Tag Archives: Daigh

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 !


American Beauty – Scarab #3

After writing off a Maserati 200S in a sports car race at Snetterton, having been banned from racing in the USA for racing underage, Woolworth heir Lance Reventlow visited Lister and Maserati in 1957 and was appalled by the apparent backward chaos he found at the factories.

Scarab, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Determined that he could do better Lance Returned to the United States and founded Reventlow Automobiles Incorporated and initiated a successful sports car program for 1958.

Scarab, Silverstone Classic,

Encouraged by his success Reventlow Automobiles Incorporated engaged Troutman & Barnes to design a space framed contender for the highest level of the sport, Formula One.

Scarab, Silverstone Classic,

The motor for the new car was designed by Leo Goosens, of Offenhauser fame, who designed a Hilborn fuel injected 2.5 litre / 152 cui 4 cylinder motor with desmodronic, mechanically opened and closed which did away with valve springs, valves as had been favoured by Mercedes Benz during their successful Formula One campaigns from 1954 to 1955.

Scarab, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

With a wry sense of humour Reventlow deliberately went against the grain of macho exotic names given to racing cars by chosing to call of the cars built by Reventlow Automobiles Incorporated Scarab after a compost beetle.

Scarab, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Widely respected for their beauty and build quality the team turned up in Monaco for the start of the World Championship season. Looks were deceiving as the cars proved to be too slow to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix even after the Goodyear tyres had been replaced with Dunlops, not even Stirling Moss could set a competitive time in a Scarab.

Scarab, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Chuck Daigh and Lance Reventlow both qualified for the Dutch Grand Prix however they were both outside the top 15 which meant they did not qualify for start money and so both cars were withdrawn.

Bronson, Scarab, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Reventlow qualified 16th for the Belgian Grand Prix and Daigh 18th however Reventlow retired on the second lap and Daigh on the 17th, both with engine problems. In France Richie Ginther replaced Reventlow in the driving seat and qualified 20th with Daigh 23rd and last however neither started because of engine problems.

Scarab, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

The team did not appear again until the 1960 US Grand Prix where a single car was entered for Chuck Daigh who qualified 18th. Chuck brought the car home 10th, 5 laps down, on what would be the teams final World Championship appearance.

Bronson, Scarab, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe

Chassis # 3 seen here was shipped to Europe in 1960 as the teams spare with out a motor. In 1961 Chuck Daigh drove the car fitted with an Offenhauser Indy type motor in the non championship International Trophy at Silvertone and Lavant Cup at Goodwood where he finished 7th and 8th. At the British Empire Trophy Meeting at Silverstone Daigh was badly injured when he crashed the car on what turned out to be the cars final ‘in period’ appearance.

The Scarab had proved to be underpowered and it’s front engined design rendered obsolete by the rear engined designs from Cooper and Lotus and Lance Reventlow had been deceived by the backward chaos he had seen in Europe which disguised much wisdom and craftsmanship gained from decades of experience.

For many years this Scarab was exhibited sans motor at the Donington Park Museum before it was purchased by Julian Bronson who acquired another Offenhauser motor and can be seen demonstrating the car above at Castle Combe.

Wishing all my readers from the United States a festive Independence Day.

Thanks for joining me on this “American Beauty” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow.


Biting The Hand – Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa 59/60 #0774

After attracting the attention of US Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti in 1957 Dan Gurney found himself at the wheel of a North American Racing Team Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, owned by Chinetti at Le Mans in 1958 and drove the car up to 5th place before handing over to his team mate Bruce Kessler who got caught up in someone elses accident before the car retired. That drive impressed Ferrari sufficiently to earn Dan a drive with the works Ferrari team.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

For their 1959 Le Mans effort Ferrari built today’s featured Ferrari 250 TR chassis #0774 for Gurney to share with Jean Behra the car managed twice as many laps as Dan’s first attempt but still fell way short of a result.

Next time out Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien drove the car at Goodwood in the TT Race where they also failed to score a result both the 1959 Le Mans and Goodwood TT had been won by Aston Martin in what turned out to be a championship winning season for them.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

1960 would see a return of fortune for the Ferrari sports car team and chassis #0744 played an important role winning two championship races first Phil Hill and Cliff Alison won the 1000 kms at Buenos Aires and then Olivier Gendebien and Paul Frére won the Le Mans 24 hours scoring Ferrari’s third win in the Endurance Classic and helping Ferrari to their sixth World Sports Car title.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

Between these successes #0774 was loaned to Chinetti’s NART team for Ritchie Ginther and Chuck Daigh to drive in the Sebring 12 hours but they failed to finish and after Le Mans the car was sold to Eleanor von Neumann who entered it for Phil Hill to drive in the 1960 LA Times Grand Prix at Riverside where he finished 7th overall.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

In 1963 Tom O’Connor bought the car for his Rose Bud racing team which promptly stripped the motor out and fitted it to their Lotus 19 chassis 952 that featured here on GALPOT a couple of years ago.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

Under the ownership of Paul Pappalardo #0774 was reunited with it’s original motor in the 1980’s and the car won two class Concours d’Elegance awards at Palm Beach and Pebble Beach in 1993.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

In a twist of biting the hand that feeds irony Dan Gurney eventually won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1967 with co driver AJ Foyt driving for Ferrari’s sworn enemy Ford in a Mk IV.

After 26 years in Paul’s custody ownership of #0774 passed to Hong Kong sourcing and logistics magnate William E ‘Chip’ Connor who kindly took it to the 2012 Gooodwood Revival for the Tribute to Dan Gurney Parade.

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