Farewell to a fast lady

It’s not really the place of the S&G to comment upon every personality who passes away.  Sadly, from the perspective of 2016, any interest in the first half of the 20th century means reflecting upon lives and achievements that reach their end on a regular basis. Obituaries for S&G luminaries such as John Coombs, Sir Jack Brabham and Les Munro have been well written and doubtless read by regulars here; there is no point repeating for the sake of it.

But the recent passing of Maria Teresa de Filippis has robbed our generation of a unique link with that rather wonderful world of Formula One in the 1950s. She was glamorous, she was brave and she could certainly drive a bit. Maserati encouraged her and she joined the glittering set alongside Fangio, Moss, Hawthorn, Collins, Brooks ,Musso and all the rest: the right girl in the right place at the right time.

She didn’t set the world on fire but she will remain forever associated with an unrepeatable era, as this rather nice recent advert by Maserati attests:

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2 thoughts on “Farewell to a fast lady

  1. What an amazing little clip. I have to say that until this post I had never heard of Maria. You have sparked an interest in her and I will seek to learn more. I have always admired female racing drivers. I actually think that they have a slightly more deft and sensitive touch and seem to place the car on the track or road better.

    My favourite ever Top Gear “story” is an old one but it was brilliant. It was the story were the female German touring car driver drove a Transit Van around the Nurbergring faster than Jeremy in a proper touring car. Watching her skill behind the wheel and her enthusiasm was wonderful.

    In the 1980’s I had a girlfriend who was simply an amazing and intuitive driver. She owned an brilliant little Mazda RX3 with a slightly modified rotary engine. She used to love going for a blast down The Great Ocean Road here in Victoria, Australia. I was a very willing passenger. Watching her feet and hands moving as she placed the car perfectly for each corner, kept the revs in the best power band that the rotary provided and chose the best gear was like watching a ballerina like Fonteyn at work. Everything perfectly balanced and poised.

    I think I will watch the clip above many more times.

    Thank you once more for another great post.

    Cheers

    Patrick

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