A superb exhibition of Classic Maseratis
ENDED 18th MARCH 2001

The Museo dell'Automobile "Luigi Bonfanti" at Romano D'Ezzelino near Vicenza hosted an important exhibition of classic Maseratis until the 18th March 2001 and if you have missed the opportunity of visiting the museum I hope you'll enjoy these pages. I would like to thank Sig. Arcangelo Battaglia and Sign. Rosanna Bontorin from the museum for their kindness in allowing me to take these photographs and pass on this information to 'Maseratisti' who were unable to visit this exhibition.
This was the most important exhibition ever seen about the 'Casa del Tridente' and was made possible through the close co-operation of Maserati Spa, the Registro Maserati and its members, the Biscaretti Museum in Turin and Collezione West Srl, Sports and Classic Maserati, Modena.

The catalogue, with cover designed by Stefano Chiminelli, and programme of the exhibition, which unfortunately are published mainly in Italian with ONLY PART English translation.

The 16 page catalogue contains an introduction by Carlo Maserati, a detailed chapter on the history of Maserati, a list of exhibits, with colour photographs, and a lovely story entitled 'That young lad in the factory' by Adolfo Orsi.

The short 15 minute video - alas also available only in Italian, which starts with the traditional unveiling of the new Formula 1 Ferrari for the 2001 season by Luca de Montezemolo, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. An excerpt of an interview with Luca de Montezemolo in which he answers the question all Maseratisti would love to ask with "Non in Formula Uno . . . ma sicuramente la Maserati tornera in pista" - "Not in Formula One . . . but to be sure Maserati will return to the track". A brief view of 'Ing Giulio Alfieri' giving a talk at the museum and a short guided tour of the more important exhibits on display.

PRESS RELEASE No. 43 - October 2001

Always ready to delight and intrigue with speciality "niche" subjects. The Luigi Bonfanti Museum is once again about to enthrall us all with a new exibition.

From the 28th of October until the 7th of April "L'Autominima, oggi pił di ieri" (The micro motor car, today more so than yesterday). An exhibition of about sixty micro-cars, which will tell mostly unknown stories, of attempts at innovative ideas and projects, some ending in success others in failure.

A motor car can be minimal for many reasons, mostly dimensions, capacity and price. In the past micro-cars usually showed several ingenious solutions, mostly full of fantasy and innovation that did not appear in traditional motor cars.

It has always been a dream, since the birth of the motor car, to successfully produce the minimal car and sometimes in the process substantial fortunes were lost. Designers wanted to produce a vehicle which everybody could afford, as economical as a motor bike, easy to drive, yet as comfortable as a motor car.

This exhibition shows the complete story: from the 1899 Prinetti & Stucchi, through the Isetta, to the Smart and into the future.

A unique exhibition, sponsored by the Veneto regional authority, during which there will be a most interesting conference on urban mobility. The participants including the Automobile Club d'Italia, the Padua University, the previously mentioned Veneto regional authority and other public organisations.

Today, suffocated as we are by city traffic, we have to look again at the micro car. The major manufacturers are involved which should ensure some rationality and ultimate success.

Running "true to form" the "Bonfanti" Museum is as thought provoking as usual in this, their latest exhibition.

Click on any image for a larger picture


Years of production: 1926-1929
8-cyl in line with 1,980 cc capacity
DOHC with two valves per cylinder
Bore 62mm and stroke 82mm
Compression ratio 5.6:1
Power output 155bhp @ 5300 rpm
Induction system by Roots supercharger
Nett weight 720 kg
Estimated top speed 112 mph
Models built 11

From the Museo dell'Automobile 'C. Biscaretti'

The first car entirely constructed by the Maserati brothers was the Tipo 26, the name signifying the year of construction. In 1927 it made its racing debut in the Targo Florio driven by Alfieri Maserati, achieving a creditable third place.
Maserati's second racing car, built at their factory in Bologna, was the Tipo 26B, with engine capacity increased from 1.5-litres to 2-litres.
The Tipo 26B was powered by a twin overhead camshaft straight eight engine with a Roots supercharger. In 1927, after a successful year's racing, it won the 'Campionato Italiano Marche' - The Italian Championship for Marques, thanks to the talents of drivers such as Ernesto Maserati, Baconin Borzacchini, Ajmo Maggi and others. On its radiator the car displayed the now famous Tridente, designed by the artistic brother Mario and inspired by the statue of Neptune that dominates the Piazza Omonima in Bologna.

