Rare 1957 Maserati 200Si At Broad Arrow Monterey

Maserati’s heritage is deeply rooted in motorsport, with their mechanical prowess and technical expertise immediately proven when one of the first Maseratis built, driven by Alfieri Maserati himself, won the 1926 Targa Florio. It was during the post-war years though, that the company’s racing efforts became internationally known, often at the sharp end with their legendary sports racing cars.

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This was a time in motor racing, when one could acquire the most potent and internationally successful racing cars from the most prominent manufacturers, by writing a big enough check.

It was also a time just before racing cars were banned from road use, later becoming a track-only racing tool. It was the end of an era in which one could literally affix a license plate on one of these incredible racing machines, drive to the racing circuit and compete at the highest level, before returning home! This era marked the very pinnacle of sports car racing, culminating in the very last 1957 Mille Miglia race. The recent Michael Mann blockbuster movie Ferrari depicts this romantic yet grueling era of motor racing in perfect Hollywood fashion; the drivers were well-dressed playboys and daredevils, many World War II veterans, and the cars were the most advanced machinery one could image, featuring exquisite, timeless styling and pure, raw beauty. This very car—1957 Maserati 200Si chassis number 2415—formed part of this legendary era of motor racing competing in the very last Mille Miglia race. As one of very few cars to compete at the highest level it is also one of even fewer cars that have survived with their original components such as bodywork, chassis, and engine intact.

Thoroughly researched by international Maserati historian Walter Bäumer, his ten page report is on file and documents Maserati 200Si chassis number 2415 from day one. The new sports racing Maserati was ordered on 2 February 1957, by S.A.R.C., the Italian oil company owned by Sig. Fernando “Nando” Pagliarini. Pagliarini, a well-to-do oil man and gentleman racer from Parma, had started competing in 1952 at the Mille Miglia in a little Fiat 500, but soon recognized Maserati’s phenomenal competition cars were the way to success. He acquired a Maserati A6GCS in 1953 with which he tried his luck in the Mille Miglia that year, and later a Maserati 150S which he took on the grueling Brescia-Rome-Brescia race in 1956, although he didn’t finish.

Nando Pagliarini would take delivery of the brand-new Maserati 200Si chassis number 2415 on 23 March 1957. Finished in “Italian Racing Red,” the new Maserati was one of just about 19 200Si (Sport Internazionale) examples made introduced to conform to international sports car racing rules, featuring the fully-developed chassis as opposed to the earlier models based on the 150S chassis. The light aluminum bodywork was handcrafted by Carrozzeria Fantuzzi with a sleek, aerodynamic shape, arguably one of the best sports car designs ever made. The potent, dry-sump light-alloy 2.0-liter four-cylinder competition engine featured dual overhead camshafts, massive Weber carburetors, and was located low and far back in the competition chassis for excellent weight distribution.

2415 would debut on the Italian racing scene with Pagliarini at the wheel on 28 April 1957, at the Bologna-San Luca Hillclimb, where Pagliarini successfully brought the potent 200Si home to a 5th in Class/5th Overall finish. The real test of 2415 and Pagliarini’s racing capabilities would take place the following month at the 1957 Mille Miglia. Run on the 11th and 12th of May, the 24th and very last edition of the grueling Mille Miglia race was the 3rd round of the World Sportscar Championship, with competition at the very highest international level. Sporting start number 504 (reflecting a hardy 05:04 am start time) Pagliarini at the wheel of 2415 would compete against the very best drivers and teams in the world, and spectacular archival photos on file show Pagliarini at scrutineering in Brescia, proudly getting 2415 ready for the race, in addition to many photos and actual video footage of the 1957 Maserati 200Si sporting number 504 racing through Italy, from Brescia to Rome and back. Pagliarini and 2415 would finish the heroic race with an impressive result of 6th in Class and 23rd Overall, and bring home the Maserati sports racer safely, despite a tap to the nose, which didn’t prevent him from finishing the race. Impressive indeed, as of the 310 cars starting the 1957 Mille Miglia, just 172 would finish the race. The Maserati Works team at the 1957 Mille Miglia employed legendary racers Moss, Behra, Herrmann and Scarlatti, yet the team’s hopes of success had vanished early, with Behra out, having crashed his 450S even before the race started, Moss forced to retire due to a broken brake pedal, and Herrmann facing problems even before one of the first checkpoints. The 1957 Mille Miglia was won by Piero Taruffi in his Works Ferrari, but the win was overshadowed by the tragic accident just 70 kilometers from the Brescia finish, where race-leading Spanish factory driver Alfonso de Portago’s front tire exploded, resulting in him losing control of the car and tragically crashing fatally, causing one of motorsport history’s most horrific accidents. Three days after the conclusion of the event, the Italian government banned all motor racing on public roads, and thereby ending the original Mille Miglia race forever, and writing the last chapter of a now legendary era in motorsports history.

