Lime Rock Historic Festival: Sir Stirling Moss’ Maserati Tipo 61 “Birdcage”

Maserati Birdcage raced by Sir Stirling Moss at this year’s Lime Rock Historic Festival. Enjoy the pics of this legendary car.

-Nick Walker

3 thoughts on “Lime Rock Historic Festival: Sir Stirling Moss’ Maserati Tipo 61 “Birdcage””

  1. Reblogged this on Dirty Hippo Racing and commented:
    One of the blogs I follow, Mind over Motor captured images of a Maserati Tipo 61 (aka Maserati Birdcage) that was actually driven by Sir Stirling Moss. The Birdcage earns its moniker as its chassis consists of 200 welded, chome moly steel tubes. In turn, this made the Maserati Tipo 61 lighter (1,323 lbs curb weight) and more rigid than its two-seater, front engine/rear wheel drive competitors. This design was unheard of in its time and in all actuality, so was the Tipo 61. Between 1959 to 1961, Maserati only built a whopping sixteen vehicles; hence, the importance of ndubs77 photos. The Tipo 61 is one of five models (ranging from the inaugural Tipo 60 to the final Tipo 65) designed by Maserati’s engineer, Giulio Alfieri. Tipo 61 was the last front engine/rear wheel design as Alfieri made Tipo 63-65 mid-engine race cars.

    In July 1959, Stirling Moss piloted a Maserati Tipo 61 prototype to victory at the Delamare-Deboutteville Cup, which was a support race for the Rouen Grand Prix. Stirling Moss and Dan Gourney later drove chassis 2461 across the finish line in first place during the Nurburgring 1000 km. Moss described this win as his “toughest victory ever in sports car racing.” The same model was entered in the 1960 24 Heures du Mons, but never seized a podium due to “unreliability issues”. In the United States, Roger Penske and Gus Audrey won SCCA National Championships in a 3 liter engine Tipo 61 variant. Carroll Shelby was behind the wheel of two Tipo 61s. The first time was in Nassau where the car’s rear-end De Dion tube broke during Shelby’s stint and subsequently, busted a ring and pinion after it was repaired (and driven by Masten Gregory – the alternate driver). Shelby and Gregory also drove a Tipo 61 in the 1961 12 Hours of Sebring; however, they were subjected to a faulty oiling system resulting in engine failure.

    This Maserati was pushed by a DOHC 2.9 liter four-cylinder engine that was mounted at a unique 45-degree angle in order to achieve a lower center of gravity. Due to its lightweight chassis and 250 horsepower, this five-speed car was able to achieve 177 mph. All Tipos came with independent front suspensions, disc brakes on all four corners, and a dry sump oil system.

    References:
    http://www.maserati-alfieri.co.uk/menotti11.htm
    http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/3029/Maserati-Tipo-63-Birdcage.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maserati_Tipo_61
    http://www.supercars.net/cars/2404.html
    http://www.classicdriver.com/uk/magazine/3200.asp?id=11902
    http://www.maserati-alfieri.co.uk/maser12.htm

    Like

  2. Excellent work. I did a bit a research and was amazed at how many great drivers piloted the Tipo 61 (Sir Stirling Moss, Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney, etc.). I posted a quick write-up at dirtyhipporacing.com. Thanks for the pics!

    Like

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