Tag Archives: Munaron

Importing A Ladder – Maserati 250F #2530/32

Somewhere around 1980 Pink Floyd Drummer Nick Mason entered into negotiations to purchase ERA 10B and found that he could only buy the car on condition that he bought a Maserati 250F, today’s featured car, as part of the package.

Maserati 250F, Rob Hall, Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power

Nick bought both cars and found that the 250F had a 1957 lightweight chassis which turned out to be #2530 to which people had fitted numerous incorrect parts including a Chevrolet V8.

Maserati 250F, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

Nick described the car as a “basket case” and recalls the car being described as a ladder for import purposes.

Maserati 250F, Rob Hall, Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power

#2530 was originally fitted with a V12 motor but never raced with it, later in 1958 #2530 was fitted with a six cylinder motor and sent to South America. It appeared in the 1960 Argentinian Grand Prix with the chassis number #2532 where Gino Munaron drove the car to a 13th place finish.

Maserati 250F, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

To keep you on your toes Antonio Creus drove another 250F in the 1960 Argetinian Grand Prix this was chassis #2526 which carried the #2530 ID tag ! Antonio retired from with driver fatigue.

Maserati 250F, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

Towards the end of 1960 Brazilian Rugeno Peruzzi bought the car and between 1962/64, according to David McKinney’s Maserati 250F, it appears to have been raced by Camillo Cristofaro with a Chevrolet V8 in the engine bay.

Maserati 250F, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

Colin Crabbe found the car with out any identity in the early 1970’s and Nick had the frame replaced by a new one to the correct 1957 lightweight specification.

Maserati 250F,  Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Rob Hall is seen yumping #2530 at Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power at the top of the post while Charles Knill-Jones, a member of the Ten Tenths team which looks after Nick Mason’s many cars, is seen in period attire hustling Nicks 250F around Castle Combe at last years Autumn Classic meeting.

My thanks to Castle Combe historian Pete Stowe for letting me know who was driving #2530 at Castle Combe.

Thanks for joining me on this “Importing A Ladder” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a vintage Bugatti. Don’t forget to come back now !


Maserati Monday – Maserati 250F 2507/23/22

I thought it would be fun to give the pick ups, commercial and agricultural vehicles that have been a feature of Monday’s posts and restyle the day Maserati Monday, bookend the working week with two Italian marques can’t be bad, can it ?

Of the seven World Drivers Championship era’s perhaps the most romanticised is the 3rd from 1954 to 1960 when the rules mandated 2.5 litre / 152.5 cui motors to replace the 2 litre / 122 cui Formula 2 motors that had been used to determine the 1952 and 1953 World Drivers Championships.

Maserati 250F, Test Day, Mallory Park

If one car epitomises the era more than other then it is the Maserati 205F versions which took part in the very first and very last championship race of the era winning the first the 1954 Argentinian Grand Prix in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio and being long since surpassed by the rear engined cars from Cooper and Lotus when Robert Drake soldiered away to a 13th place finish in his Joe Lubin entered 250F, 7 laps down on the winning Lotus Climax driven by Stirling Moss in the last race of the 2.5 litre era the 1960 US Grand Prix.

Maserati 250F, Test Day, Mallory Park

Apart from the 8 World Championship Grand Prix won by 250F variants, bettered only by Mercedes Benz with nine victories, while the 250F clocked up an unequaled 23 non championship Formula One race victories in the same era.

Maserati 250F, Test Day, Mallory Park

Most of the twenty six 250F’s built led hard racing lives and consequently have complicated histories today’s featured car #2507 is no exception having originally been bought by Gilbey Engineering for Roy Salvadori to drive in 1954. Roy one a non championship race at Snetterton with the car and scored many other podium placings before he crashed at Oulton Park which led to the car being returned to the Maserati factory for repairs.

Maserati 250F, Albuquerque, Test Day, Mallory Park

Maserati replaced the chassis of 2507 and sent it back to Gilbey Engineering an now it get’s complicated, the Gilbey car was eventually retired after Ivor Beub had raced it, but the damaged Gilbey chassis was repaired and given a new identity #2523 for the 1956 season in which Bristol’s Horace Gould drove the car in the Belgian Grand Prix and Piero Taruffi in the French, on each occasion it retired.

Maserati 250F, Test Day, Mallory Park

In 1957 #2523 was rebodied and given a the identity #2522 and from then until 1959 it was driven by a dozen different drivers, including Taruffi, Gould, Harry Schell, Masten Gregory, Ivor Bueb, Hans Herrmann, Joakim Bonnier, Wolfgang Seidel, Carroll Shelby, Cliff Allison, Hernando da Silva Ramos and Fritz d’Orey of which Harry Schell scored the best result a second place in the non championship 1957 Grand Prix de Pau.

By 1960 #2507/23/22 had been shipped to Brazil Gino Munaron raced it at least once before selling it on, eventually the car was fitted with a Chevrolet V8 before being brought back to Europe by Colin Crabbe in 1972. The current owner, Jose Albuquerque seen enjoying the car at a Mallory Park test day a couple of years ago, acquired #2507/23/22 in 1999.

