Some of the most brilliant and revered thoroughbreds to emerge from Maserati’s stable during the 1950s were the company’s four-cylinder sports racers, which debuted in 1955. Like Porsche, Maserati took note that the 1.5-litre sports car class lacked significant competition from any manufacturers other than OSCA, so the Tipo 53 project was commissioned utilising the 4CF2 engine, which displaced just under 1,500 cubic centimetres. In due course, the motor was enlarged to displace two litres for the succeeding 200S and 200SI models, and though both cars showed much promise in their duels with Ferrari’s TRCs, Maserati was increasingly preoccupied with its 300S six-cylinder sports racer.
Nevertheless, at the Buenos Aires 1000 km on 20 January 1957, a new development of the four-cylinder car appeared during practice. Featuring a version of the 200SI’s engine that was further bored to 2,489 cubic centimetres, the so-called 250S caused quite a stir when Juan Manual Fangio drove it in practice to some of the day’s best lap times, even besting Ferrari’s 3.5-litre V-12 cars. Despite the strong showing, the 250S was deemed to still require further development before properly entering a race. Unfortunately, that plan increasingly fell by the wayside as the 300S dominated the year’s agenda, and Maserati eventually cancelled their race programme altogether following the 1957 season. As a result, only four examples of the sensational 250S were ever built, with three of the four cars featuring enlarged versions of engines that originally displaced two-litres.