GRR

Tec-Mec F415 - the Maserati 250F successor that never was

14th August 2017
Adam Wilkins

The Tec-Mec F415 is the car the Maserati 250F could have been had the Italian maker not decided to withdraw from Grand Prix racing for financial reasons. Maserati designer Valerio Colotti – whose CV also included a stint at Ferrari – had been heavily involved in the design of the 250F’s chassis and transmission. By the time Maserati decided to pull the plug on Grand Prix racing, he was well advanced on what would become the Tec-Mec F415.

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To complete the project, Colotti set up Studio Tecnica Meccanica to build the car for the 1959 season. Out went the Maserati’s distinctive finned brake discs in favour of lighter Girlings, the de Dion rear end was also deleted and the chassis was lightened and shortened.

Its grand prix career, however, was very short. It entered just one race, the United States Grand Prix, and completed just six laps before retiring. The car never fulfilled its performance potential, driver Fritz d’Orey struggling with the car’s handling and lapping 10 seconds faster than the slowest car to finish 17th.

Financial constraints meant that by the end of the year Colotti had sold the design studio, which went on to build Formula Junior cars. Today, the company still exists as Colotti Transmissioni, making gearboxes and differentials for racing cars.too

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And it’s brighter news for the Tec-Mec F415 itself. Now run by Ian Nuttall Racing, the car has been developed to be the front-runner it could always have been in period. It’s often at the sharp end of the grid, beating the mid-engined Coopers and Lotuses that stole the mantle of front-engined grand prix cars all those decades ago. It certainly made for interesting viewing at last year's Revival...

In the first of two races at the Silverstone Classic, it achieved a top 10 finish in the hands of Tony Wood but it does have race-winning form. We can't wait to see it back in action again.

Photography by Tom Shaxson

  • Silverstone Classic

  • Silverstone Classic 2017

  • Maserati

  • Tec-Mec

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