Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason has such an incredible collection of classic motors we even borrowed one for the GQ Car Awards in 2019
As Pink Floyd’s resident timekeeper, Nick Mason deployed his sticks for all 15 of the English prog rock outfit’s studio albums. Which, given total record sales exceed 250 million, has left anything but echoes in his bank account.
How does the Birmingham-born drummer choose to use his royalty cheques? When he’s not behind a kit, you’ll usually find him at the helm of a priceless classic car.
A petrolhead of the highest order, he has long been a staple of events such as the Goodwood Members’ Meeting, rocking up in rare cars both bought and borrowed – and has frequently proven himself to be a very capable racer. He’s even competed in the 24 Hours Of Le Mans.
And, since returning from the dark side of the moon, Mason has also built up quite the stable of fabled machines. So here, on his 77th birthday, are the highlights of his collection…
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
Mason owns a fleet of rare Ferraris, including an F40, a GTB/4 Daytona and a fearsome 512S racer that starred in Steve McQueen’s Le Mans. Pride of his Prancing Horse assortment, though, is a 250 GTO.
One of just 36 built, Mason bought the gorgeous grand tourer – registration “250 GTO” – for £37,000 in the Seventies. Recent auction results suggest it’s now worth more than £40 million, but that hasn’t stopped the drummer from letting the legendary V12 machine loose at the Goodwood Festival Of Speed on multiple occasions.
1957 Maserati 250F
Many of Mason’s machines have a racing bent – from his Porsche 962 to the Ferrari 312 T3 in which Gilles Villeneuve won the Canadian Grand Prix – but only one was voted “the world’s greatest racing car” in 2009: the Maserati 250F. Equal parts lightweight, streamlined and utterly beguiling, the Fifties Formula One racer was steered in period by the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss. Mason owns one of just 26 ever made and it lives in his garage alongside an even faster featherweight racer from two years later: the stunning space-frame Tipo 61 Birdcage.
1955 Jaguar D-Type
Jaguar’s daring D-type was as curvaceous as competition cars came in the Fifties. Mason once called it “one of the most beautiful sports racing cars ever built” and, after eyeing up its sinuous shell, it’s difficult to disagree. That the slippery machine also managed to win Le Mans three times on the trot shows just how aerodynamically advanced it was for the era. The drummer’s shown no interest in parting with any of his motors, but if he were to list his low-slung Jag at auction, the estimate would start north of £10m.
1927 Bugatti Type 35B
Bugatti’s Type 35 of the Twenties was, in the marque’s own words, “the world’s most successful racing car”. Makes sense, then, that a motorsport nut such as Mason would want one of the alcohol-fuelled Grand Prix machines in his garage. Bought in bits back in the Seventies and built up around an original chassis, Mason then took his supercharged speedster racing in the Eighties. The blue beast still fires up a raucous treat today – after some furious hand-pumping for fuel pressure, that is.
1953 Ferrari 250MM
One of Mason’s more recent acquisitions is this perfectly proportioned midcentury Ferrari. Raced in the Carrera Panamericana border-to-border dash in 1953, the 250 MM coupé then retired from competition to enjoy a lucky run of three restorations and countless concours appearances before finding its way into Mason’s collection in 2011. That Spanish sponsorship on its nose reads “no hay dos” (“nothing better”). In any other company, that would probably be true.
1901 Panhard 5-litre
Probably the oldest motor in the Pink Floyd man’s entourage is this Panhard Et Levassor, complete with positively regal Roi-Des-Belges coachwork. A truly vintage thing, the handsome French four-wheeler squeezes a modest 24bhp from its four-cylinder, five-litre engine. Not much, but enough to ferry four – or more – from London to Brighton, as Mason has done numerous times as part of the 54-mile Veteran Car Run that happens every November.
1996 McLaren F1 GTR
Owning any McLaren F1 is a special thing, given that it’s arguably the greatest supercar ever created. Owning an example of the even meaner GTR track variant? That’s priceless. Owning a GTR because you got it in a swap with former McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who wanted an IndyCar that you happened to have? That’s just showing off. Let’s not talk about the time Mason stuck it in the wall at Goodwood’s 75th Members’ Meeting, though…
1935 Aston Martin Ulster
Think Aston Martin is all about gorgeous grand tourers? The DB5 might be Bond’s pick, but it was the altogether more unforgiving Ulster that made the marque’s name before the Second World War. A competition car with few creature comforts, the 1.5-litre racer tackled everything from Le Mans to the Mille Miglia in its heyday. Most famous of the breed are the works LM models – each worth millions – and, naturally, Mason has three: LM17, LM18 and LM21, which he’s owned and raced since 1973.