Tag Archives: Alfieri

Hydropneumatic Directional Headlights – Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype

In 1968 Citroën took over Maserati from the Orsi family with Alfredo Orsi remaining as the companies nominal president.

Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype, Silverstone Classic

Although a couple of Maserati Type AM 121 Quattroporte’s built on the 1969 Maserati Indy chassis and drive train were built Citroën had scrapped the Type 121 with just two unit’s built and focused the companies attention on building the Type AM 123 Quattroporte II.

Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype, Silverstone Classic

The front wheel drive Type AM 123 used an extended Citroën SM floor pan and the 3 litre / 183 cui version of the Giulio Alfieri designed quad cam Maserati V6 that was used in the SM and later rear engined Maserati Merak, the 210 hp gave the futuristic Marcello Gandini styled Bertone body a top speed of only 124 mph.

Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype, Silverstone Classic

Additional Citroën inspired features included the hydropneumatic suspension which added a great deal of comfort to the ride, self centering power steering and swivelling directional headlights which turned with use of the steering wheel and were directed in the same direction as the front wheels.

Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype, Silverstone Classic

As per the Citroen SM the interior of the Quattroporte II featured an unusual for the period digital instrument panel, air conditioning, sun blinds on all window’s, electric door window’s, radio cassette and heated rear screen, the only options were a leather interior and electric sun roof.

Maserati Quattroporte II Prototype, Silverstone Classic

Unfortunately a combination of factors, fuel crisis, collapse of Maserati’s main market Italy, and lack of investment from Citroën meant that aside from the prototype AM 123, seen in these photographs with a unique to this car set of prototype magnesium wheels, which was first first shown to the public in 1974 just 13 examples were built up to 1978 by which time Citroën had long since divested itself of it’s interest in Maserati and left it in the hands of Alejandro de Tomaso with the help of the Italian Government.

I believe the unusual EMN888U licence plate ‘may’ have been issued by licencing authorities on the Isle of Man, if you know more please do not hesitate to chip in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “Hydropneumatic Directional Headlights” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Amilcar Special. Don’t forget to come back now !


Sculpture On Wheels – Maserati Alfieri

The Maserati Alfieri is a concept car which refers to the history, traditions and roots of the brand while projecting it’s future in Maserati’s centenary in year.

Maserati Alfieri, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Alfieri name pays tribute to the engineer Alfieri Maserati who with his brothers Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto founded Societa Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati in 1914.

Maserati Alfieri, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The underlying inspiration that set the mood of the Centenary Alfieri concept car was the Pininfarina bodied Maserti A6GCS 54.

Maserati Alfieri, Goodwood Festival of Speed

A team of around 15 designers, led by former Pininfarina employee Marco Tencone, was responsible for the styling of the Alfieri.

Maserati Alfieri, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Beneath the Alfieri body work is a chassis based on a shortened Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale chassis.

Maserati Alfieri, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Power for this concept car comes from a Ferrari derived 4.7 litre / 286 cui V8 producing 460 hp.

Maserati Alfieri, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Since it’s first viewing at Geneva earlier this year Maserati have announced plans to put the Alfieri into production for 2016 with a convertible to follow in 2017.

Thanks for joining me on this “Sculpture On Wheels” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Ditching The Iron Block – Maserati 200S #2408

In 1952 Giulio Alfieri led the development of the Maserati Type 52, which would become known as the Maserati 200S, that was to replace the iron block A6GCS sports racing cars.

Maserati 200S, Silverstone Classic

The new alloy block 2 litre / 122 cui 4 cylinder motor featured 2 valves per cylinder actuated by two overhead camshafts.

Maserati 200S, Silverstone Classic

The chassis frame shared many components with the Maserati 150S and the rear axle was inherited from the A6GCS. The first three 200S frames were manufactured in house while 25 more were outsourced to Gilco.

Maserati 200S, Silverstone Classic

The first five 200S aluminium bodies were fabricated by Celestino Fiandri with the remainder, as seen on today’s featured chassis #2408 by Fantuzzi.

Maserati 200S, Silverstone Classic

Chassis #2408 was sold in September 1956 to Brazilian Severino Silva who is known to have raced Maserati sports cars on at least two occasions bookending 1957.

Maserati 200S, Silverstone Classic

In December 1957 Severino entered his car, for himself and Italian Corrado Manfredini to drive in the Sao Palo Grand Prix. Severino and Corrado finished 6th after starting from 10th place on the grid in this vehicles only known in period competitive event.

I believe Roger Lucas has been the owner of #2408 since 2006 during which period he briefly had it painted red, but by 2009 it was carrying it’s Brazilian colours again.

