Maserati Driven by Stirling Moss Could Fetch $7.75M at Auction
In the world of historical race cars, finding a vehicle in ‘original condition’ is a very difficult thing. That's because any race car that has lived a long, serviceable life would have changed engines or bodies a few several times. Through either crashes on the course or changes in the rules, a race car seldom finished its career in the same condition as it started. This Maserati driven by Sir Stirling Moss though, is an ideal example. The 1956 Maserati 450S is one of the most beautiful race cars on the planet. It was built from 1956 to 1958 and campaigned in the FIA World Championship of endurance racing. This one here is set for the RM Auctions block in Monaco next month, for an estimated €3.3 million to €4.5 million ($4.9 million-$7.75 million). PHOTOS: See More of the 1956 Maserati 450S Prototype by Fantuzzi
Why is this car so valuable? Obviously its racing history contributes to the exorbitant estimate. The car, which started life as straight-six-powered 350S, was raced in the 1956 Mille Miglia by Stirling Moss. A brake failure caused Moss to lose control of the car, and crashed it– nearly hurling into a ravine.
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The car was brought back to the factory, where the engine was replaced with a 5.7-liter V8, and was refitted with a Fantuzzi body. These changes technically made the car a 450S, and was tested at the 1956 Swedish Grand Prix.
After being tested several more times, the car was put into storage, where it sat for years. It was then fitted with a Corvette V8, a Ferrari transmission, and was exported to the United States. It was sold again and returned to Italy in the 1980s, and in 1987, it was given a full restoration, bringing back the original 450S equipment, with the exception of an updated transaxle.
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The car will be sold at the Monaco RM auctions on May 10th, along with a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C and a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS. All of these vehicles are drool-worthy items, but only one has been helmed by Sir Stirling, himself.