This Tipo 26B is the oldest known Maserati in existence and is on loan from and permanently housed at the
10126 TORINO


Years of production: 1936-1939
6-cyl in line 1493 cc engine
DOHC with two valves per cylinder
Bore 65mm and stroke 75mm
Compression ratio 6.0:1
Power output 175bhp @ 6600 rpm
Induction system by Roots supercharger with Weber 55-50CCO carburettor on supercharger intake
Nett weight 650 kg
Estimated top speed 144 mph
Models built 11

From the West Srl, Sports & Classic Collection

The 6CM was built to compete against the new threat of the British ERAs in the 1.5-litre class. Although built on a chassis traditional in design the car was still highly competitive and thanks to its aerodynamic body and powerful supercharged engine it was highly successful in competition. In spite their achievements, in 1937 the Maserati brothers sold their controlling interest to the Orsi Group remaining at the factory as technical advisors for another ten years.


Year of production: 1954-1958
6-cyl in line 2493 cc engine
DOHC with two valves per cylinder
Bore 84mm and stroke 75mm
Compression ratio 12.0:1
Power output 240bhp @ 7200 rpm
Induction system No 3 Weber 42 DCO3 carburettors
Nett weight 630 kg
Estimated top speed 182 mph
Models built 33

From the Museo dell'Automobile 'C. Biscaretti'

This is one of the most famous race cars in the history of Formula One and was designed by the great engineer, GIULIO ALFIERI. Throughout its history the 250F remained competitive achieving many racing successes. Its most important season was in 1957 when Fangio driving a 250F captured the World Drivers Championship and gave Maserati the World Constructors' Championship. In 1958 it was driven by Italy's first female Grand Prix driver, Maria Teresa de Filippis, now President of the Registro Maserati. Over thirty of these cars were built between 1954 and 1958 with many modifications made during those years. The car shown here is one of the first examples.

TIPO 420M/58 'Eldorado'

Year of production: 1958-1959
V8-cyl @ 90° 4190.4 cc engine
4OHC with two valves per cylinder
Bore 93.8mm and stroke 75.8mm
Compression ratio 12.0:1
Power output 410bhp @ 8000 rpm
Induction system by No 4 Weber 46 IDM carburettors
Nett weight 758 kg
Estimated top speed 219 mph
Models built 1

From the West Srl, Sports & Classic Collection

On the suggestion of the Italian industrialist Gino Zanetti, head of Eldorado Ice Cream, Maserati prepared a car to race in the '500 Miglia di Monza', a race formed to allow the best American and European drivers to compete against one another. Technically derived from the chassis of the 250F with the engine and suspension derived from the powerful 450S sports racer. Unfortunately at Monza Stirling Moss crashed out whilst lying in fourth position when his steering broke. The following year 'Eldorado' failed to qualify for the 'Indianapolis 500' race by half a point.


Year of production: 1960
4-cyl in line 2489.9 cc engine
DOHC with two valves per cylinder
Bore 96mm and stroke 86mm
Compression ratio 9.75:1
Power output 196 bhp @ 7800 rpm
Induction system by no 2 Weber 45 DCO3 carburettors
Nett weight 600 kg
Estimated top speed 188 mph
Models built 2

From a private collection

After Maserati's retirement from official competition in 1957 they continued to manufacture race engines for privateers and other teams in both Formula One and Sports Car. This rear-engined Formula One Cooper-Maserati was raced by Masten Gregory and Maurice Trintignant for the well known race team from Rome, 'Scuderia Centro Sud'.

TIPO A6 GCS 'Monofaro'

Years of production: 1947-1949
6-cyl in line 1978.7 cc engine
SOHC with two valves per cylinder
Bore 72mm and stroke 81mm
Compression ratio 11.0:1
Power output 130 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Induction system by No 3 Weber 36 DO4 carburettors
Nett weight 672 kg (race version 580 kg)
Estimated top speed 119 mph
Models built 12

From a private collection

Built to compete with Ferrari in the 2-litre class, its introduction was a great success. In its first race at the circuit of Modena, Alberto Ascari and his team mate 'Gigi' Villoresi achieved a memorable one-two. The A6GCS was nicknamed the 'Monofaro' after the large single headlamp situated in the cantre of its radiator grille. The car was fitted with motor cycle type mud guards which made the car lighter giving it ideal handling characteristics.