1957 maserati 200si by fantuzzi8

Following the Mille Miglia, Nando Pagliarini would continue competing with 2415 at various Italian sports car races and hillclimbs. Three scrapbook binders of original period newspaper clippings and old photographs accompanying the sale of 2415 show Pagliarini racing the 200Si to much success, without any serious mishaps compromising the cars originality today. He would enter the 1957 Mont Ventoux, Aosta-Gran San Bernardo, Pontedecimo-Giovi, and Trieste-Opicina hillclimbs, and in 1958 run the Bologna-San Luca Hillclimb in May, and then score an overall win at the Castell’ Arquato-Vernasca Hillclimb in June. The following month, a class win was achieved at the July 1958 Compiano-Vetto d’Enta race, and again in October 1958, Paliarini would bring 2415 home to a 4th overall finish at the Camionati Sociali di Velocita race. Later in 1958, Pagliarini would consign 2415 to Maserati, for them to handle the sale of the desirable and still competitive sports racing car to its next owner. Nando Pagliarini would go on to race important Ferraris in Italian sports racing events, including a 250 Tour de France, 250 SWB, and later a 250 GTO, but his 1957 Mille Miglia finish against fierce international competition stands out as one of his finest accomplishments.

In 1959, Maserati 200Si chassis number 2415 was sold to American Tommy Meehan, owner of the renowned exotic car dealership Autohouse in Seattle, Washington. According to Walter Bäumer’s detailed history report on 2415, Meehan had sent his friends Tom Carstons, Harry Eirely and renowned U.S. racer and car dealer Pete Lovely to Italy with a wish for them to find him a sports racing Maserati. The trend-setting successful American trio visited the Maserati factory where they tested a 1500 O.S.C.A. but didn’t buy it, and were then shown Pagliarini’s 200Si by Maserati that was there on consignment. A deal was struck with the Maserati factory for 2415, and Pete Lovely imported the car to the U.S. for Meehan later in 1959.

Meehan would start campaigning 2415 in the spring of 1960, after new pistons were ordered from Maserati and fitted due to the powerful racing engine running too lean. On 30 July 1960, Meehan competed with 2415 at the Westwood International, although running off the track, thankfully damaging just the front left suspension and wheel. Meehan continued to campaign 2415 in the Pacific Northwest until 1963, when he sold the car to Steve Skidmore, who raced the car mainly in Westwood International races during the 1963 season. In November of 1967, Skidmore sold 2415 to Samuel A. Wood of Washington, D.C., who later sold the 200Si to Frank McBee of Austin, Texas. Intending to use the car on the road, McBee carefully fitted front and rear bumpers to the original body; photos of these light modifications can also be seen in the archival photos in Bäumer’s report. He registered the car in August 1971 on Texas license plate “MC BEE.”

