1957 Maserati 300S, chassis 3069 (photo: Pawel Litwinski)
1957 Maserati 300S, chassis 3069 (photo: Pawel Litwinski)

Ex-Fangio Maserati 300S Offered For Sale

In 1957, chassis 3069 won its first documented race at the Mansanto race track in Portugal being driven by Juan Fangio, and entered under Giambertone’s Scuderina Madunina. Faced with some formidable competition including Masten Gregory in a Ferrari 290MM, Fangio not only won the race he took fastest lap.

By the fall, Giambertone exported this Maserati to South America, where it would be used again by Fangio. On successive weekends at Sao Paolo and Interlagos in dual heats, the team of Fangio and 3069 proved undefeatable — despite a one minute penalty for jumping the start of the second heat. Not surprisingly, the locals loved the sight of their home driver winning on his own continent and the event itself generated some $751,000 of income, a vast amount of money for its time. The win was good for Maserati too.

It is likely that its original engine which today resides in chassis 3062, a 300S also then owned and shipped to Brazil by Giambertone was switched in this period of its life. At this point the team parted with the car and it would begin a series of ownerships by wealthy South American privateers. Fangio’s wins in 3069 had drawn the attention of Brazilian playboy Severino Gomez-Silva who acquired it from Giambertone, he was famously proud of owning ‘Fangio’s car’ in addition to the 200S he already owned (2408). Industrialist and racing Privateer Henrique Casini exercised it at the inaugural Barra da Tijuca race in September 1958, where he again showed its prowess and 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.

Amazingly, its career would continue throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, giving it one of the longest careers of all 300S Maseratis. The car’s long racing life saw its body reconfigured a number of times, latterly resembling a 330TRI.

In the 1970s the car came to the attention of noted car historian and restorer Colin Crabbe. He was well known for car forays into the Southern Hemisphere and he retrieved numerous important racers. Crabbe acquired the car in August 12, 1978 from a Brazilian named Adolfo Netto for $13,700. 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.

Ultimately, it would arrive in the stable of Michel Seydoux. From Seydoux the car was sold publicly at auction to noted racer Lord Laidlaw in the UK.

The present owner, who is an excellent driver in his own right and a two time class winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, acquired 3069 in 1998. He used it extensively in historic racing and particularly to compete in the Ferrari/Maserati Shell Historic Challenge, which from the late 1990s allowed Maseratis to race alongside Ferraris. In this race car the current owner acquired the perfect vehicle to compete at the highest level and 3069 became a regular sight on many of the grids of European historic races in this period. Over the course of the next 10 years, the Maserati won and competed in a great many races and enjoyed another wonderful chapter in its racing career, 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.

It was restored by the current owner at DL George & Son in Pennsylvania and the engine was rebuilt by the engine builder Paul Lanzante in England.

Recently, the car’s use has been more limited, leading to the decision after some 19 years of ownership to part with it. 3069 is presently refitted with Maserati original engine 3058, numero interno 31, which has been with the car for probably 50 years at least, which according to Baumer was the first engine fitted to Parravano’s 3058 car, prior to the factory supplying a spare, which is also correct and resides in 3058 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.

This 1956 Maserati 300S will be offered at the Bonhams Quail Lodge sale, scheduled for August 18, 2017 in California during Monterey Classic Car Week. It’s estimated to sell for $6,000,000 to $7,000,000.

  • Ex-Juan Manuel Fangio
  • 1957 Grand Prix of Portugal and Brazil Winner
  • Present Ownership Since 1998

[Source: Bonhams; photos: Pawel Litwinski]