TIPO A6 GCS series II

Years of production: 1953-1955
6-cyl in line 1985.6 cc engine
DOHC with two valves per cylinder
Bore 76.5mm and stroke 72mm
Compression ratio 8.75:1
Power output 170bhp @ 7300 rpm
Induction system by Three Weber 40 DCO3 carburettors
Nett weight 740 kg
Estimated top speed 147 mph
Models built 50

From the Edoardo Tenconi Collection

This model superceded the 'Monofaro' and was powered by the uprated twin overhead camshaft engine developing 170 bhp. Its chassis was designed by Ing. Gioacchino Colombo. This car was virtually unbeatable in the 2-litre class and was driven, amongst others, by Fangio, Marimon, Bonetto and De Graffenried. In 1953 Luigi Musso won the Italian Sports Car Championship.


Years of production: 1955-1957
4-cyl in line 1484.1 cc engine
DOHC with two valves per cylinder
Bore 81mm and stroke 72mm
Compression ratio 9.0:1
Power output 140bhp @ 7500 rpm
Induction system by No 2 Weber 45 DCO3 carburettors
Nett weight 600 kg
Estimated top speed 144 mph
Models built 27

From a private collection

With this model represented Maserati's return building cars of a smaller capacity, in this case encouraged by demands of Americans who wanted sports cars in this class. Many American drivers raced in Europe with the smaller engined British and German sports cars. The A6GCS/53 took part in many epic races with Porsches and OSCAs, built by the Maserati brothers.
In the background you can see the dismantleable crankshaft designed in late 1946 and tested in the single-seater 4CL. It was Ernesto Maserati's last design before he left the factory.


Years of production: 1956
4-cyl in line 1484.1 cc engine
DOHC with two valves per cylinder
Bore 81mm and stroke 72mm
Compression ratio 9.0:1
Power output 140bhp @ 7500 rpm
Induction system by No 2 Weber 45 DCO3 carburettors
Nett weight 640 kg
Estimated top speed 144 mph
Models built 1

From a private collection

The engine of the 150S proved itself to be both powerful and reliable leading other constructors like Lotus and Emeryson to adopt it for their cars. One such user was a father and son team (that's a clue to the origins of the name) of John and Stuart Young. They ran a small engineering firm in London and designed and built this sports car. Using the 1.5-litre Maserati engine and gearbox and with their own space frame chassis weighing only 32 kg, the car was reasonably successful on British circuits. In its early days it was fitted with drum brakes but these were later fitted with the more efficient disc brakes.

TIPO 52 200SI

Years of production: 1955-1957
4-cyl in line 1994.3 cc engine
DOHC with two valves per cylinder
Bore 92mm and stroke 75mm
Compression ratio 9.8:1
Power output 190bhp @ 7500 rpm
Induction system by No 2 Weber 45 DCO3 carburettors
Nett weight 660 kg
Estimated top speed 163 mph
Models built (200S/200SI) 32

From the Giorgio Marin Collection

Evolving from the Tipo 200S, the 200SI was built as a competitor to the Ferrari 500 Mondial in the 2-liter class where they had many epic battles. The 200SI (Sport International) used the same engine as that used in the Tipo 4CF Formula 2 single-seater. With its agile handling it achieved many wins in the FIA International Championship.


Years of production: 1991
Rear mounted V6-cyl @ 90° 1996 cc engine
4OHC with four valves per cylinder
Bore 80mm and stroke 80mm
Compression ratio 7.5:1
Power output 316bhp @ 7200 rpm
Induction system by electronic fuel injection through twin water-cooled IHI turbochargers
Nett weight 905 kg
Estimated top speed 190 mph
Models built 16

From the West Srl, Sports & Classic Collection

The 'Barchetta' was an attempt by Maserati to return to the race track. They did this in 1992 by organising a Monomarque Championship reserved for owner-drivers. The car is built on a backbone type chassis with a centrally mounted biturbo engine and the body panels made of carbon-fibre. In 1994 a prototype road going version was produced but unforunately it never reached the production stage.


Years of production: 1957
Front mounted battery powered
Bore and stroke Not known
Compression ratio Not known
Power output Not known
Induction system by Not known
Nett weight Not known
Estimated top speed Not known
Models built 1

From a private collection

This single-seater was built for a young member of the Orsi family. I don't think the lucky child who was given this car cared too much about its technical specification.

I know I wouldn't have!


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