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Last Updated: Friday, 21 July 2006, 06:12 GMT 07:12 UK
Island pit stop for classic car
'The most beautiful Formula One car ever made,' says its new owner.

A classic 1957 Maserati Formula One racing car has been on a visit to an Anglesey race track as its new owner gets to grips with driving it.

American Jeff O'Neill brought the Maserati 250F - driven by Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss - from a collector in Tremeirchion, near St Asaph.

Mr O'Neill plans to race the car in Europe.

Neither party would reveal the price paid for the car, but some estimates said the value could be more than £1m.

"It's like driving a piece of history," he said.

Mr O'Neill was at the Anglesey Circuit track, near Aberffraw, to be taught how to drive his new car by professional driver and instructor Willie Green.

Mr O'Neill said of the Maserati: "I think its the most beautiful Formula One car ever made.

"It only goes fast if it's going sideways, but I've driven it at 120mph developing muscles in the process - although mostly from fear," he added laughing.

Jeff O'Neill
New owner Jeff O'Neill plans to race the car

Although the car is not the actual winning car from the 1957 world championship it is only one of three made that year and was regularly driven by Stirling Moss, and championship winner Argentine racer Juan Manuel Fangio.

"This car is rated one of the most important racing cars outright when you consider what the car did in its time," said classic car dealer Lucas Huni from Switzerland who was also at the Anglesey track.

"The 250F was incredibly successful and Manuel Fangio mastered this car."

The Maserati 250F was one of the last two racing cars to be built with an engine at the front, before designers switched the engine to the rear from 1959.

Instructor Green, who has raced the Maserati in international classic car races in Monaco and Goodwood, added: "Only 35 of these cars were made at the time - although it is up to 45 now after copies were built - and although they look the same they all have slightly different traits."




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