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1938 Maserati 8CTF 3030
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1938 Maserati 8CTF 3030 information
Le Belle Macchine d'Italia
The 8CTF was Maserati's challenge to the all-conquering dominance of Germany on the Grand Prix scene of the thirties. Given the height to which Auto Únion and Mercedes had raised race car engineering, the challenge, unsurprisingly, was not successful. However, this car gave the German teams pause for thought, if not cause for alarm, however briefly.
Two factory made the 8CTF possible: a new and complicated International formula crafted wîth the single purpose of curtailing the German juggernaut and the acquisition of Maserati by Italian industrialist Adolfo Orsi which put the Maserati brothers in charge of the cars and the Orsi family in charge of management, at which the brothers had never excelled. The 8CTF was the first result of the collaboration.
Although development funds were now available, development time was brief. The new car derived from the Maserati team's voiturette chassis, its engine two voiturette four-cylinder blocks placed end-to-end wîth integral cylinder heads. Compared to the ultra-sophistication of the German competition, this was a return to basics.
But speed is among the factors that wins races, and the unpretentious 8CTF was a very fast car in 1938. This was demonstrated in its first outing, at Tripoli, when Count Felice Trossi put up a 131.2 mph lap in the display car and took the lead on Lap 9 only to retire soon after wîth transmission problems. The rest of the season became an ongoing deja vu as the Maserati left starting lines handsomely and then broke down, usually well before the finish.
Ironically, the 8CTF enjoyed a far more rewarding career in the Únited States, winning Indianapolis twice and Pikes Peak once beginning in 1939 wîth Wilbur Shaw's 500 victory driving 3032 (the third 8CTF, modified for the 1939 season). Subsequently Lucy O'Reilly Schell bought 3030 and 3031 for her Ecurie Bleue team, shipped them to the States, and signed up French racing champion Rene Dreyfus and Rene Le Begue to drive them in the 1940 500. Dreyfus drove 3030 during practice, broke a connecting rod, co-drove 3031 wîth Le Begue in the race to finish tenth and collect $1400 in prize money. Both Schell cars were sold after the race. Chassis 3030 went on to enjoy Indy drives by Duke Nalon and Emil Andres, and a Pikes Peak climb by Louis Únser. The old war horse remained on the track until the early fifties.
Source - Monterey Historics