Written by Eric Becker
Offered with No Reserve at Barrett-Jackson’s inaugural Houston Auction, September 16-18, is one of the finest and most innovative racing cars ever built: the 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 “Birdcage” Chassis #2459.
As machines go, there are very few more evocative than vintage racing cars, particularly those whose lineage can be traced to Modena, Italy. Modena was a city divided; one half rooting for the prancing horse of Ferrari and the other supporting Neptune’s trident: Maserati. Before Maserati built luxury sedans and SUVs, it was a brand steeped in racing pedigree. It was the first European marque to win the Indy 500 in 1939 (a feat it would repeat the following year) and carried racing greats Sir Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio to numerous victories – and a world championship – in the early years of Formula 1.
The lightweight, innovative skeletal structure was christened “Birdcage.”
By the late 1950s, Maserati’s venerated racing history was on the decline and, beset by financial hardships, the Italian marque was pushed to innovate. And innovate they surely did. Hampered by the development costs of creating a new engine or expensive monocoque structure, Maserati turned to Chief Engineer Giulio Alfieri. Alfieri understood the importance of keeping weight low for racing. With that philosophy in mind, he set about designing a new chassis using a matrix of 200 short chromium-molybdenum (also known as chromoly) steel tubes of varying diameters. Welded together with a unique and highly guarded process, the chassis was reinforced and arranged in triangular formations in high-stress areas, providing the skeletal structure with incredible torsional rigidity and minimal weight – just under 70 pounds in all. The chassis was a marvel of engineering and an affirmative nod to form following function. Initially designated as the Tipo 60 (Tipo 61 when fitted with the larger engine), it was later christened as the “Birdcage” by an American journalist visiting the factory. The name stuck, and Maserati was once again a major player in the world of sports car racing.
In many ways the Birdcage is the common ancestor to many of the prototype racers competing today. It revolutionized the exterior design of sports cars of the period, proving to be highly influential in the years to come and iconic to this day. The extremely low body line and high wheel arches represented a revolution in sports car design. The long and streamlined windshield provided onlookers a glimpse of the intricate web of metal underneath the thin and shapely bodywork. The twin-Weber-fed DOHC inline-4 engine was set far behind the front axle and canted to the right at a 45-degree angle to optimize the center of gravity and keep the car low. The 5-speed manual transaxle was a derivative of the one used in Maserati’s 250F Formula 1 car – the very car that carried Fangio to his fifth world title. The Birdcage exhibited a perfect 50/50 weight distribution, an independent front suspension, telescopic dampers, 4-wheel disc brakes, a De Dion rear axle and a weight of under 1,300 pounds. It was lighter, nimbler and far more agile than the competition from Ferrari, Aston Martin and Jaguar. And, as such, it became a favorite of the racing greats: Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney and Sir Stirling Moss, to name a few. Moss, in fact, was so enamored with the Tipo 60’s handling characteristics that he encouraged Maserati to up the displacement, resulting in the Tipo 61 designation.
Offered with No Reserve at Barrett-Jackson’s inaugural Houston Auction, September 16-18, is one of the finest and most innovative racing cars ever built: the 1960 Maserati Tipo 61. This car, chassis #2459, carries with it an impressive provenance and storied history. The car was built for famed American racer and sportsman Briggs Cunningham and prepared for racing by Alfred Momo in New York. Driven primarily by two-time SCCA Driver of the Year Walt Hansgen (with Dr. Dick Thompson and Augie Pabst also driving), this car took four wins and multiple podiums between 1960 and 1961. At the end of each racing season, Momo’s shop rebuilt the car in preparation for the next season. In February 1962, while taking part in a practice session at the Daytona Continental 3-Hour Grand Touring and Sports Car Race, driver Augie Pabst was involved in an accident, which resulted in minor injuries and damage to the car. The damaged Maserati was taken back to Momo’s shop in Queens, where it was decided the car would not be repaired. Instead, it was sent to England and dismantled as a donor car for future Tipo 60/61 Birdcage
Title: MADE IN MODENA: 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 “Birdcage” Chassis #2459 with No Reserve
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/1960-maserati-tipo-61-birdcage-for-sale-no-reserve-2021-houston-auction/
Published Date: Fri, 06 Aug 2021 18:28:44 +0000
Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame
Kids are impressionable, especially when motorcycles are involved. That magical combination of sound, smell and danger has a way of imprinting itself on young minds. But Kyle Harvey didn’t just dream of bikes as a child—he practically grew up with them.
