Next from the busy Porter premises, this landscape-format work is another single-chassis work listing one car’s complete life cycle – in this case a car with a prime record. Not a grand prix car in itself, yet a grand prix winner – twice. It’s a Maserati 4CLT voiturette, one of the pair which gave Juan Manuel Fangio the tools to break into European racing and begin his remarkable grand prix career.
As expected, the book kicks off with a sweep through the Trident’s racing past up to the point where the 4CL is gasping in the wake of the Alfettas and Maserati decides to up the pressure, notably with twin superchargers on the 16-valve four, mounted in a new chassis with improved suspension, all detailed here in photos and drawings.
A debut victory at San Remo in 1948 indicated that the new 4CLT was the best thing a privateer could buy if he couldn’t land a works Alfa seat. As Bertschi explains, aspiring Argentinians at this time had the crucial support of the ACA – Automóvil Club Argentino, a sort of Racing for Britain equivalent but with political backing from General Perón and the funds to buy cars. And they did – a pair of the new 4CLTs, one being chassis 1600, the book’s subject.