Watch a 1958 Maserati 250F Race Car Drift Through the Streets of Monaco
This is what dreams are made of.
A steel space frame, aluminum bodywork, and a naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter inline-six are a solid recipe for a race car, but it's the way those ingredients worked together in the Maserati 250F that made Stirling Moss remember it as "of its era, the nicest Formula 1 front-engined car to drive." Seemingly designed to be driven in a constant state of borderline oversteer, 250Fs have the unusual tendency to raise their inside front wheel off the ground when cornering at their hardest, which is a quirk likely to throw most drivers off their game. Not vintage Grand Prix racer Frank Stippler, however.
The German grappled with both that and the 250F's almost bicycle-skinny tires while racing his Maserati at the 2014 Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, where he finished second, and which he recorded with an onboard camera giving us a better idea of what Formula 1 looked like to drivers in days of yore. Stippler showcases not only the 250F's tendency toward soft oversteer but also all to the sweet soundtrack that is a vintage Italian race engine.
Stippler's driving is made more impressive by the fact that 250F featured a now-unconventional pedal layout, with brakes on the right, and gas in the center (250Fs were, of course, all manual). Dealing with a mind-bending control quirk like that while racing flat-out in the streets of Monaco is a simply heroic feat, both for Stippler and his forebears that raced the 250F in-period. Sadly, we can't compare his lap times to those of historic F1 drivers, as the Monaco Grand Prix circuit now features an additional two chicanes and a more complicated third sector. Nevertheless, we can't help imagining Stippler would've made a fine gentleman driver at the very least...and a legend at best.
- RELATEDIt Sure Looks Like Maserati Is Building a Mid-Engine Sports CarThe camouflaged powertrain mule is a test car for an entirely new model.READ NOW
- RELATEDFerrari Patent Filing Details F1 Halo-Style Safety Device for Future Road CarsNot to worry—there's a clever feature that makes the driver's view virtually unimpeded.READ NOW
- RELATEDF1 Champ Lewis Hamilton and MotoGP Legend Valentino Rossi Swap Rides for a DayBoth machines can go over 220 mph and cost millions of dollars to maintain.READ NOW
- RELATEDGordon Murray's McLaren F1 Successor Launches in May With Aero Work by F1 TeamIt will feature a downforce-inducing fan that was once outlawed in Formula 1.READ NOW
- RELATEDFormula E's Frozen 2 Parody Is the Cutest Mashup You'll See All WeekWhat Elsa would you expect?READ NOW