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Hagerty Employee

How the Maserati Birdcage became the lightest Le Mans car of 1960

By 1958, Maserati was rather short on cash and in need of a design that could be successful on the race track. In order to produce such a machine, brilliant engineer Giulio Alfieri decided to make the most of Le Mans regulations, lightening Maserati's chassis to the absolute minimum while still using four-cylinder power. For the Tipo 60 first tested by Stirling Moss in May 1959, Alfieri's team welded around 200 tiny steel tubes to form a cage-like structure, adding a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and an alloy body with a deeply recessed windshield. This ultra-low seating position would also result in massive wheel wells, under which lay the latest in tire development. 


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