Panini Museum 2002

"The latest attraction!"


There are many images on this page so please be patient!

Maserati Tipo 63 #008

I would like to thank Dott. Matteo Panini for allowing me to photograph #008, the latest addition to this wonderful museum.

Pride of place for the Tipo 63!

The identification plate.

Raced by Scuderia Serenissima.

#63008 was powered by a 3-litre V-12 engine producing 320 bhp @ 8200 rpm.

#63008 raced at Le Mans in 1961.


The V-12's four megaphone exhaust pipes.

The radiator, cooling fan and oil cooler.

The 16 inch spoked wheels.

The five-speed gear shift.

The radiator cap protrudes through the windscreen.

MO 28, one of Maserati's test plates.

Note the transmission's oil cooler.

The cockpit area showing the intricate chassis: note the modern fire extinguisher.

The neat engine-turned dashboard of the Tipo 63.

The V-12 engine of the Tipo 63.

In early 1960 Ing. Giulio Alfieri designed a rear-engined car based on the lightweight lattice-work chassis of the Tipos 60 and 61. Designated the Tipo 63 it was at first designed to be powered by a 3-litre V8 engine but the prototype was fitted with the proven 3-litre 4-cylinder engine of the Tipo 61. A restricted budget forced Alfieri to use many components from the Tipo 61; the front suspension, the 5-speed transaxle and of course the engine. The rear suspension was new, Alfieri had abandoned the de Dion tube and transverse leaf spring in favour of an independent system with coil springs.

Early testing demonstrated that although the car was very fast, its handling left a lot to be desired. Alfieri made several modifications to the rear suspension and replaced the 4 cylinder engine with the powerful 3-litre V12 engine that powered the Formula 1 Tipo 250F T2 back in 1957.

Four examples of the Tipo 63 were produced in 1961, two, #63002 and #63006, for the Briggs Cunningham Team and two, #63004 and #63008, for Count Volpi's Scuderia Serenissima.

In April 1961 the two Serenissima car raced in the Targa Florio, #004 (Magioli/Scarlatti) with the 3-litre engine was distinguishable by a short finned headrest and #008 (Trintignant/Vaccarella) with the later V-12 engine. #008 finished in fourth position and #004 in fifth.

In May that year, at the Nürburgring, #008 driven by Scarfiotti and Vaccarella failed to finish: the race was run in foul weather and water had entered the carburettors. The race was won for Maserati by Lloyd Casner and Masten Gregory driving a Team Camoradi Tipo 61!

In June 1961 three Tipo 63s, #002, #006 and #008, raced at Le Mans with all three cars having different versions of the V-12 engine. #008's engine had a cubic capacity of 2980.9 cc. (bore/stroke: 68.2mm/68mm). #008, driven by Scarfioti and Vaccarella, retired with overheating problems while the Tipo 63 driven by Dick Thompson and Augie Pabst finished fourth, Maserati's best ever result at Le Mans.

The Tipo 63 was undoubtably very fast but handling difficulties made it non-competitive. The lack of any serious development work, due largely to financial restraints, on this model meant that it was never able to reach its full potential.

"Dear Enrico,

Whilst cruising the internet a couple of days ago, I noticed your photos of the Tipo 63 now on display in the Panini Museum. The history of this particular car is a brief one, just like most of the other Tipo 63 and 64 cars. It participated in only two races: Le Mans 1961 [Vaccarella/Scarfiotti] and Pescara 1961 [Bonnier]. In both races it carried a V12 engine, although the car was upgraded at Pescara with a flexible de Dion, instead of independent rear suspension it used at Le Mans. In both races the car dropped out without running among the leaders.

This car was always raced with a glass windshield [coming from the Alfa Romeo SS model] and never with the plastic one that it has been given now. The confusion probably originates from the plastic-windshield equipped Tipo 63 cars that ran during the Targa Florio in 1961, but those were different [4-cylinder engined] cars altogether.

I enjoyed our [too brief] conversation tonight. Without giving away my entire research project on the Tipo 63, I want to put you into the right direction, as the text on your website is wrong. Which is not surprising, as there are no reliable sources on the subject!

Seven Tipo 63 cars were produced, and here is their listing, with original engine configurations [some of which were changed to a V12 configuration over time]:

002 [4-cyl], known as 'Muletto', the factory mule.
63.002 [4-cyl] for Briggs Cunningham
63.004 [4-cyl] for Scuderia Serenissima [Count Volpi]
63.006 [4-cyl] for Team Camoradi [Lucky Casner]
63.008 [4-cyl] for Scuderia Serenissima
63.010 [V12] for Briggs Cunningham
63.002 LWB [V12] for Briggs Cunningham

As you can tell, the number 63.002 was used twice by the factory, once for a SWB car and once for a LWB car, both for Briggs Cunningham. This was probably done to avoid U.S. import duties. Finally, none of the Tipo 63 cars were converted into Tipo 64 cars, as so many "historians" claim. The reason is that the Tipo 64 was a completely different and a brand new design. Plus..... all Tipo 63 Maseratis can be accounted for today [as well as the Tipo 64 cars!].

If ever you come across someone who is interested in sponsoring a book on the rear-engined Birdcages ([Tipos 63, 64 and 65], do tell him that I have written a complete history on these cars between 1961 and 1965, with all the races in which they participated in Europe, the US and the Caribbean. My manuscript contains 92,000 words and I cover the front-engined Birdcages, the competition, the T63 prototype, the owners [Volpi, Casner, Cunningham and Simone] and their teams, each individual race in which the rear-engined versions competed [with complete entry lists, complete starting grids and complete results, never published in the case of a lot of the U.S. races] and the more recent history of each car. Together with some 380 historical and mostly unpublished photographs, this will be a sizeable and serious book on the subject.

It is one of the most misrepresented parts of Maserati history, yet there is no publisher who is interested in bringing to market in book form. They all say the manuscript is too big and the market segment is too small to be profitable. I think your website proves them completely wrong!

Because of all the misinformation going around on these rear-engined Birdcages, it is a shame, as history is not served by the publishing world today.

Willem Oosthoek."

Willem's book has now been published. Under the title Birdcage to Supercage it is available from all leading motoring booksellers. Priced at around GB £80 and worth every penny!

"Ciao Enrico,

Ho visto le pagine della 63 e devo farti i complimenti, ciao e grazie.


When visiting the Panini Museum you should never leave without purchasing a piece of what is probably one of the finest Parmesan cheeses money can buy. The Parmesan, which has matured for two years, is available in vacuum wrapped portions of around 1Kg.

Un chilo di Parmigiano!

The first time I visited the museum I bought some cheese for an old Italian friend of mine who was partial to a little Grana from time to time. On tasting a piece, I asked him what he thought. He nodded his head in approval saying "Questo formaggio è molto, molto buono!"

You can learn more about the cheeese at

A cheese being hand-cleaned by the dairy man.

Parmigiano Reggiano at its finest - the cheeses are stored for two years.

Monte Parmigiano Reggiano!

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