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.
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.
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issue caused Dick to crash and retire, the Maserati France car driven by Maurice Trintignant and Lucien Bianchi was withdrawn after 152 laps because the suspension was causing the rear tyres to wear out every 10 laps.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 !