Goodwood Festival of Speed

"Tipo 61 'Birdcage' #2461"

This was my first visit to the 'Festival of Speed' at Goodwood House, so I didn't know what to expect. I had heard many glowing reports about how good it was, so I decided to go along and see for myself.

I paid my GB £26 (around US $40), the price of entry for Saturday's practice, while my friend was fortunate enough to be given a complimentary ticket so he paid for the programmes. He could afford to! Admission on Sunday was by ticket only, and with crowds up by some 13% on last year's that's not surprising.

My friend and I searched around the paddock area for our respective favourites. His was a 1961 Chaparral-Chevrolet Mk1, owned by his friend Richard Falconer, mine, you guessed it, a Maserati Tipo 61 'Birdcage'.

The paddock areas were sensational, full of interesting and rare machinery from every aspect of motor sport and lots and lots of enthusiasts. Celebrities were to be seen everywhere. John Surtees was signing autographs by the 1967 Honda RA300 Grand Prix car, Sir Stirling was there in his famous light blue racing overalls and Ralph Schumacher was surrounded everywhere he went by six burly individuals in black suits. His Williams-BMW must have been pretty crowded going up the hill!

There were only three Maseratis on view, two 250Fs and a 'Birdcage'! One of the Tipo 250s was the actual car driven by Jaun Manuel Fangio to his famous victory in the German GP at the Nürburgring in 1957. The other 250F was one of the Cameron Millar replicas. Taking photographs of the 250Fs proved to be difficult as they were partly in the shade (see below). The Tipo 61 was in another paddock and proved to be a much better proposition. You can see the results below.

Unfortunately as I'm not twelve feet tall, all action shot were off for the day! I had to limit my photography to the paddock area. However, I did manage one action shot and to help you find the car, I've arrowed it! Please don't ask me what it is.

On the whole I enjoyed my first visit to Goodwood, I got most of the photographs I was after and the array of historic cars on view was very special indeed. An event as successful as this one is inevitably well attended and this one is no exception with its popularity increasing every year. If you do decide to go next year, set of early as you can as the roads do tend to get congested later on. It is a unique event!


The magnificent Renault stand in front of Goodwood House.

The famous Trident motif!


#2461 in the Camoradi colours


Chassis and engine #2461


Are they about to open the bonnet?


Yes! Thank you very much!


Warming up the engine in preparation


Music to my ears!!!


Through the keyhole? The air vent actually!


Oil tank for the dry-sump lubrication


Dashboard and cockpit


A public address system or fog horn?

No! It's the fresh air intake for the driver!

The front radiator and oil cooler


The intricate 'Birdcage' chassis.


The twin-choke Weber 48DCO3 carburettors


Excerpt from Maserati Birdcage by Joel E. Finn, the 'Birdcage Bible'.

Chassis #2461

A Camoradi Tipo 61 finished on 20 March, 1960, and sent to Sebring for Moss/Gurney to drive. It is believed to be the first Birdcage fitted with the larger 14-inch front brake discs, replacing the previous 13.8-inch design. The brake caliper mounting brackets were also made more substantial and both items became standard production components from then on with many earlier cars being 'retrofitted'.

At Sebring the engine blew up early in practice and Camoradi sent it back to Modena to be rebuilt. Moss and Gurney then drove it to a wonderful Nürburgring victory - and at Le Mans it was the Scarlatti/ Munaron mount.

Casner sold the car in September 1960 to Alan Connell of Fort Worth, Texas.

#2461 is shown here in the same livery as when it raced at the Nürburgring, only the number five is missing.

One of the Cameron Millar recreations.


These replicas were so good, even Fangio bought one.

The cockpit of CM 10.


The cockpit of Fangio's 1957 German GP car.

My one and only action shot!

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