Thanks for joining me on this “Ditching The Iron Block” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again, for a look at a Bugatti tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !


ALFA Screen – Maserati Tipo 151 #151.006

In order to compete in the top 4.0 litre / 244 cui GT Prototype Class in the 1962 Le Mans 24 hours Briggs Cunningham and Frances Maserati agent John Simone funded the production of 3 Tipo 151’s.

Ing. Giulio Alfieri abandoned the Birdcage construction of his Tipo 60/61 models and returned to using large tube chassis construction as had been used on the one off Maserati 450S, the 151’s body featured a proprietary windscreen sourced from the ALFA Romeo Giuleitta Sprint Speciale parts bin.

Maserati Tipo 151, Colasacco / Hill, Goodwood Revival

Briggs Cunningham entered two of the Tipo 151’s, chassis 151.004 and 151.006 seen here, and Maserati France chassis 151.002 for the ’62 Le Mans 24 hours.

William Kimberly and Dick Thompson driving #151.006 qualified 3rd behind the Ferrari 330 TRI driven by eventual winners Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill and the 330 GTO driven by Mike Parkes and Lorenzo Bandini.

Maserati Tipo 151, Colasacco / Hill, Goodwood Revival

During the race William and Dick completed 62 laps before a brake issue caused Dick to crash and retire, the Maserati France car driven by Maurice Trintignant and Lucien Bianchi was withdrawn after 152 laps because the suspension was causing the rear tyres to wear out every 10 laps. The second Cunningham 151 driven by Walt Hangsen and Bruce McLaren retired after completing 177 laps with a blown motor.

#151.006 was then driven in two US events by Augie Pabst whose best result was a 7th place in the LA Times Grand Prix at Riverside. Bev Spencer then bought the car for Stan Peterson to drive in the ’62 SCCA meeting at Vacaville, however Stan crashed in the qualifying race and after it was repaired Bev sold the car to Skip Hudson whose best result, from three known starts, was a 3rd place in an SCCA race at Cotati in May 1963.

Joe Colasacco and Derek Hill were drove #151.006, now owned by Lawrence Auriana when it was photographed during practice for the RAC TT Celebration races at Goodwood in 2011 and 2012.

Thanks for joining me on this “ALFA Screen” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a French WM Le Mans entry. Don’t forget to come back now !


Birdcage Streamliner – Maserati Tipo 60 #2451

Despite winning the 1957 World Championship Drivers Title, there was no constructors title until 1958, with Juan Manuel Fangio, Maserati was in dire financial trouble at the end of the year and after four sports car were written off in South America the Italian Government had to step in as receiver to save the company.

Immediately all motor racing programmes run by the factory were cancelled, but just one year later the case was made for Maserati to resume building racing cars so long as they were paid for and raced by customers.

Engineer Gulio Alfieri was given a brief was to build a low cost, competitive, two seater racer, using existing parts stock where possible.

Maserati Tipo 60, Goodwood, Revival

In the absence of sufficient contacts to help him build a monocoque chassis Alfiei devised a space frame Tipo 60 chassis built up from thin tubes with a 2 litre / 122cui 4 cylinder motor that became known as the ‘Birdcage’.

Today’s featured chassis #2451 started life as the prototype Tipo 60 and on the 12th of July 1959 it was driven to a win in the Rouen Grand Prix by Stirling Moss.

Stirling Moss is said to have been impressed with the ‘rightness’ of the design, the light but precise steering, the totally neutral handling characteristics with the superb brakes also being singled out for praise.

Maserati Tipo 60, Willi Balz, Goodwood, Revival

Italian hillclimb specialist Odoardo Govoni then drove #2451 to a win on the ‘Pontedecimo-Giovi’ hillclimb on the 20th September 1959, soundly beating the favourite Giorgio Scarlatti’s Ferrari Dino 196S.

Maserati chairman Omer Orsi authorised the production of six Tipo 60 chassis and it was not long before requests from the US came in for cars fitted with 3 litre / 183 cui motors.

Subsequently Alferi was asked to work on a 3 litre motor and he managed to squeeze one into a Tipo 60 which which then became the Tipo 61 to distinguish the larger engine size.

Maserati Tipo 60, Goodwood, Revival

In September 1959 Lloyd Perry ‘Lucky’ Crasner tested a Tipo 60 and immediately ordered two 3 litre cars for his CA-sner MO-tor RA-cinq DI-vision, better known as the Camoradi Racing Team.

