By COUNT G. LURAN1 CERNUSCHI. VERSATILITY has always been the watchword of the Maserati factory, as for instance those original the 2.5-litre

conceptions, the 2.5-litre model of 1930, which gained such success on its entry to Italian Grand Prix Races, the tremendously fast 16-cylinder driven by Borzacchini at Cremona in 1929 when he achieved a speed of 152.9 on the road, down to the 1,100 c.c. four-cylinder model introduced in 1932.

Maserati always said he would build a car to suit the requirements of any client, but this policy has been modified nowadays to building a wide range of cars suitable for every racing purpose.

It will be therefore interesting to make a full review of the cars that Maserati will put in production in 1935. Of course all the actual models in the list are built only if ordered. Actually all models are in production, especially the new ” mystery” Grand Prix cars and the little 1,100 c.c. and 1,500 c.c. 4-cylinder cars. Unfortunately the new Grand Prix car is still on the secret list, and only limited details can yet be revealed. As is usual in racing car factories, the prices asked for each of these cars vary with the importance of the order and the racing value of each driver, but are comparatively moderate in view

of the successes secured by them in face of the opposition of their larger Italian, German and French competitors. With the exception of the new Grand Prix models, all engines are built to the same general plan, with two overhead camshafts driven by gears from the front end, a Roots type blower driven from the

front end of the crankshaft, drawing mixture from a Weber carburettor. Ignition is by Scintilla magneto on all models. Multi-plate clutches are used on the larger models, but from the 1,500 c.c. car downwards the single-plate Itype is fitted. Four speed gear-boxes with central

control is the general practise, but a 3-speed gear-box was used on the record-breaking 1,100 c.c. car. The transmission is of the orthodox open type, suspension is by half-elliptic springs and Hartford shock-absorbers, while Lockheed hydraulic brakes are standard, with mechanical Perrot brakes an optional variation. Duralumin Rudge Whitworth wheels are fitted on all cars, the fuel feed is by pressure with the tank at the rear, while all models have dry sump lubrication.

Only two chassis sizes are made, the large type with wheelbase 8 ft. 41 in. and track 4 ft. 5 in., which houses the 3.3 and the 3-litre engines, and a smaller type with wheelbase 7 ft. 10 in. and track 3 ft. II+ in., which accommodates the seven smaller power units.

All the casting and foundry work is done at Milan at specialised factories. The chassis frames are assembled at the little Bologna factory. So is the engine and the other components. Engines are first tested on the bench, then on the road, and finally tuned on the car. The new Grand Prix 4,400 c.c. car is particularly interesting. All four wheels have the Porsche torsion-rod

suspension, with rods parallel to the chassis side-members. Each front Wheel has its own drag-link, which operales from a double-worm steeringbox. The engine is a twin block V engined 8-cylinder unit with twin o.h. camshafts


and 2 valves per cylinder. There is of course a Roots type supercharger. For realising a very low driving position, the transmission is underslung and the gearbox is fixed at the rear just behind the rear axle. The chassis of this car is of a special steel alloy welded by an American system that allows of an extra light construction. Brakes ‘(as on all cars), are of the Lockheed Hydraulic pattern built by Maserati. Of course, in this car—as on all cars of Maserati — Electron and Aluminium are generally used and allow ultra light and very strong construction. The body will be attractive in appearance, and streamlined very carefully. The 6-cylinder and the 6-cylinder cars are on orthodox chassis as all other Models Of the factory. These chassis have been very much improved and are now very stiff and hold the road really

well, and sport ” cars can also be developed from these chassis. Instead of central steering, a side steering and a 2-seater body with all necessary electric equipment, can be fitted. There is a chance that the great Varzi and Siena. will drive one of these 2 seaters at the next Mile Miglia !

The 6-cylinder car is the same as the one that Nuvolari has driven so consistently at the end of 1934. The “8 ” is the same as Whitney Straight’s 1934 racing team. The 2,400 c.c. is the car that was driven so consistently by Tallith at the last Monte Car/0 G.P.

All the big Maserati cars this year have cylinder heads and blocks cast in one. This allows the rather high compression ratio. The 1,500 c.c. and the 1,100 c.c.

models have a detachable head, except the -very special 1,100 c.c. record car that has also a fixed head. Cast iron is used in all the engines. All the 4-cylinder models have an engine that resembles

very closely the famous old Talbot Darracq, 1,500 c.c. cars. The 1,_100 c.c. car driven by Furmanik follows closely the design of the ordinary single-seater cars, while it is noticeable that the record speed of 136.4 m.p.h„ was attained without recourse to superstreamlined coachwork. The principal difference lay in raising the compression ratio and also the maximum safe revs, an alteration which boosted the horse’power to the formidable figure of 140 h.p. The chassis of course, was considerably lightened, rear brakes only were

fitted, discs were fitted to the road wheels, and only a three speed gear-box was required for getting up speed on the level surface of the Florence-Pistoia Autostrada. A further increase of 5 m.p.h. may be anticipated with a more Carefully streamlined body.

Maseratis will build about 20 new cars of the different models throughout the season, but will not be running an official team. The official defenders will be the ” Scuderia Subalpina ” drivers. The Maserati drivers in 1935 will be : 4,400 Grand Prix cars, Zehender, Etancelin ;liersi, Siena, Della Chiesa (of the

Scuderia Subalpina “). This team will have also two 6-cylinder cars and one 1,500 c.c, and one 1,100 c.c., and also some ” sport” cars). Ruesch, Soffietti, Rovere will have 2.6-litre cars. Farina, Tuffanelli, Castelbarco, Kessler, Lurani will handle 1,500 c.c. cars. These are the most prominent Maserati drivers, all of whom will handle new cars in the coming season. T. Nuvolari was expected to be the great lone hand on the Maserati in 1935. He had tested the new suspension, but now he has decided to join the Ferrari stable, and is a great loss to the Bologna factory. The early history of the make is less well-known than it deserves to be, so it will be interesting to remember in a few words the story of the

Maserati” factory. The little concern started 20 years ago (the 20th anniversary has just been celebrated), but it was always in great difficulties. The real “head ” of the Maserati factory was the late Alfieri Maserati. This famous man was a well-known racing mechanic and had a. great experience at Isotta Fraschini and other factories. Before the war he was already a racing mechanic and also a racing driver. He made his first entry into the motor

industry as a manufacturer of sparking plugs, and now in Italy this make is quite well known.

After the war Alfieri Maserati went back to his beloved ” Racing car ” enthusiasm. He was responsible for the construction of the Grand Prix racing Diatto cars of 1922, and finally in 1926 he started the construction of ” Maserati racing cars. The little factory got larger, new machinery, some great victories, real good racing cars built by a real expert, made the ” Maserati” name famous in Italy, then in Europe and in the whole . world. Alfieri Maserati brought all his brothers to work in his little factory, and his little business was just starting to be a great thing when in 1932 in the first months of the year he died after a little operation that should have been only a

slight thing . . The brothers continued the great enterprise and now the little works forms an efficient and self-contained unit. The Maserati brothers are four—Bindo, Ettore, Ernesto and Prof. Mario. The first three named are the leaders of the factory, Ernesto being the real head of the trio. The Maserati factory is like a ” family” job. No great offices, but a little room covered with all sorts of photos of the great victories of their car. The Maserati brothers themselves work in the factory The coming season will see more of Mrs. Stewart than her brief, but brilliant, outbursts at Montlhery. She is preparing a new 1,500 c.c. racing car for road-racing,

and you would always meet them in overalls among the 50 specialised

mechanics that are the whole staff of the little ” Marque.”