Offered by RM Sotheby’s.
“The 200SI was probably the greatest dealing with front-engined, drum-braked racing automobiles from that interval. It was great to hold on in curves with it, and it clearly adopted your line. It was a pleasure to drive.” – John Fitch
Though often nonetheless reaching respectable outcomes with their getting old A6GCS, by 1954 Maserati had acknowledged its creeping obsolescence and had been concurrently creating their new 150S and 200S fashions as appropriate replacements. Considerably illogically designated the Tipo 53 and Tipo 52, respectively, each shared broadly related typical tubular chassis, in addition to 1.5- and 2-liter variations of the identical all-new, twin-plug four-cylinder engine. Entrance suspension on each fashions was through typical double wishbones and coil springs, though the 150S employed a De Dion tube and transverse leaf-spring association on the rear whereas the 200S—initially at the least—used a reside axle. Nevertheless, following complaints from early 200S prospects, rear suspension on all however the first few automobiles was subsequently modified to reflect that of its smaller sibling.
Growth of the 200S proved troublesome, with transmission issues plaguing the automobile in longer distance and highway racing occasions. Nevertheless, wins in 1956 for Jean Behra on the Gran Premio di Bari and Gran Premio di Roma salvaged appreciable pleasure, as did Stirling Moss and Cesare Perdisa’s positive 2nd place to Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins’ Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa in that 12 months’s Supercortemaggiore at Monza. The transfer to Appendix C rules for 1957 precipitated the automobile’s transformation into 200SI, or Sport Internazionale, guise—a transfer which noticed such automobiles fitted with a full-width windscreen, two functioning doorways, provision for a spare wheel, and a considerably makeshift material prime to make sure compliance.
RUNNING WITH THE EAST COAST SCCA FRATERNITY
One among simply 20 200SI-specification automobiles constructed, chassis 2427 was accomplished at Maserati’s fabled Modena works on 9 August 1957. As with all however 5 200S/SI chassis, it was constructed with the later, and extra enticing, Fantuzzi coachwork; the automobile was additional specified with Jaeger devices, Cibie headlights, and Pirelli-shod Borrani wire wheels. It was initially imported by United States concessionaire Maserati Company of America on behalf of its first proprietor, New York-based philanthropist and revered artwork authority Vincent Dyckman Andrus. The automobile was destined to be pushed by highway racing legend John Fitch—by this time a winner of each the Sebring 12 Hours and the RAC Vacationer Trophy—principally in East Coast SCCA occasions.
Fitch’s first aggressive outing in 2427 was within the Queen Catherine Cup at Watkins Glen on 21 September 1957, by which he completed a promising 4th, and 1st in school, with Bob Holbert’s Porsche 550RS victorious. The next weekend, each Fitch and Maserati travelled to Bridgehampton, the place the 25-lap SCCA function race included a minimum of 4 Briggs Cunningham-entered Jaguar D-types, and Phil Hill in a Ferrari 857S. Towards formidable opposition, Fitch completed fifth, and as soon as once more took a category victory, with Walt Hansgen securing general honors for Cunningham.
In December 1957, Fitch and 2427 headed south for the favored Worldwide Bahamas Velocity Week; the automobile now sported a brand new white-with-blue-underbelly shade scheme rather than its earlier purple. A preliminary five-lap warmth for the Governor’s Trophy race yielded a superb 2nd general and 1st in school behind Ed Crawford’s Porsche 550RS—and forward of comparable automobiles pushed by the Rodriguez brothers, and Olivier Gendebien’s Ferrari 500 TRC—however the function race itself led to retirement. Nevertheless, the Nassau Memorial Trophy race the next day supplied probably the most vital results of the automobile’s profession, with Fitch ending third general—and 1st in school but once more—crushed solely by Stirling Moss’ Scuderia Buell Ferrari 290MM and Ritchie Ginther’s fearsome 5-liter John Edgar-owned Ferrari 410 Sport.
The East Coast SCCA fraternity reconvened on 27 April 1958 at Lime Rock Park, Connecticut, though within the 20-lap underneath 2-liter race, Fitch might handle solely 2nd general (and 2nd in school) to Gaston Andrey’s Ferrari 500 TRC. Nevertheless, regular service was resumed when the pair returned in June, with Fitch ending 4th general, and 1st in school as soon as once more, within the function 40-lap Sports activities Automotive Race, behind Walt Hansgen’s new Lister-Jaguar, Bob Oker’s Aston Martin DBR2, and Holbert’s Porsche 550RS.
