Stirling Moss-crashed 1956 Maserati 450S to be auctioned in Monaco

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RM Auctions has some very special and expensive Italian sportscars of the 50s and 60s consigned for its auction in Monaco on May 10, but the one that currently carries the highest estimated value at between 4 and 5.5 million euros ($5.5 - $7.5 million) is a 1956 Maserati 450S with some very interesting provenance.

The Maserati started its life as a six-cylinder 350S that Stirling Moss drove in the 1956 Mille Miglia race. Unfortunately, the brakes failed, and it crashed into a tree and nearly into a ravine. Moss and his co-driver weren't injured, but the car was kaputt.

Maserati repaired it and used the chassis as a test mule for its new 5.7-liter V8 racecar called the 450S. It featured an extended wheelbase to fit the larger engine and a new body with a single seat. The racer hit the track again at the hands of Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1957 Buenos Aires 1000 KM but retired with transmission issues. Later that season, it crashed again at the 1957 Mille Miglia at the hands of driver Jean Behra. After that, the car sat around the workshop until it was sold without an engine in 1965.

After kicking around several owners, the 450S received a restoration in the 80s with a correct V8 engine being installed, and it made its grand reemergence in the 1987 Mille Miglia. According to RM, it has mostly sat on display in a climate-controlled environment since then.

The 450S is a rarity, with Maserati only building 11 of them, counting the prototype. While the test car proved temperamental on the track, the other cars won at Sebring and the Swedish Grand Prix in 1957. Scroll down to read the full history of the car, and be sure to check out the gallery for some great photos.
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RM Auctions announces further premier offerings for its Monaco sale, occurring 10th May during the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique weekend

Recent highlights include a spectacular series of Ferraris including a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C, a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolet Series I, a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS and a 2006 Ferrari 575 GTZ by Zagato

Sale also includes the hugely significant and historic 1956 Maserati 450S Prototype

Complete digital catalogue now available online at

LONDON (April 3, 2014) – RM Auctions, the world's largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, continues to attract incredible, historically significant cars to its forthcoming Monaco sale at Le Sporting on 10 May. Staged during the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique weekend, the single-day sale will present a superb roster of more than 80 handpicked, blue-chip automobiles, including seven vehicles with pre-sale estimates in excess of €1.000.000.

World-class Ferraris are never far from any RM sale and the upcoming Monaco event is no exception, featuring no less than 16 examples from the famed Italian marque. Amongst recent highlights is a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C with coachwork by Scaglietti. Chassis 09067 is the ninth of only twelve produced, and is arguably the finest and most original example of its kind as it boasts fully matching numbers and Ferrari Classiche certification. Unlike many 275 GTB/Cs, 09067 was not sold to a race team but rather delivered new to a private owner in Milan who registered it for road use. The car didn't see track action until 1969, when its third owner competed in the Colle San Eusebio Hill Climb. It then passed onto its fourth owner in 1973, spending the next 22 years in the Netherlands. Most recently, the car has participated in various tours and rallies including the Tour Auto, but its infrequent period race history makes it very unusual and undoubtedly contributes to it being one of the most original and desirable 275 GTB/Cs in existence (Estimate: €4.300.000–€5.000.000).

RM is also delighted to announce that it will offer a very rare 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolet Series I, chassis 1181 GT, in Monaco. It is the 36th of only 40 examples built as well as being the final factory covered-headlamp version. Connoisseurs will appreciate that 1181 GT is built on the later and much superior 508D chassis and the fact that it is both matching numbers and fully Ferrari Classiche certified. Completed on 12 March 1959, chassis 1181 GT was shipped to New York City for display on Ferrari's stand at the third International Automobile Show prior to being delivered to Luigi Chinetti Jr. It was then sold in 1960 to preferred Ferrari customer William McKelvy, the famed principal of the Scuderia Bear team before passing onto Bob Grossman, the well-known New York-based dealer, Briggs Cunningham team driver, and two-time SCCA champion a year later. The Cabriolet was subsequently owned by a number of well-known collectors in North America before spending the last three years residing in the UK (Estimate: €4.000.0000–€5.000.000).

Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Auctions, Europe, says: "Once again, we are proving to be the auction house of choice when it comes to selling historically significant Ferraris. We have an unrivalled reputation in the global market place and our Monaco sale never disappoints, with more than 80 fabulous pre- and post-war sports, touring and racing cars representing 37 different marques".

Another significant entry sure to attract collectors of the Maranello marque is the matching-numbers 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS, chassis 10719. One of ninety-nine built, it was originally shipped to Luigi Chinetti Motors in Greenwich, Connecticut in early 1968, passing through the hands of various respected collectors in North America over the following decade. In 2006 the car benefited from a thorough restoration by Rudi Koniczek & Company, which brought it up to the most remarkably perfect condition in every respect. A testament to the outstanding quality of its restoration, 10719, presented in stunning Blu Scuro with a Claret and black leather interior and black cloth top, was shown at the 2011 Concorso Italiano in Monterey, California where it was awarded the Ferrari Club of America Pacific Region Vintage Concours Award and received Best of Show honours
(Estimate: €1.500.0000–€1.800.000).

Not all rare Ferraris herald from the 1960s and the marque's more recent design will be represented in Monaco by a 2006 Ferrari 575 GTZ with unique coachwork by Zagato. This immensely rare care is the brainchild of a Japanese collector, Yushiyuki Hayashi who commissioned Zagato to create a unique design using Ferrari's 575 Maranello Berlinetta as a platform, taking his inspiration from the Zagato-bodied TdF models. It is surely one of the most recognisable coachbuilt creations of the early 21st century as Zagato produced only six examples, all of which carry unique body features specified by their first owners, leaving no two cars exactly alike. The 575 GTZ on offer is one of the most fascinating Ferrari cars of recent times, and presents a very rare opportunity for collectors seeking unique features and exclusivity (Estimate: €880.000–€1.050.000).

Of course, Ferrari isn't the only Italian marque to have produced some of the world's greatest sports and racing cars. Maserati was more than a match for the Maranello marque on both road and track during the 1950s and 1960s. Monaco will see RM offer the 1956 Maserati 450S Prototype, a truly historic racing car which lived two lives, originally as a six-cylinder Works racer, and later as the first incarnation of the eight-cylinder 450S. With beautiful yet purposeful coachwork by Fantuzzi, the example on offer competed as the Works entry at the 1956 Mille Miglia, driven by the legendary pairing of Sir Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson. After the Mille Miglia, the car returned to the factory where it became the prototype for the new eight-cylinder 450S. Once acquired by the current owner, this historic Maserati was painstakingly restored in 1987 to its prototype specification, with significant advice and detailed consultation with the Factory. The Monaco sale represents the first time the car has been offered for sale in 33 years, presenting a very exclusive ownership opportunity (Estimate: €4.000.000–€5.500.000).

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