During 1946 the development of the Maserati 4CL had seen the introduction of chassis construction using tubular section materials to stiffen the original channel / box section frame.
The following year at least two 4CL chassis were built with thicker tubular section materials replacing the channel / box sections all together.
In 1947 at least one 4CL was fitted with a twin stage, supercharger, replacing the earlier single supercharger. It would appear that in 1948 the tubular construction combined with twin stage super charged motor, to which a new factory body was fitted, became the vehicle known as the 4 CLT.
On it’s debut in San Remo Alberto Ascari drove a 4CLT to victory ahead of the sister car of Luigi Villoresi, with Clemar Bucci making it a Maserati 1,2,3 driving and older 4CL. Villoresi won 3 more races aboard a 4CLT and Reg Parnell claimed one more for the 4 CLT model to claim 5 victories in 1948.
In 1949 the 4CLT’s including chassis #1608 received minor modifications to the brakes, cockpit layout and oil tank and in the hands of Ascari, Villoresi, Parnell, Juan Manuel Fangio and Toulo de Graffenried 4CLT’s were credited with at least 10 wins from at least 27 Grand Prix or similar events for which they were legible to run that year.
The exact histories of particular 20 4CLT chassis built between 1948 and 1950 is difficult to ascertain from my small library. The internet has helped me to establish that today’s featured car chassis #1608 appears to have been built in 1949 and was delivered to Piero Carini in September of that year.
The earliest reference I have been able to find for the car competing ‘in period’ is that it appears to have been raced on the 18th of December 1949 in the 15 lap IV Gran Premio del General Juan Perón y de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires from which Piero retired.
A couple of weeks later Piero also appears to have taken the start of the IV Gran Premio Extraordinario de Eva Duarte Perón at Buenos Aires driving the same car and is listed neither among the top 12 finishers or among the retirements.
A week later on the 15th of January 1950 Piero recorded a 12th place finish, 2 laps down, in the III Gran Premio Internacional del General San Martín El Torreón at Mar del Plata.
On January 22nd Piero is shown as retiring #1608 from the IV Copa Acción de San Lorenzo run at Rosario. Back in Europe Piero drove #1608 in the San Remo Grand Prix for which he qualified 10th, but spun out and stalled on lap 25.
Argentinian entrant José Vianini then took #1608 back to South America for the 1950/51 Temporada series in which it was driven by several yet to be identified drivers.
Uruguayan driver Azdrúbal Esteban Fontes Bayardo also known as “Pocho” is thought to have become the third owner of #1608 in 1952 and is described by one source as finishing sixth in the 1952 Eva Peron GP “in his Maserati 4CLT powered by a Chevrolet V8 engine”.
The last known ‘in period’ appearance of #1608 is on the 23rd of March 1952 in which ‘Pocho’ is listed as a starter. #1608 seen here at Goodwood today belongs to Klaus Lehr.
Thanks for joining me on this “Tubular Chassis San Remo” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 3 litre Bugatti. Don’t forget to come back now !