In 1957 legendary Formula 1 driver Juan Manuel Fangio won the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring despite a 48-second deficit. He made that deficit up over 22 laps, passing the race leader on the final lap. In doing this he broke the lap record. Ten times.
His car was the Maserati 250F.
Over its lifetime the 250F was driven to victory in eight Grand Prix by Fangio (six times) and Stirling Moss (twice). Moss called it the nicest front-engined F1 car he ever drove.
By 1958, when the Constructors' Championships started in F1 the 250F had become outclassed, but the legend had been forged.
Today, original 250Fs are museum pieces and treated as such, but if you're in the market for as close an experience as possible to a vintage Formula 1 racer as possible, there is an alternative.
The Tipo 250 is a road-legal modern interpretation of the 250F. The exterior is a remarkable match and the engine has been picked to be as close to the original as possible. The BMW-sourced 2.5-litre straight-six is fitted with three Weber carburetors and beautiful 6x16 centre-lock wire wheels.
The suspension and brakes are more advanced than those Fangio and Moss had to contend with, but there are no driver assists present. The view from the cockpit looks remarkably convincing and its lack of safety features, bar the modern racing harness, increase your respect for those pioneers of speed.
The Tipo 250 was not built to sit and be looked at, though, so to the track it was to see if could indeed be driven in anger. It was a sight to behold to see the Tipo zoom into view and tear past us at speed and a wonderful privilege to have a facsimile of what it must have been like to see the all-time greatest F1 drivers do their thing.