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Grand Prix Maserati #2501 (#2523)

Jim Barclay profiles Peter Giddings' famous 250F which will be appearing at this year's NZ Festival of Motor Racing

Of all the Maserati 250Fs built, without doubt the one campaigned by Peter Giddings has one of the most complex and fascinating of histories.

Chassis number 2501 was, in fact, the very first 250F built and test-driven during 1953 and was subsequently displayed at the Paris Salon in October 1954.

At the end of the Salon, #2501 was whisked away for its racing debut at the Spanish Grand Prix — the final Formula One race of the season. This race was also the first team drive for Maserati 's new s:ar, Stirling Moss.

Due to the Maserati s pedal configuration being different from Moss' own much-modified 250F, he trod on the wrong pedal at an inopportune moment, spinning off and damaging #2501. In the circumstances, Moss chose to revert back to his non-factory Maserati 250F. Francisco Godia Sales was given the bent car, and did well to finish sixth.

The #2501 car continued to be the successful mainstay team vehicle throughout 1955. It raced throughout Europe and Argentina, with second places achieved at the Bordeaux, Naples, and Syracuse GPs (Musso). Ongoing factory updating took place during the season and #2501 continued as a prime factory team car during 1956, primarily driven by Menditeguy and Behra. At Syracuse, Jean Behra raced #2501 fitted with a new experimental fuel-injected engine and aerodynamic body.

Moss elected to drive #2501 at the German Grand Prix, and won a hard fought second place on this most challenging of circuits. Subsequently, on December 2 Moss again chose to drive #2501, this time in the Australian Grand Prix, when he gained first place.

As was typical with Grand Prix cars of the era,

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