Maserati Tipo 63
|Maserati Tipo 63|
|Transmission||5-speed gated Manual|
|Engine|| 2.9 litre (2890.3 cc) inline-four cylinder, Normally aspirated with two Weber 48 DC03 carburettors|
3.0 litre V12
|Power|| 250 hp @ 6800 rpm|
320 hp @ 8200 rpm
In early 1960 Ing. Giulio Alfieri designed a rear-engined car based on the lightweight lattice-work chassis of the Tipos 60 and 61. Designated the Tipo 63 it was at first designed to be powered by a 3-litre V8 engine but the prototype was fitted with the proven 3-litre 4-cylinder engine of the Tipo 61. A restricted budget forced Alfieri to use many components from the Tipo 61; the front suspension, the 5-speed transaxle and of course the engine. The rear suspension was new, Alfieri had abandoned the de Dion tube and transverse leaf spring in favour of an independent system with coil springs.
Early testing demonstrated that although the car was very fast, its handling left a lot to be desired. Alfieri made several modifications to the rear suspension and replaced the 4 cylinder engine with the powerful 3-litre V12 engine that powered the Formula 1 Tipo 250F T2 back in 1957.
Four examples of the Tipo 63 were produced in 1961, two, #63002 and #63006, for the Briggs Cunningham Team and two, #63004 and #63008, for Count Volpi's Scuderia Serenissima.
In April 1961 the two Serenissima car raced in the Targa Florio, #004 (Magioli/Scarlatti) with the 3-litre engine was distinguishable by a short finned headrest and #008 (Trintignant/Vaccarella) with the later V-12 engine. #008 finished in fourth position and #004 in fifth.
In May that year, at the Nürburgring, #008 driven by Scarfiotti and Vaccarella failed to finish: the race was run in foul weather and water had entered the carburettors. The race was won for Maserati by Lloyd Casner and Masten Gregory driving a Team Camoradi Tipo 61!
In June 1961 three Tipo 63s, #002, #006 and #008, raced at Le Mans with all three cars having different versions of the V-12 engine. #008's engine had a cubic capacity of 2980.9 cc. (bore/stroke: 68.2mm/68mm). #008, driven by Scarfioti and Vaccarella, retired with overheating problems while the Tipo 63 driven by Dick Thompson and Augie Pabst finished fourth, Maserati's best ever result at Le Mans.
The Tipo 63 was undoubtably very fast but handling difficulties made it non-competitive. The lack of any serious development work, due largely to financial restraints, on this model meant that it was never able to reach its full potential.
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