The fifties were an happy time where private teams could purchase F1 cars (most often ageing) and field World Championship Grand Prix with promising or already recognized great drivers. For the 1958 Reims GP, the Guglielmo Dei's Scuderia Centro Sud (Mimmo was a Maserati dealer for Central and Southern Italy) was entering several Maseratis 250 F. Mimmo offered Carroll Shelby and Troy Ruttman the opportunity to make their F1 World Championship debuts at their wheel. Both Carroll and Troy (also in Europe because of the Monzanapolis race that he had just participated in), agreed to drive for Mimmo. Worth of notice, this Reims 1958 GP was also the first GP for another american driver, Phil Hill, driving another privately owned Maserati. No less than seven 250 F Maseratis were on the starting grid, including the Piccolo one in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio for whom, by contrast, it will be the last race.

The two Centro Sud cars (#28 and #30), magnificiently blue painted with two longitudinal white stripes, looked similar, except an additional raised windshield for Troy Ruttman given his size. The Maseratis were by now relatively uncompetitive and could obviously not pretend to the first places. The Texan qualified 17th out of 21 runners but could not finish the race due to engine failure, whereas the Yankee finished at the 10th place.

While Troy went back to the United States after the race (which will remain the sole F1 appearance in his career), Carroll decided to repeat the experience at the subsequent British GP at Silverstone, on the same car. He could again qualify, two places up, and finished the race at an honourable 9th place.

A really nice car for the model builder, and a good way to pay a tribute to the great Carroll Shelby, recently deceased.



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This photo (copyright unknown) shows the three american drivers (Carroll, Phil and Troy, with helmets, in racing attire) and Mimmo at the right.