Maserati 8C 3000 Biposto

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8C 3000 Biposto





From 1930-32 the Maserati brothers' Bologna factory built at least a dozen Maserati 26M and 26M Sport competition cars with 2495cc 185bhp straight-8 engines, and the sports version established its reputation through the 1930 racing season. Their brief reign was then overturned by the new Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Monza and Bugatti Type 51 twin-cam cams for 1931. It was in response to this reversal in fortune that Alfieri Maserati then responded by increasing the cylinder bore of his 26M engine from 65mm to 69mm – the maximum possible permitted by his '2500' block casting – which with the 69mm stroke length produced a displacement of 2811cc. Power output was claimed to be 205bhp at 5,500rpm. Bologna-based carburetor manufacturer Edoardo Weber collaborated with Maserati in perfecting the new engine's induction system, and it was with this 8C-2800 model that the marques of Maserati and Weber grew together.

This new engine was installed in the proven 26M design chassis frame but the bodywork was refined and improved, adopting a lower profile for greater aerodynamic efficiency and better penetration. The Maserati 8C-2800 made its debut in the 1931 French Grand Prix at Montlhèry, just south of Paris, where the rugged Luigi Fagioli broke the lap record. A second car was available in time for Rene Dreyfus to drive it in the Monza Grand Prix that September, where Fagioli won in spectacular style.

For the 1933 season the dynamics changed a little, with Alfa Romeo ceasing its own racing program and leading to the arrival of Enzo Ferrari's Scuderia. This gave Maserati its best season, a snapshot before their competition would leap-forward with Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union.

The Maserati 8C was a Grand Prix race car built by Maserati between 1931 and 1933. The 8C was being designed by Alfieri Maserati in the early 1930s; however, he died before its completion. The chassis was that of the Tipo 26M, and it was initially fitted with a Tipo 26M engine with its cylinders bored out by 4 mm to arrive at its limit of 2.8 liters. Development of the new 3.0 L engine continued and it was constructed for racing in 1932. The car won the 1933 French Grand Prix and Sir Henry Birkin achieved third place driving it in the Tripoli Grand Prix. However, it was not very successful in other races. The car featured some of the world's earliest hydraulic brakes. The Tipo 8C 3000 was the final two-seater Grand Prix Maserati.

In keeping with Maserati nomenclature and numbering systems, their new '3 liter' cars were pre-fixed with '30', although historians feel that the first ones were still of the earlier capacity. Both 3001 and 3002 were registered in 1931 and raced in that year and 1932. Engine 3003 was sold in May 1932 and likewise the crankcase 3004 is also dated May 1932. The new cars for the 1933 season were the 8CMs which debuted at Tunis and Monaco - and Nuvolari used to win Spa in July.

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