The May issue of Motor Sport contains a report on the recent VSCC meeting at Silverstone. In it you compare the performance of Neil Corner’s “proper” (as you term it) 250 Maserati with that of my own 250F and the similar car owned by Nick Mason. This very clearly implies that my car is, therefore, not “proper”. In the context of historic cars this can only be taken to mean that mine is not an authentic 250F but one of the replicas assembled at a later date from spare parts and newly produced components. This, however, is most certainly not the case. My car, chassis number 2526, was purchased from the factory by Ken Kavanagh and was later owned by Patrick Lindsay, Richard Bergel and then Angus Clydesdale, from whom I purchased it in 1978. Its history is clearly established and has never been called into doubt in any way. I am astounded that such an allegation as that contained in your report should be made in as widely read and authoritative a magazine as Motor Sport, the more so because you did not have the common courtesy to check it with me, as owner of the car, before publication.
I must insist that you take immediate steps to rectify the matter by printing a suitably worded retraction in your next issue, and that this is accorded at least as much prominence as the original report.
I should add that I have no reason to doubt, either, the legitimacy of Mr Mason’s Maserati. A copy of this letter is therefore being passed to him.
RH. Bell, Director, Bell & Colvill Ltd, Leatherhead, Surrey
[I referred to Neil Corner’s car as a “proper” Maserati because it is an original lightweight version of the famous 250F. I now see that, especially these days when there is so much sensitive feeling about replicas and fakes, having used the word “proper” in such close proximity to my reference to the two other Maserati 250Fs, driven by RH. Bell and Nick Mason in the same race, it could be misconstrued that I was suggesting that these are inferior to Neil Corner’s car. This was not my intention and therefore I am glad to be able to publish in full the letter received from Mr Bell. — Ed]