built on 1954/56 Tipo 1 chassis frames of which the car offered here, 'CM4' is one. After a gap of some 12 years, Cameron Millar commissioned the British restoration company Hall & Fowler to produce two more 1957-type 250Fs. Including what had originally been labelled as '2511' and '2522' this brought the CM replica total to twelve.
Almost every one of the mechanical components employed in the earlier series CM cars such as 'CM4' now offered here were perfectly genuine period Maserati parts. Increasingly, modern-made parts were employed in the later cars, including entire 6-cylinder engines manufactured by British specialist Cyril Embrey. Several Historic racing 'genuine' 250Fs appearing in Historic racing in recent years have also employed Embrey-made power units and other modern-made components. The gene pool has essentially become mixed in order to keep so many of these wonderfully driveable and enjoyable Grand Prix cars active.
Car 'CM4' here was raced as new from the Millar stable by Stephen Griswold (for dealer/owner Corrado Cupellini). It passed subsequently through other Italian ownerships before passing to Jacques Iuri in France around 1988. It was acquired by its next long-term owner in France in 1999.
Now offered from a private Italian collection, we understand that 'CM4' is in full working order although 1st gear synchro seems 'weak'. The car is most attractively patinated and has not been raced during its present ownership, but has been driven on-track - most recently some 18 months ago.
Here is a wonderfully well presented and enormously useable Historic Grand Prix racing car created by the acknowledged master in this field and ready to bring 'the Fangio experience' to any capable owner/driver...as what is, in Historic GP Car terms, an affordable investment.