A shortfall in manufacturing capacity left Maserati no alternative but to fit a 4 cylinder 3 litre / 193 cui motor to the prototype chassis #2451 which was then shipped out to Nassau in December 1959 for Dan Gurney, Carroll Shelby and Jo Bonnier to test in preparation for the Nassau Speedweek.

Dan claimed a class victory in the Preliminary Governor’s Trophy while Carrol retired from the Nassau Trophy Race after a puncture and then an accident.

Maserati Tipo 60, Goodwood, Revival

Dan and Marsten Gregory qualified #2451 2nd for the 1960 1000kms at Buenos Aires but retired with a broken shock absorber mounting bolt after leading comfortably.

Carroll Shelby teamed up with Masten to drive #2451 in the Sebring 12 hours but retired with an engine issue.

At the Targa Florio #2451 was entered for Umberto Maglioli and Nino Vaccarella who led the race at 3/4 distance only to crash after a rock punctured the fuel tank.

During the subsequent repairs #2451 had a new streamline tail added along with the extreme screen which was designed to meet the Le Mans minimum height screen regulations and minimise the frontal area of the car. The other 2 Camoradi T61’s had the modified tail fitted for Le Mans, but not the low frontal area screen.

Maserati Tipo 60, Goodwood, Revival

#2451 was the fastest car at Le Mans in 1960, after a starting problem saw Marsten cross the start line in 24th place he had recovered the lead by the Mulsanne Corner on the opening lap overtaking 18 vehicles on the Mulsanne Straight.

After a couple of hours Marsten handed #2451 over to Chuck Daigh but the car lost an hour with another starter problem. Between the forth and eighth hours Marsten and Chuck had recovered two of their lost laps, but at midnight the car was retired either with a blown motor or an electrical issue depending on which sources one reads.

The Le Mans race was the last race of the 1960 World Sportscar Championship season and #2451 was chosen by Camoradi backer Frank Harrison as the car he was promised and wanted to run in the USA.

06 Maserati Tipo 60_1663sc

Harrison entered the car for Jim Jeffords who won with it at Road America on July 31st, 1960. In April 1961 Fred Gamble drove #2451 to a class victory at Marlboro .

Sources are not conclusive on #2451 being the car that William Kimberly drove to victory for Frank Harrison at Courtland in July 1961.

Frank sold #2451 to Don Skogmo, a regular winner aboard a Maserati Tipo 61, who is thought never to have raced #2451.

In 1971 #2451 found a new lease of life in the British ‘JCB’ historic championship where it was driven to a championship victory by Brian Joscelyne.

By 1980 #2451 was to be found in the Rosso Bianco collection belonging to Peter Kaus. Today the car, which was first registered for UK road use in 2010, is owned by Windpower magnate and Maserati Collector Willi Balz who is seen at the wheel at Goodwood a couple of years ago.

Thanks for joining me on this “Birdcage Streamliner” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a versatile Talbot that raced at Le Mans in 1939. Don’t forget to come back now !


Early Years – Maserati 26M

Despite setting up a workshop in December 1914 it was not until 1926 that the first car to bear the Maserati name came into being and from what I understand the original Tipo 26 was actually a rebadged 2 litre / 122 cui 8 cylinder Diatta fitted with a 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui 8 cylinder motor all of which had been designed by Alfieri Maserati starting in 1925.

Maserati 26M_1423sc

It appears that both Diata and Alfieri had been banned from the sport in 1924 after Alferi changed a motor for a an enlarged one in a 1924 Barcelona hillclimb event. Diata were later cleared of any wrong doing, but after a poor showing in the 1925 Italian Grand Prix they decided their future lay else where.

Alfieri drove the original Tipo 26 to victory in the 1926 Targa Florio with riding mechanic Guerino Bertocchi and the Tipo 26 were manufactured mainly for use in competition up until 1932 with a variety of different straight 8 cylinder motors up to 2.8 litres 170 cui.

The car featured today is a 1931 26M, 14 type 26M’s were produced from 1930 to 1932 with 2.5 litre / 152 cui 8 cylinder motors all two seaters, some of which were built as open wheel racers and some with cycle wings and lights required for endurance races, like the Targa Florio, were known as 26M Sports.

Today’s featured car is fitted with a motor just under 2.8 litre / 170 cui which suggests that is not an original size as the original 2.8 litre 8C 2800 motors were actually 12 cc .7 cui over the 2.8 / 170 cui size.

No further history is known about this particular car seen at Goodwood Revival a couple of years ago, if you know any of it’s history please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Thanks for joining me on this Early Years edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow, don’t forget to come back now !