1955 Maserati 300s Spider sees $6m record at Goodwood auction

A 1955 300s Sports-Racing Spider has become the most valuable Maserati ever sold at auction, after seeing outstanding results at Bonhams' groundbreaking Goodwood Festival of Speed sale on July 12.

Maserati 300S Sports spider
The 300S is one of Stirling Moss' favourite cars

The ex-Bill Spear/Sherwood Johnston Maserati raced to a final price of £4m ($6m), topping the previous record of £2.3m ($3.3m) by 77.7%.

In total, Bonhams' auction made an impressive £36m ($54.4m), making it the highest grossing motorcar auction ever held in Europe.

In addition, the auction saw a new world auction record for any car, set by the 1954 Mercedes W196 driven by Juan Manuel Fangio at £19.6m ($29.6m). A further world record for a Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Coupe was seen by John Lennon's example, which sold for £359,900 ($544,028).

The 300S is a 3-litre, 6-cylinder racing model, described by legendary driver Sir Stirling Moss as "one of my favourite front-engined sports Maseratis - one of the easiest, nicest, best-balanced sports racing cars ever made".

The example at auction was the third ordered by American collector Briggs Swift Cunningham for his friend and team driver, Bill Spear. It was then co-driven by Spear and Sherwood Johnston at the 1955 Sebring 12-hours race, where it finished third, beaten only by a Ferrari and Jaguar E-Type.

"A car equally at home on road or track, offering impeccable handling and - crucially - able to accommodate two in comfort, it is the perfect all-rounder and eligible for all the great historic events, including the Mille Miglia, Le Mans Classic and Goodwood Revival," Bonhams' James Knight commented.

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