My thanks to David McKinney, Michael ‘Tuboscocca’ Catsch, John Winfield, Allan Luton and Alan Cox at the Nostalgia Forum for their patience and understanding answering my questions and not least to Tim Murray who kindly lent me a copy of David McKinney’s excellent book ‘Maserati 250F‘ which is as good as it get’s in print on the subject of these wonderful cars. New evidence is always being shed on the stories of these cars so if you know different to what is written above, please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “Maserati Monday” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be starting the first in a series of Bugatti blogs. Don’t forget to come back now !


Millionaire Mystery – Scuderia Parravano Pt 2 of 2

Last Ferrari Friday we got a glimpse of a few of Scuderia Parravano’s fabulous Ferrari’s financed by building millionaire Tony Parravano.

Carlyle Blackwell, Ferrari 750 Monza

Photo Carlyle Blackwell, Publised Courtesy Blackwell Archive, for sales enquiry’s please e-mail infoATpsychoontyres.co.uk and your contact details will be forwarded to the Blackwell Archive.

This week we are looking at Parravano’s 750 Monza chassis number #0538 being driven by an as yet

Carlyle Blackwell, Ferrari 750 Monza

Photo Carlyle Blackwell, Publised Courtesy Blackwell Archive, for sales enquiry’s please e-mail infoATpsychoontyres.co.uk and your contact details will be forwarded to the Blackwell Archive.

unidentified driver in a studio shot by Carlyle Blackwell.

The 750 Monza took it’s name from the track on which Mike Hawthorn and Umberto Maglioli took a debut victory in 1954, powered by a 250 hp 3 litre / 183 cui version of the four cylinder engine that was also used in the 500 TRC in the 1954 season. The 750 Monza allowed Ferrari to retain the World Sports Car Championship in 1954 but was not strong enough against the onslaught of the Mercedes Benz 300 SLR’s to give Ferrari a third consecutive championship.

Tony Parravano is rumoured to have paid Scaglieti over the odds for the unique body work on this particular vehicle which has a narrower radiator intake and a pronounced hump over the engine compared to a standard 750 Monza.

This unique car was crashed by one of the Caroll Shelby / Gino Munaron crew in the 1955 Targa Florio and does not appear to have been driven to any victories though Richie Ginther took 2nd place at New Smyrna Beach in 1957.

In December 1956 this photograph appeared on the cover of Road & Track magazine with the caption on the inside cover that reads “The closest photographer Carlyle Blackwell could come to a red sleigh for St Nick is this 3.5 litre Ferrari. The scene is a quiet village at Christmas Eve (on the 20th Century Fox’s back lot), but if the kiddies are still awake, it’s not the sound of sleigh bells they’ll be hearing as midnight strikes.”

Ed Arnaudin who purchased a copy of this photograph recently told his son Steve that there were rumours in the 1950’s about Tony Parravano having connections to ‘the mob’ which never gained a foothold in Southern California where Tony lived and worked, these rumours are also present on the internet today. There is however no doubt that Tony might have legitimately made a lot of money from the post WW2 housing boom in California.

In mid 1957 Tony Parravano and an associate were charged with tax evasion by the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) and Tony went on the run attempting to take some of his 11 Ferrari’s and 13 Maserati’s with him. Some of these vehicles were seized in the US, others were sold in Mexico. All have since been accounted for.

#0538 M pictured here only made it as far as a Save On supermarket parking lot in Van Nuys, California where it was auctioned off by the IRS for $3500 to Sydney Coolidge along with a $275 trailer in 1958. The car is known to have been used in competition until at least 1963.

Tony Parravano disappeared for good in April 1960 three days before he was due to appear in court. In January 1964 Tony’s associate paid 5 x $100 dollars in fines for 5 counts on a 27 count indictment and walked away a free man while Tony’s wife settled with the IRS and ended up with most of Tony’s assets.

There is no official record of what became of Tony, who, if he were alive today, would be a still credible 94 years old. He is reported to have been seen in a Rome launderette by a US racing journalist and there are reports on the net that the US Attorney General had a “Parravano Room” full of evidence against Tony though the fact remains his single indictment was on tax evasion charges and his associate had to pay $500 in fines on similar charges.

In 1986 #0538M resurfaced completely unrestored fitted with a Chevrolet V8 in the hands of a Mr Bill Shaker in Leesburg, VA who neither knew of the vehicles identity or it’s value. In 1987 the vehicle acquired a new war wound the day before the Ferrari Club of America National meeting when it went on an unmanned trip down a drive way and hit Mr Shakers daily driver a Volvo.

David Smith #0538’s next owner managed to reunite it with it’s original motor and in 1993 #0538 won the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Richard J Fraser tells his part in the story very well on the Barchetta website here.

If anyone recognises the driver of the car in the photo please chime in below.

My thanks to Ed Arnaudin who purchased a copy of it and to his son Steve who forwarded a scan of the copy to me, my thanks also to all the contributors on various threads at Ferrari Chat and The Nostalgia Forum who have knowingly and unknowingly contributed to today’s blog.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s fugitive edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psyco on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look at a Sebring Sprite. Don’t forget to come back now !

28 07 12 PS Many thanks to Pamela Blackwell who has kindly retrospectively given me permission to post the photo’s her father took.