A rare Maserati

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Last November we referred to a rare 4CS Maserati which had been found I Singapore by Flt./Lt. K P. Painter. The history of this car has now been traced, as follows.

This particular Maserati was made in 1935 as a slab-tank 1,100-c.c. two-seater with beam front axle. In 1936 it was purchased by young Ignazio Radice Fossati and he and Luigi Villoresi took it to Monza for an attempt on class records up to three house. The attempt ended in tragedy when a large pointer dog ran onto the track whilst Fossati was driving; he hit the dog and the car overturned, killing both of them (Fossati and dog).

After this, the car was purchased by Count Lurani and Luigi Villoresi, repaired and entered by them in the 1937 Mille Miglia, in which the car carried number 101. Although the race was run in pouring rain they were going very well indeed and should have won the 1,100-c.c. class–although Lurani admits that Villoresi’s driving terrified him!–Unfortunately the were delayed for 1 ½ hours with carburettor trouble and their attempt so make up for lost time involved them in what Lurani describes as “crazy things.” The oil pressure dropped but they ignored it –and just outside Spoleto a con-rod came out through the crankcase and they were obliged to retire!

They then sold the car to Filippo Tassara, a Bugatti exponent in the ‘twenties, and with him they rebuilt the car, fitting a new 1,500-c.c. engine, Tecnauto IFS, a radiator grille similar to that of the then-current 6CM Maserati, and a pointed tail. Tassara raced it in this form as a member of the Scuderia Ambrosiana (founded by Lurani, Villoresi and Cortese) in several sports-car races and Lurani was to have driven it in the 1938 Portuguese Grand Prix, but he crashed his single-seater Maserati at the Crystal Palace only two weeks before the event. Shortly after, the car was sold again, to Wong Check Quee, who had it shipped to Singapore.

The rebuild is still far from completion, but the present owner has arranged for a new body, to replace the one lost during the war. He can now, being back in England, compare his car with Dan Margulies’ single-seater version and proceed with the rebuild with a lot more confidence than he felt in Singapore. He is still hampered by lack of vital parts such as Weber 48 ASS carburettor and Scintilla R82 dynamo, if anyone has such things to spare.