By mid-1958, Fitch was evidently at a crossroads with 2427. By way of tempo, he was, unsurprisingly, a long way away from the newer and extra highly effective Cunningham Listers, but in his personal class he was just about unchallenged. Inquiries had been made as to the price of a brand new, factory-built 2.5-liter engine, though his (and Andrus’) subsequent choice to supply the automobile on the market means that both they thought higher of the thought, or that the associated fee was prohibitive. Both approach, the July SCCA assembly at Lime Rock marked Fitch’s last outing within the automobile; his third general and last class win behind the 2 Cunningham Listers of Crawford and Hansgen ensured that the pair signed off on a excessive.
2427 HEADS SOUTH
In September 1958, 2427 was marketed on the market by Carroll Shelby Sports activities Vehicles Inc.; the automobile was bought shortly thereafter by Floridian John J. Packo, who had beforehand campaigned a Lotus XI in native SCCA occasions. Nevertheless, regardless of reinstating the unique purple paintwork, “J.J” apparently raced the automobile solely as soon as, at Boca Raton in March 1959, the place he completed 2nd within the Preliminary race to Fortunate Casner’s Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa after which third within the function race behind the same automobiles of Jim Hunt and E.D. Martin.
As rivals on observe, Packo and Casner—proprietor of the formidable Camoradi crew—had cast an in depth friendship, and when considered one of Casner’s two Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcages didn’t materialize for the Cuban Grand Prix of February 1960, it was Packo who generously stepped in and lent the crew his automobile. Duly entered by Camoradi, and with no lesser driver than Dan Gurney on the wheel, 2427 sadly retired within the race, though not earlier than sharing observe time within the rarefied firm of winner (and Camoradi teammate) Moss, Maurice Trintignant, Jack Brabham, Carroll Shelby, Masten Gregory, and each Rodriguez brothers.
THE PRIDE OF COLLECTORS WORLDWIDE
Having been marketed on the market in February 1963, this automobile was duly bought by rising Ferrari and Maserati collector Carl Bross of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; it was a stablemate to his ex-Moss, 1956 Italian Grand Prix-winning 250F. Nevertheless, after Bross’ dying in 1971, a lot of his assortment, together with 2427, handed to Anthony Bamford of Rocester, United Kingdom, earlier than becoming a member of the gathering of discerning Scottish Maserati fanatic Ray Fielding in 1978. Exhibited for a few years within the Doune Motor Museum close to Falkirk, Scotland, the automobile remained within the Fielding household for nearly three a long time, and remerged in extremely unique situation earlier than being offered to Anton Bilton, of London, in July 2007.
In late 2007, 2427 was entrusted to famend restorers GPS Basic of Soragna, Italy, who launched into an overhaul of its the chassis, numbers-matching engine, and gearbox with the target of making ready the automobile for classic racing. The restoration of its extremely prized unique physique, in the meantime, was entrusted to High quality Vehicles of Padova. Duly accomplished and resplendent as soon as once more in its unique shade, it made its post-restoration debut within the 2008 Mille Miglia Storica. Nevertheless, Bilton stored the automobile solely briefly, promoting it to Dr. Wolf Zweifler of Munich, Germany—who has owned a exceptional sequence of Maseratis from this glorious period—in July 2008. Dr. Zweifler campaigned the automobile extensively over the following few years, together with a number of participations within the Ferrari Maserati Problem, 2009 Mille Miglia Storica, and the 2010 Le Mans Basic, earlier than promoting the automobile.
After its acquisition by Oscar Davis in 2012, Leydon Restorations of Lahaska, Pennsylvania started the painstaking process of bringing 2427 again to its as-built mechanical and beauty specification. The security construction beforehand added was eliminated, inside panels had been reworked to their unique look, and unique parts had been refitted—all to return this Maserati to its unique 1957 presentation. It has remained within the Oscar Davis Assortment ever since.
Though the Maserati 200S/SI did little to differentiate itself in modern European long-distance occasions, it proved extremely efficient in shorter-format races in North America—a truth underlined by John Fitch’s appreciable achievements driving this explicit automobile. Nevertheless, the spectacular competitors file of 2427 is however one side of its exceptional life; its subsequent enjoyment, preservation, documentation and restoration by among the world’s most discerning collectors being no much less noteworthy. Its spectacular provenance is substantiated by an accompanying historical past file containing copies of Maserati manufacturing facility construct sheets, analysis and correspondence, picture documentation of its restoration, and previous FIVA identification playing cards dated 2007 and 2009.
Fastidiously maintained within the Oscar Davis Assortment and impeccably introduced immediately, it affords extraordinary versatility in addition to seemingly limitless alternatives to enter the world’s most unique classic touring and racing occasions, and it could assuredly show a worthy addition to any vital automobile assortment.
This automobile will likely be provided as a part of the Oscar Davis Assortment, to be offered throughout our annual Monterey sale 18-20 August. See the complete catalogue on-line, and register to bid immediately.