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.
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 !