Numbers game

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108

Sir,

I must commend you on the thoroughly fascinating article on the Maserati 250F. There is however a slight error which should be noted.

Although Bob Drake was indeed the last man to drive a 250F in a World Championship Grand Prix, this occurred at Riverside in 1960, not Watkins Glen.

Drake qualified 22nd out of 23 starters with a time of 2.05.4 (Moss being on pole with I .54.4) and finished 13th. The car is currently owned by Ralph Lauren.

You may be interested to know that Drake was also co-owner, with Mary Davis, of the former Grand Prix restaurant and bar in Los Angeles. Their clientele included Steve McQueen, Lance Reventlow, Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby, Masten Gregory, Ken Miles and Dan Blocker of Bonanza fame. The interior of the bar can be seen in a horrendous 1958 B-movie called The Road Racers, the only worthy moments being footage of the 1958 Times GP at Riverside and the starring role of Max Balchowsky’s “Old Yaller” (known as “Old Bucket of Bolts”).

Doug Nye’s book United States G P and Grand Prize Races 1908-77 lists Phil Cade’s non-starting 250F at Sebring in 1959 as chassis 2529 and Drake’s 1960 Riverside example as well! 2529 was of course the Fangio car from the 1957 German GP, adding further fuel to the confusion fire!

Sean Vigle, New York, USA.

There is now no doubt that Cade ‘s 1959 US GP car was 2524, and Drake’s mount the following year 2533. Car 2529 was in the US at the time, but did not appear at either GP. But we confess we were in error in placing the 1960 race at Watkins Glen; it was of course held at Riverside that year (and the Glen from ’61). DGM