On 24 March 1972 McBee sold 2415 to Ed Niles of Los Angeles, California, noted collector and broker of some of the most important cars of the 1950s and 1960s, who in turn sold the Maserati to Lawrence Stevens from neighboring town Encino, California in July 1972. In September of 1978, Homer Tsakis from Katonah, New York acquired 2415, and had restoration work performed by Magnificent Motorcars of Buffalo, New York. In 1985, 2415 would return to the California sunshine, after being acquired by noted collector Anthony “Tony” Podell of Manhattan Beach. Podell would keep the car for nearly two decades, truly appreciating not just the thrilling performance and spectacular good looks of the Maserati 200Si, but also knowing that 2415 was one of the most original and purest examples in existence. Podell would appropriately run 2415 in the 1987 Mille Miglia Retrospective rally and enter it in numerous Monterey Historic Races during the 1990s. During Podell’s ownership, 2415 was looked after by noted restorer Michael Dopudja, a go-to guy for intricate sports racing Maserati and Ferrari cars of the period. Dopudja would restore the chassis, suspension and engine, and worked on the nose of the car. By the early 2000s, 2415 would return to its native Italy, when acquired by world renowned collector Norberto Ferretti of Rimini, a successful yacht builder and collector of some the most important sports and racing cars ever made. Ferretti would naturally run the original Mille Miglia veteran 2415 in the retrospective Mille Miglia on several occasions during the 2000s, before the car was acquired by noted collector Wolf-Dieter Baumann of Baden-Baden, Germany, during whose ownership the Maserati was maintained by noted U.K.-based Maserati specialist Steve Hart. Maserati historian Walter Bäumer thoroughly inspected the car during this time and confirmed that 2415 retains its original bodywork and chassis and was fitted with its original gearbox and engine block correctly stamped “2415” with internal number 17 as listed on the Maserati factory build sheet, while the cylinder head was identified as a period Maserati unit from an earlier car.

Baumann sold 2415 to the consignor in 2012, a renowned U.S.-based collector with a track record of owning only the most original and pedigreed cars available. Drawn to not just the purity and originality of 2415, but also the thrilling and extremely satisfying driving experience of the 200Si, he wisely crated the original matching-numbers engine—which is sold with the car—and commissioned a new engine build by Steve Hart in order to not risk the original pedigree of 2415. In the following years, 2415 would go on to be enjoyed on numerous Colorado Grand ventures, a few runs on the California Mille, and in 2019 once again returned to Italy and the cheering crowds of the Mille Miglia Retrospective. Renowned restorer Mark Allin of Rare Drive Inc. has expertly maintained 2415 in its current ownership for the past 12 years.

According to Walter Bäumer, the preeminent historian on sports racing Maserati’s and author of the book Maserati 300S; 200Si 2415 stands out as one of the most original examples of the rare breed, retaining its original chassis, bodywork, ancillaries such as suspension, tanks, brakes, instruments, and of course the original engine block sold with the car. Compounded by its successful finish in the very last Mille Miglia race, it ranks at the top of this romantic, yet grueling era of motor racing. 2415 is extensively documented with Bäumer’s full report, multiple photo albums containing archival images and period newspaper clippings, period racing video footage, racing records, and restoration receipts.

The sale of the ex-1957 Mille Miglia Maserati 200Si chassis number 2415 represents a very rare opportunity to acquire a genuine and no-excuses example of this celebrated Maserati model, recognized by world-renowned experts as a benchmark car, in terms of originality and pedigree.

A gorgeous, versatile, and potent 1950s Italian sports racer, 2415 boasts the key elements making a car collectible: History, Engineering, and Aesthetics. An ideal entrant at the most celebrated events around the globe such as Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance or Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, 2415 is truly in its element and eligible for virtually any driving event worldwide, should it be the Mille Miglia, Le Mans Classic or anything in between. Driving this very car on one of these events, especially the Mille Miglia, with the crowds cheering you on like they would have Fernando “Nando” Pagliarini at the very last Mille Miglia race in 1957, is truly a special experience; there is nothing quite like it.

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