Maserati GranTurismo S makes its Debut in London
Passers-by were surprised when not one - an everyday occurrence on the King’s Road - but two Maseratis circulated in busy rush-hour traffic this week. More knowledgeable observers would note that not only was the grey GT a brand-new GranTurismo S, but that the red single-seater was none other than a 250F of the type that the great Argentine driver, Juan Manuel Fangio, drove to many victories in the Fifties.
Complete with an uprated, 440HP 4.7-litre V8, semi-automatic transaxle gearbox, dual-cast brakes and a sports exhaust, Maserati’s new GranTurismo S was launched to critical acclaim at this year’s Geneva Salon. The grey car on display at the Bluebird restaurant this week was Maserati GB’s brand-new Press car: the first RHD ‘S’ in the country.
Flanking the svelte 2+2 were three single-seaters from the Modenese manufacturer’s illustrious racing past: a 1936 6CM, raced to victory by Aldo Marazza at the Naples Grand Prix in 1938, the ex-Reg Parnell/Fangio 1948 4 CLT and the ex-Vandervell bearings 1954 250 F, once raced by World Champion Mike Hawthorn.
The classic cars came courtesy of collectors' cars specialist Coys. Chris Routledge, the company’s Managing Director, commented: "It could well be the last time that these three famous Maseratis are together in one place. The fact that Maserati are using this occasion for the UK debut of the Granturismo S is fantastic."
Andrea Antonnicola, Managing Director of Maserati GB said: "Maserati is one of the most iconic marques in the world and this was a unique occasion to see the very best of old and new."
All the single-seaters were in full working order. However, it was down to the 250F to accompany the new Maserati road car on a brief tour of SW3. After a few ‘laps’ behind a tow car, the 2.5-litre straight-six burst into life – startling onlookers and receiving the ultimate sign of approval from London’s workmen and cabbies: the thumbs-up.
We drove the GranTurismo in May and liked it a lot – watch out for a full test on English roads of the 183mph GranTurismo S in Classic Driver over the next few weeks.
Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Classic Driver / Maserati
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