Kyle’s trade is tool and die making, but his passion is building bikes. His father, Garth Harvey, got Kyle and his brother into bikes at a young age; as soon as they could start their old man’s vintage motorcycles, they were riding them. Living in Edenvale in South Africa’s Gauteng province, the boys also had direct access to the local Classic Motorcycle Club.
The folks at the CMC made quite an impression on young Kyle—and taught him everything he knows about vintage bikes. After helping numerous friends work on their bikes, he went on to open his own shop, named simply ‘The Workshop.’ Kyle has been building and restoring classic motorcycles for over a decade now.
This cheeky bobber is his latest build, and it’s immensely fascinating. The engine’s from a Triumph TR6 Trophy, the frame is from a Matchless, and the quirky handmade details on it are endless.
By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-triumph-tr6-matchless-frame
Published Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2022 17:01:12 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
The Swan Song of the V12
The V12 engine holds a special place in the heart of many automotive and motorsports fans. For some, it’s the sound of Formula 1 through the years, especially during the 1990s. For others, it’s engines like the 6.1 L BMW S70/2 from the McLaren F1 or the 3.9L Lamborghini V12 that powered all their cars from the Miura through to the Diablo. No matter where it lies in your heart, it is the “proper” configuration for many: 6 cylinders per bank, put into a V, and firing in an odd sequence to give it that special roar under power.
Yet, as concerns over fuel efficiency, qualms about environmental impact, and high-powered turbocharged V8 or V6 engines are the norm now, the V12 is slowly, but surely, being put to rest. In fact, the only place that V12s are still hanging on by the last threads of their engine mounting bolts are in supercars, hypercars, and a few ultra-luxury cars. Even then, many exotic brands have announced that their next cars will either be V10s or turbo V8s and V6s.
Since it appears that the swan song of the V12 is reaching a crescendo, we thought it only appropriate to celebrate the few remaining cars out there that carry them. It may be the last time we see some of these brands, many of which are known for their V12s.
The Amazing Last V12 Production Versions from the Big Brands
Ferrari 812 Superfast
Ferrari 812 Superfast. Image via Supercars.
The writing is on the wall for the prancing horse, as the new Ferrari 296 GTB is showing the direction that Maranello is headed. Yet, unless you were invited to snag one of the limited-edition Monza SP1 or SP2 cars, there is still one car you can buy from the legendary marque that has all 12 cylinders fully intact.
The 6.5L F140 GA V12. Image Via: Wikimedia Commons.
The 6.5L F140 GA 65-degree V12 in the front of the 812 is the last road-going version of the V12 that debuted in the Ferrari Enzo. Producing a monstrous 789 HP and 530 lbs-ft of torque, it is no slouch either, as when the 812 Superfast debuted, it was the most powerful naturally aspirated production car engine ever made.
It has the typical low-rev Ferrari roar that rises into a howl as the car revs up to nearly 9,000 RPM, and will catapult the 3,845 (1,744 kg) car to 60 MPH in 2.9 seconds. As far as a curtain call is concerned, that’s a great way to bow out and focus on hybrids and turbocharged engines.
Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC
cedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC. Image via Supercars.
Mercedes-Benz used to be at the very top of the V12 pecking order when it came to luxury performance cars. Such classics as the S 65 AMG from the mid-2000s and the 500 TE AMG W123 Touring from the very end of the 1970s came with big V12s that sound astounding, but the biggest and baddest of the Mercedes V12s left on in a production car is the M279 E60 LA that hauled the S65 AMGs of 2014.
By: Simon Bertram
Title: The Swan Song of the V12
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/v12-swan-song/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 10:49:26 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!
In our continuing quest to source motorcycle gear that combines safety and style, we bring you our thoughts on Shoei’s new ECE 22.06-approved NXR2 helmet. Plus a stealthy riding parka from Akin Moto, and the perfect pair of urban riding gloves from Rev’It!.
Shoei NXR2 helmet It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Shoei’s helmets. Every Shoei I’ve owned has fit and felt right from the first wear, with no major deviations in their sizing or shape from model to model. So when I was looking for a do-it-all street helmet to replace my well-used Shoei RYD, the new NXR2 was a no-brainer… and it hasn’t disappointed.
I loved the RYD for its combination of neutral styling, comfort and ventilation. The NXR2 basically feels like a premium version of the RYD; it has the same clean aesthetic, but ramps up the performance. And it’s one of the few helmets that meet with Europe’s new, and more stringent, ECE 22.06 standard.
By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/shoei-akin-moto-revit-review-44
Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 17:01:31 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
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