Tag Archives: 8CM

Sig. Nuvolari’s Replacement – Maserati 8CM #3018

On the 9th of July 1933 Tazio Nuvolari made his Maserati debut at the Belgium Grand Prix driving a Maserati 8CM chassis #3007. He continued to race the #3007, scoring two more wins, at Ciano and Nice in 1933, until mid way through 1934 when he broke his leg in it at Alexandria.

Maserati 8CM, Donington Park Museum

By June 1934 Maserati had supplied Tazio with today’s featured 8CM chassis #3018 which he drove in the Eifel GP at the Nurburgring where he retired. Two more retirements followed until he scored a 4th place finish in the 1934 German Grand Prix which was followed by successive 3rd and 2nd place finishes at Vivorno and Pescara respectively.

In August 1934 the original 3 litre / 183 cui 8 cylinder motor was replaced with a 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui 6 cylinder unit for voiturette races, making the car the first Maserati 6CM a full 18 months before the 6CM went into production in 1936. Tazio drove #3018 in voiturette spec to victories in the at Modena and Naples.

Tom Wheatcroft founder of the Donington Park Museum where the car is seen here owned the car for over thirty years before he passed away in 2009.

Thanks for joining me on this “Sig. Nuvolari’s Replacement” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will return tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Bugatti built for royalty. Don’t forget to come back now !


Third At La Turbie & Pau – Maserati 8CM #3009

Joining Whitney Straight Ltd as debutant entrants on Grand Prix scene in 1934 was Ecurie Braillard a team run by Countess Nelly Braillard who’s drivers included her younger brother Louis Braillard, who has beaten the up and coming Whitney Straight in the 1933 Grand Prix d’Albi, Benoit Falchetto and Raymond Sommer.

Maserati 8CM, VSCC, Spring Start, Silverstone

Like Whitney Straight Ltd Ecurie Braillard opted for the Maserati 8CM buying two of them including #3009 featured today, in these photographs taken at last weeks VSCC Spring Start meeting at Silverstone, which were supplemented by a Bugatti Type 51.

Maserati 8CM, VSCC, Spring Start, Silverstone

Unlike #3011 which was the subject of a book by Denis Jenkinson information on #3009 is a little more difficult to find. Of the references I have found is one in which Louis drove #3009 to third fastest time in the 1934 La Turbie Hillclimb in Provence France.

Maserati 8CM, VSCC, Spring Start, Silverstone

At the end of 1934 Louis was injured in an accident on the St-Lô Hillclimb apparently after insisting the teams other 8CM’s, #3015, brakes were switched from hydraulic to mechanical operation. His injuries were compounded by a skiing accident early in 1935 which saw him follow Whitney Straight into early retirement aged just 29. Ecurie Braillard, for whom Louis’s brother in law Benoit Falchetto had won the the 1934 Grand Prix de Picarde and a Libre race at Montlhéry aboard #3015, disbanded at the end of 1935.

Maserati 8CM, VSCC, Spring Start, Silverstone

Luigi ‘Gigi’ Soffietti bought #3009 from Ecurie Braillard for the 1935 season and recorded a 3rd place with it in the 1935 Grand Prix run on the streets of Pau in Southern France.

Maserati 8CM, VSCC, Spring Start, Silverstone

Current owner Sean Danaher, seen in the white fire suit, is recorded as having spent between 1990 and 1999 restoring #3009.

Thanks for joining me on this “Third At La Turbie & Pau” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Bugatti. Don’t for get to come back now !


Hydraulics & Pre Selectors – Maserati 8CM #3011

Entering his third and final season of motor racing American born Whitney Willard Straight decided to pull out all the stops and create his own Grand Prix team with Reid Railton and the Earl of Brecknock for 1934 called Whitney Straight Ltd.

The team ordered no less than three Maserati 8CM’s of which chassis #3011 was the first, featuring a narrow 1933 specification 20″ inch wide chassis and a 3 litre / 183 cui straight 8 motor designed by Alfieri Maserati who died early in 1932 just before the first 8CM was completed.

Maserati 8CM, HGPCA Test Day, Silverstone

Unusually the 8CM was fitted with hydraulic brakes, a feature that had first been seen in the early 1920’s but an idea that had not been taken up by the likes of Bugatti on their Type 35’s for example.

Former Alfa Romeo mechanic Giulio Ramponi was employed to prepare the Straight cars and he was responsible for fitting a Wilson pre selector gearbox to #3011 and the remaining team cars.

Maserati 8CM, HGPCA Test Day, Silverstone

To the best of my knowledge Whitney drove the white and blue painted #3011 exclusively in 1934 and after recording a speed of 135.49 mph over a flying mile at Brooklands he won four events 2 at Brooklands one at Donington and another in East London, South Africa.

At the end of the year Whitney retired from the sport as he had promised his wife and #3011 passed onto Harry Rose who recorded a class win on the Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb in 1935.

Maserati 8CM, HGPCA Test Day, Silverstone

Richard Seaman, who had introduced Whitney Straight to motor racing while at Cambridge, drove #3011 to a victory at Donington Park in 1936 shortly before it was acquired by White Mouse Racing for the Siamese Prince Birabongse Bhanutej Bhjanubandh Bira.

Bira had the car painted blue and kept #3011 until 1947 winning events at Brooklands in 1937 and 1939 and following the end of hostilities recorded two second place finishes in the Brighton Speed Trials in 1946 and 1947.

Maserati 8CM, HGPCA Test Day, Silverstone

Kenneth McAlpine of the construction empire bearing the same name became the next owner of #3011 and raced the now black car through 1948 wining the Weston Super Mare sprint on what appears to have been his final drive in the car.

In 1951 Leslie W. Boyce drove #3011, painted red, for a final appearance at the Brighton Speed Trials where he finished with 8th fastest time.

Maserati 8CM, HGPCA Test Day, Silverstone

#3011 remained in the UK, spending some time on display in the Doune Motor Museum.

In the 1980’s #3011 went to San Francisco where it was reunited with it’s original motor that had been swapped out by Harry Rose in 1935.

Maserati 8CM, Robert Newall, Goodwood Revival

Today #3011 is one of the 10, from the original 17, 8CM’s built known to remain.

#3011 is owned by Christopher Jaques and is seen with Robert Newall at the wheel during the 2012 Goodwood Revival where it was demonstrated with the Silver Arrow’s some of which it was designed to, unequally, compete against in 1934.