Sunday, February 26, 2012

Maserati Tipo 61

The Maserati Tipo 61 (commonly referred to as the Maserati Birdcage) is sports racing cars of the early 1960s. The car was produced between 1959 and 1961 by Maserati for racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance classic. It used an intricate tubular space frame chassis, containing about 200 chro-moly steel tubes between 10 and 15 mm thick welded together, hence the nickname "Birdcage". This method of construction provided a more rigid and, at the same time, lighter (weighing just 36 kg.) chassis than other sports cars of the time. By recessing the windscreen base into the bodywork, Maserati was able to reduce the effect of new Le Mans rules demanding a tall windscreen. The Camoradi team became famous racing the Tipo 61's but, despite being faster around the track than other cars, the Birdcage was unreliable and often retired from races due to problems with the gearbox.

The Tipo 61 never won Le Mans due to reliability issues.

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