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Press Release

Gooding & Company Brings Legendary Maserati 200 SI to Headline Amelia Island Auction

Historical and exotic automobiles from Fiat and Lotus will also cross the block this March.

Santa Monica, CA (February 5, 2015) - Gooding & Company, the auction house acclaimed for selling the world’s most significant and valuable collector cars, is thrilled to announce the presentation of three legendary motorcars to its Amelia Island Auction. Offerings include an iconic, champion Maserati driven by some of the greatest names in motor sport history and limited-production examples from Fiat and Lotus that notoriously catapulted their brands into the 1950s racing scene.  Gooding & Company’s internationally-renowned auction will take place on Saturday, March 13, 2015 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation in Amelia Island, Florida, commencing at 11:00am.

1956 Maserati 200 SI (Estimate Upon Request) This Maserati 200 SI occupies a place of distinction in the evolution of Maserati sports racing cars, not only because it was the first 200 S chassis produced, but also due to its service as the series’ works development car and its membership of the factory racing team. Boasting an outstanding racing record, chassis 2401 participated in all the great European and South American events during its racing career, capturing podium finishes at Nurburgring, Napoli, Caracas and Bari. It has competed in many renowned races including the Cuban Grand Prix, Mille Miglia, Monza, Targa Florio, Grand Prix of Rome and driven by famed racing drivers Stirling Moss, Jean Behra, Guiseppe Musso, Luigi Bellucci and Piero Taruffi.  Its fine balance and unusual level of feedback earned it a reputation among the racing scene and drivers alike as one of the best handling cars of the 1950s.  Retaining its factory-delivered engine, chassis and bodywork, the purity of this 200 SI racecar is unparalleled for this era.   

The time capsule that is 2401 has proved successful in all of the important American historic events such as the Monterey Historics, the Coronado Speed Festival, the races at Moroso Park and the Shell Historic Challenge, where it captured several First-in-Class finishes. Not only has it excelled on the racetrack but in various concours as well. In 2005, the 200 SI received Maserati Classiche certification and won its class at the 2010 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.  With substantial and thorough documentation, extensive competition history, beautiful, purposeful patina and its distinctively exposed original bodywork, this 1950s two-litre racing car will be a coveted offering among all Amelia Island auctions.  

1953 Fiat 8V Vignale Coupe (Estimate: $1,600,000-$2,000,000) Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1952, the Fiat 8V Coupe surprised crowds and made headlines across worldwide auto news.  This was the moment and the model that put Fiat in the ranks with the other top Italian automakers. The 8V, or Otto Vu, was Fiat’s first eight-cylinder vehicle with a body and chassis of equal importance and innovation.  Just 114 of these extremely special cars were produced, 34 of which belong to an exclusive class under the Reparto Carrozzerie Speciali ("Special Bodies Department") with designs from Italian coachbuilders such as Zagato, Pinninfarina, Ghia and Vignale.  This metallic turquoise and blue example presented here is one of only nine Vignale bodied Fiat 8Vs. The Fiat 8V also became a new sight on the racing scene during the 1952 racing season, posting numerous leading results and eventually becoming the Italian two-litre GT champion.  

With a complete and beautifully authentic concours-quality restoration, the essence of its original iconic 1950s handmade Italian style is astonishingly present. The car exhibits impeccable craftsmanship, and the interior and dashboard are a design to be marveled. The quality and precision of the restoration was validated during its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® in 2002 where it was awarded Best in Class.  With its exceptional restoration and eligibility for a wide variety of automotive events, this 8V represents an exciting opportunity for those with a passion for ultra rare, historically significant Italian sports cars.  

Another noteworthy 1950s racing icon coming to Florida this spring is the 1951 Lotus Mark IIIB (Estimate: $250,000-$450,000).  As the earliest Lotus built for a customer and the first car to wear the firm’s recognizable badge, the Mark IIIB will always be regarded as a pivotal model in the history of the celebrated marque. Not only is this historic example a genuine artifact from the earliest days of Lotus but it was successfully raced in period and possesses a known, continuous provenance with just five private owners from new. Prominently featured in nearly every book on Lotus automobiles, the Mark IIIB is the spiritual predecessor to some of the most famous sports and racing cars of the 1950s and 1960s. For the collector with an appreciation for fine English sports cars or the true devotee of Colin Chapman’s Lotus marque, this important automobile at auction represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.