The Famous Maserati Tipo 61 No. 2459 car was built for Briggs Cunningham. Finished on February 27th, 1960 and painted Red. It was sent to Alfred Momo’s shop in Queens, New York where the teams top driver was Walt Hansgen which completed a formable team. The facilities were without equal anywhere in the world. The Momo crew could build, make, or repair anything that raced. Walt Hansgen, their top driver, was one of the great success stories in American Racing. He began his career in 1951. He joined Cunningham and Momo in 1956 and over the next 4 years won 40 races and twice honored as the SCCA Driver Of The Year. After Momo received the car from the factory it was sent to Sebring. This was a 12 hour race and since the car had almost no testing it had multiple mechanical problems and did not finish. It did, however, post the second fastest lap time at the race. The fastest lap time was posted by another Tipo 61 driven by Stirling Moss. So, the top two lap speeds were by both Maserati Birdcage.
THE MARVELOUS TIPO 61 RACING CAR
|Cylinders: 4 in line||Front Track: 1250 mm (50 in)|
|Bore & Stroke: 93.8 mm x 73.6 mm (3.7 in x 2.9 in)||Rear Track: 1200 mm (48 in)|
|Displacement: 1989 cc (119.3 cu in)||Kerb Weight: 585 kg (1287 lb)|
|Compression Ratio: 9.8:1||Overall length: 3800mm (152 in)|
|Maximum BHP: 200||Overall width: 1500mm (60 in)|
|Maximum RPM: 7800||Overall height: 900mm (36 in)|
|Maximum Speed: 240 kph (144mph)||Fuel Capacity: 120 litres (26.4 gals)|
|Wheelbase: 2200 (88 in)||Tyre Size: 5.50 x 16 front / 6.00 x 16 rear|
After the car was tested properly, Hansgen was very successful in the Tipo 61. First place at Cumberland, Maryland; Bridgehampton , New York; and Montgomery, New York in 1960. He usually had the fastest car in all his races and unless he had a mechanical failure always won (See complete Race history). At the end of each racing season, Momo’s shop rebuilt the car for the next season. On February 11, 1962 August Papst cracked up the car on a practice run. The car was sent back to Momo’s shop where it was dismantled and parts sent to England. As we all know, race cars of this era were wrecked and rebuilt multiple times. In fact, according to Joel E. Finn’s book “Maserati Birdcage” which is the most accurate record of the 22 Birdcages that were produced, only one number 2455 is in totally original condition. Expert opinions are available on this car including Richard Crump the author of many Maserati books. The full disclosure on this car even includes the list of original parts as verified by the restoration facility.
Many years later a famous Maserati collector, with help from original factory drawings, reconstructed the frame which consisted of over 200 small diameter chrome-molybdenum steel tubes of varying lengths and thickness. The welding process seems to be only known to Italian body builders and does require a special gas. This process allowed the Tipo 60 & 61 to be built with an all aluminum body. The 4 cylinder engine was specially designed to fit in this car that was only 36 inches in height. A correct Birdcage two litre engine was rebuilt with an original cylinder head, lower crankcase, sump, transaxle, cam covers, and carburetors. The frame and engine were delivered to Steve Hart Racing in 2008, the most knowledgeable of all Birdcage mechanics in the world today. He began restoration from original parts and the rest of the parts were built from original factory drawings or copied from other correct Tipo 60/61 parts. The fuel tank is a new safety cell for obvious reasons. The restoration facility has extensive knowledge of any factory modifications and they were also performed on this car.
The following is a complete list of original parts as verified by the restoration facility:
The Tipo 61, 2459, was completed and the necessary documentation was submitted in March 2010 by restoration facility to Motor Sports Association United Kingdom, which is the Technical Department for FIA. After inspection by the FIA’s inspector the car was shipped to the U.S. owner in April 2010. Upon final approval from FIA on August 27, 2010 the restoration facility received the official Historic Technical Passport document for this Maserati which was then forwarded to the U.S. owner. Want to show your interest and hear more about the Famous Maserati Birdcage Tipo 61 No. 2459? Like the Official Maserati Birdcage Tipo 61 #2459 Facebook Page!
Historical Overview of Maserati Tipo 61/60 #2459 and complete Racing History of Maserati Birdcage #2459
The Maserati Tipo 60/61 “Birdcage” is a light and powerful sports racer produced in 1959-1960 that exhibits superb aerodynamics. It has a great power to weight ratio, with a perfect 50/50 weight distribution front-to-back, independent front suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes, De Dion tube in front of a 5-speed transaxl made of electron which is a special aluminum alloy. The nickname “Birdcage” is due to the intricate, tubular frame and chassis made up of approximately 200 small-diameter, chrome-molybdenum steel tubes of varying lengths and thicknesses welded together with a unique and highly guarded Italian process. This design was engineered by Giulio Alfieri in 5 different models, the most popular being the Tipo 60 and the Tipo 61.
Full Story: Historical Overview of Maserati Birdcage 2459
After the car was tested properly, the Tipo 61 #2459 was very successful in most races. First place at Cumberland, Maryland; Bridgehampton , New York; and Montgomery, New York in 1960. It was usually the fastest car in all of the races and unless there was a mechanical failure always won. At the end of each racing season, Momo’s shop rebuilt the car for the next season.
Full Story: Racing History Maserati Birdcage 2459
Maserati Tipo 61/60 Birdcage 2459 underwent an extensive, precise, detailed restoration. A complete detail accounting of the restoration for Maserati Birdcage #2459 is outlined in the following.
Full Story: Restoration Details of Maserati Birdcage 2459
Upon completion of the the restoration, Maserati Tipo 61/60 Birdcage 2459 was submitted to the Motor Sports Association in April, 2010, who carried out an extensive inspection. The Maserati Tipo 61/60 Birdcage 2459 passed the inspection and the new owners were issued the Historic Technical Passport/FIA Class:TSRC4 Document on August 27, 2010. A copy of that document can be viewed here.