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1960→1961 Maserati Tipo 60 ‘Birdcage’

1960→1961 Maserati Tipo 60 ‘Birdcage’

1960→1961 Maserati Tipo 60 ‘Birdcage’

Engineer Giulio Alfieri took tubular spaceframe design in sports cars to the limit with the Tipo 60 in 1959. The design became known as the ‘Birdcage’ for it’s intricate tube-frame structure.

Nestled near the center of the chassis was a modified version of the Maserati 200S engine, but canted at 45 degrees to reduce bodywork height.

Suspension wasn’t far off the highly successful Maserati 250F grand prix racer with a double wishbone front setup and a de-dion tube axle in the rear.

Although somewhat overly complex, the Tipo 60 was the lauching point for a series of birdcage cars that used increasingly larger engines including the Tipo 61, Tipo 64 Supercage and midengine variants such as the Tipo 63 and Tipo 65.

Only six Tipo 60s were produced until a larger 2.9-liter engine was fitted and produced the much more prolific Tipo 61.

Feature Car

Almost untouched since its Le Mans race in 1961, our feature car is chassis 2468 and is the most original Birdcage in the world. Its current rough fit and finish is indicative of the sport from 1960s and unlike the preparation seen at most concours.

As one of the first few Birdcages built, 2468 was shipped overseas to Briggs Cunningham in late 1960 and raced by Walt Hansgen and Bill Kimberly in white livery with broad blue stripes.

2468 was sent back to the factory in 1961 and prepared with a long tail and FIA-regulation windshield for the 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans where it placed 8th overall driven by Walt Hansgen and Bill Kimberly.

After the 24 hour race, 2468 was used sparingly and was retained by Briggs Cunningham and displayed in the Cunningham Museum in completely original condition.

By 1997, the Cunningham collection was purchased and sequestered into the private Collier Collection and seldom displayed outside the confines of the Naples, Florida facility. It has only been seen outside twice since 1997: as a static display at the 2000 Monterey Historic Festival and at the 2008 La Bella Macchina d’Italia in support of Maserati displays.

Story by Richard Michael Owen

In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
type Racing Car
production years 1960 – 1961
built at Italy
production 6
succeccesor 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’
engine Inline-4
position Aluminum Body over Small Segmented Chrome-molybdenum Steel Tube
aspiration Natural
ignition Twin Spark
valvetrain DOHC, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Twin Weber 48 DCO3 Carburetors
displacement 1990 cc / 121.44 in³
bore 93.8 mm / 3.69 in
stroke 72 mm / 2.83 in
compression 9.8:1
power 149.1 kw / 200 bhp @ 7800 rpm
specific output 100.5 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 350.88 bhp per tonne
body / frame Aluminum Body over Small Segmented Chrome-molybdenum Steel Tube
driven wheels RWD
front brakes Discs
rear brakes Discs
f suspension Double Wishbones w/Coil Springs, telescopic Shock Aborbers
r suspension de Dion Tube Axle w/Transverse Leaf Springs, Telescopic Shock Absorbers
curb weight 570 kg / 1257 lbs
wheelbase 2200 mm / 86.6 in
front track 1250 mm / 49.2 in
rear track 1200 mm / 47.2 in
transmission 5-Speed Manual