1963 Andre Simon/Lloyd Casner Maserati Tipo 151/2
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| At a time when Maserati's financial picture couldn't have looked more bleak, it would be enticed to build what many would end up considering to be one of their finest sportscars ever. It would even be suggested it could have been one of the greatest of all time if Maserati had had the money to develop it. Unfortunately, the Maserati Tipo 151 forever lives in relative obscurity when it truly deserves to be remembered as much more.
It is often remarked that for a race team to win a championship or one of the big races it takes all of the necessary elements coming together, working to perfection. Maserati's biggest importers, Briggs Cunningham in the United States and Johnny Simone in France, were convinced Maserati had all of the necessary components just lying around its factory, they just needed to be identified and put together into a winning formula, and the 1962 rule changes imposed by the FIA offered the opportunity needed to help Maserati achieve victory at Le Mans.
Heading into the 1962 season the FIA would decide to ban the more complex and costly open top sportscar prototypes. The FIA, in turn, wanted to return to more of a GT class that would have a minimum production for homologation reasons.
The ACO, in turn, would be bothered by this decision. By the early 1960s, crowds were becoming used to, and were intrigued by, the prototypes produced in very small numbers by major manufacturers. In addition, the ACO was concerned the apparent step backward would cause many of the major manufacturers to lose interest and pull out. The ACO feared the move to take away the prototypes would hurt interest in its biggest race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Therefore, the ACO would fire back. They would create a class that would be known as the GT Prototype class. This would allow prototypes that could go into mass-production in the future to race, but without earning any points toward the World Championship. To complete the creation of the class, the ACO would increase the maximum engine capacity from the 3-liter limit to 4-liters for the GT Prototypes. And for Cunningham and Simone, this appeared to be the perfect opportunity for Maserati, and themselves.
'Maserati Tipo 151', (http://www.maseraticlub.co.uk/trident29.htm). Maserati Club. http://www.maseraticlub.co.uk/trident29.htm. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
'Le Mans 24 Hours', (http://www.racingsportscars.com/photo/Le_Mans-1963-06-16.html?sort=Results). Racing Sports Cars. http://www.racingsportscars.com/photo/Le_Mans-1963-06-16.html?sort=Results. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
'1965 Maserati Tipo 151 News, Pictures, and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z15698/Maserati-Tipo-151.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z15698/Maserati-Tipo-151.aspx. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
'Maserati Tipo 151', (http://www.motorsportsalmanac.com/mastuff/articles/RN_020413.pdf). Motorsportsalmanac.com. http://www.motorsportsalmanac.com/mastuff/articles/RN_020413.pdf. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
'1964 Maserati Tipo 151/3', (http://www.supercars.net/cars/2818.html). Supercars.net. http://www.supercars.net/cars/2818.html. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
'Maserati Tipo 151', (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/982/Maserati-Tipo-151.html). Ultimatecarpage.com: Powered by Knowledge, Driven by Passion. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/982/Maserati-Tipo-151.html. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
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