Business F1 Top 20 Petrolheads: Nick Mason, The Boy Who Chose Well

  • 23 March 2024
  • 3 min read
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Business F1 Top 20 Petrolheads: Nick Mason, The Boy Who Chose Well image

Photo credit: Business F1

Nick Mason combined the celebrity of being one of the creators of the band Pink Floyd and the successor of their famous music with owning a collection of cars that represent the epitome of excellence.

Nick is a reserved man, some wrongly describe him as a curmudgeon. He guards his popularity and likes to live life on his own terms. And he certainly does. In his prime, he was the so-called "rhythmic beat" of Pink Floyd. Now that he is 79 years old, however, he has not forgotten that the rhythm that has always accompanied him is also the one that fuels his passion: Racing cars, preferably classic ones. He loves the sound of the pistons running up and down the cylinder block as much as the sound of the woodwinds on his drums.

Business F1 Top 20 Petrolheads: Nick Mason, The Boy Who Chose Well - 1 Nick Mason bought his Ferrari 250 GTO in the 1970s for just over $100,000. A real bargain when you consider that today it is worth more than $50 million.

Nick was born in the English town of Birmingham and began making music when he met at Regent Street Polytechnic, now University of London, the future members of Pink Floyd: Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Syd Barrett. The four guys immediately joined forces and began the journey that would contribute to the success of rock music. They would later be joined by David Gilmour.

Mason was the band's drummer. He had his own distinctive style, characterised by precision, subtlety and timing, perfectly suited to be the rhythmic foundation upon which Pink Floyd's "ethereal soundscapes" were built. Mason's drumming was a dynamic force, capable of navigating the "intricate landscapes painted by the band's visionary compositions". By the end of the 1960s, Pink Floyd had become one of the most influential and iconic rock bands in the world. His technological prowess defined the band's iconic live concerts, as Pink Floyd became one of the first groups to embrace the concept of the multimedia rock show, with light shows and large-screen televisions later becoming the norm. Mason was the only band member who never left the group. As such, Mason considers himself the guardian of Pink Floyd's legacy and regularly celebrates the band's catalogue in retrospective documentaries and live performances.

Business F1 Top 20 Petrolheads: Nick Mason, The Boy Who Chose Well - 2 Nick Mason's three Aston Martin Ulsters at his home in Middlewick House, Wiltshire, England.

Mason's collectionism started early and he formed his own team already in the 1970s, which he called "Ten Tenths", demonstrating his talent. When he became rich, he started collecting and could not stop. In the 1970s, he bought his most famous car, a Ferrari 250 GTO for just over $100,000. It was a real bargain as it is now worth more than $50 million and being his has definitely increased the value even more. It is, however, just one of the cars in an extraordinary collection kept at a secret location in the Cotswolds region of England. He also owns other Ferraris, among them an iconic 1953 250MM.

He is one of the few owners of a McLaren F1 GTR that is probably valued between $25 and $30 million today, as very few were produced. The GTR is the racing version of the McLaren F1. According to Mason, it is not a car for the faint-hearted and he does not consider himself one.

Business F1 Top 20 Petrolheads: Nick Mason, The Boy Who Chose Well - 3 Nick Mason had an incredible eye when he assembled his collection in the last three decades of the 20th century. He is photographed at his lock-up in the Cotswolds of England.

He also owns a 1957 Maserati 250F Formula car, one of the world's most popular racing cars that made Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss famous and a Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage. Another car that made history. His taste for cars also extends to a Jaguar D-type. According to him, "one of the most beautiful racing cars ever built" and a 1927 Bugatti Type 35B. The beauty of his collection also lies in the fact that he uses the cars, mostly on the track, and participates in races such as the Goodwood Revival.

Among his modern cars is a LaFerrari in a beautiful semi-dark shade of blue called Blu Pozzi. The pride of his fleet, however, and probably the most valuable car he owns, is a 1970 Ferrari 512S. It is one of the Ferraris featured in Steve McQueen's film Le Mans. The McQueen connection probably adds 30 per cent to a car that is already worth many millions of dollars. Mason now shares the management of his cars with his daughter and son-in-law, Marino Franchitti, an accomplished professional racing driver, who had to fight with his father-in-law for permission to drive his cars. In the end, certainly not without pain Mason finally gave in!