Maserati Tipo 151
The Maserati Tipo 151 was a sports car prototype, which was developed in 1962 at Maserati.
With the design of the Maserati Tipo 151 Maserati chief developer Giulio Alfieri returned in 1962 to the conservative racing cars of the late 1950s back. The Tipo 151 was built primarily for use in the 24-hour race at Le Mans. Alfieri decided to create a closed body, a Berlinetta version, which on the long straights of the Circuit des 24 Heures allows greater speed in contrast to the Spyder form. Internally, the design was controversial, because at first glance it was a step backwards: he had a chassis from round, oval plates on a tubular space frame, front and rear independent suspension, a De Dion axle. The front axle had unequal length, double wishbone. The De Dion axle had double trailing arm and coil springs. The axis was laterally mounted on pivot pins that were attached to the end of the final drive. Instead of aluminum wheels already used in the Tipo 64, there were Spoked wheels. Most notable, however, was the front engine. Since you had already worked with the previous models with center motors, one had to resort from 1956 and revise this when driving on the aggregate of the 450S. The engine capacity was reduced to 4 liters. To keep the front end of the car low, the motor got a dry sump lubrication. The four Weber carburetors 45IDM were taken from the 450S. Except for the large bulge on the Bonnet, created for the carburetors between the cylinder banks Square, the Tipo 151 had elegant lines that strongly recalled the 450S Zagato from 1957.
Maserati built a total of three Tipo 151, which were unsuccessful in all international motorsport. The cars were very susceptible to defects and always seemed incomplete in the years of its operations. Due to the sparse deployment in a few races in many problems could never be completely eradicated. In 1962 there were significant problems with the rear axle. The drivers that were in Le Mans at the start, complained great handling problems in fast corners. These problems were Winter 1962/63 corrected by replacing the springs. These came with the 5-liter engine from the 5000 GT, a new engine, which developed 90hp more and had a fuel injection.
1964, the wheelbase has been lengthened by 10 cm and improved by a steep sloping rear aerodynamics. The rear window was now standing upright and the engine sat lower in the chassis, so that the bulge on the bonnet was omitted .
In 1965 it came to the last change to the car was at the, in addition to a new chassis revision, the engine displacement increased to 5.1 liters.
Maserati had not planned, the Tipo 151 use under own direction in sports car racing. This task should the American Briggs Cunningham, who had worked together in previous years with Maserati, and accept the long-standing French general importer Johnny Simone. A first test run had in June 1962, the Scuderia Serenissima by Giovanni Volpi at the 1000km race to take on the North Loop of the Nürburgring, however, was the Van, chassis 002, not ready in time, so Graham Hill and Masten Gregory could not start.
His racing debut in the Tipo 151, therefore, the 24-hour race at Le Mans 1962 Briggs Cunningham reported two vehicles. Race number 2, chassis 004, driven by Walt Hansgen and Bruce McLaren, as well as the start number 3, chassis 006, in William Kimberley and Dick Thompson were sitting at the wheel. As a partner of Dick Thompson Roy Salvadori was actually intended. The tall Englishman felt in the narrow cockpit but uncomfortable and exchanged with Kimberley, with the Cunningham was reported in a Jaguar E-Type, the place. Another vehicle had reported for Maserati France Johnny Simone. This car, race number 4 and the chassis 002, piloted by Maurice Trintignant and Lucien Bianchi. 1962 had provided a new classification for some confusion and amazement at the regular Le Mans starters the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. No less than 18 classes – including the index of performance, and the Index of Efficiency – should be crowned winner. The three were reported Maserati liter engine in the class for experimental cars up to 4. In training, the Maserati were among the fastest cars on the Ligne Droite of the Mulsanne. There, top speeds were achieved up to 320km/hr. In qualifying, the Tipo 151 reached the ranks of three (Dick Thompson), five (McLaren) and seven (Bianchi). In the race, Dick Thompson was long in Top box and took over after almost two hours of racing even the lead, but fell after 62 laps due to an accident from. He lost in the Esses the control of the car and crashed into a barrier. The car caught fire and burned down, but was rebuilt later. The Bianchi/Trintignant-car had 152 rounds after a suspension failure and the drive from Walt Hansgen and Bruce McLaren stopped in the 13th hour of the race, a valve damage. Thus were all three Maserati failed just after halfway through the race.
His next assignment was the Tipo 151 in September 1962 at the 500-mile race at Road America. This time, drove Walt Hansegen and Augie Pabst Cunningham chassis 004 Again, there was a failure; this time a defective wheel bearing stopped the efforts of the Americans. Cunningham continued his two cars in the fall of 1962 several times without success in sports car racing in the United States. The first target arrival there was the 200-mile race of Riverside; Augie Pope finished with Chassis 006 seventh in the standings; another disappointment for the team. Pope had left at the finish three laps behind the Zerex Special by Roger Penske and was by far less powerful race cars like the Cooper T61, the Chaparral 1 and the Maserati Tipo 61 behind. Chuck Daigh, the chassis 004, finished in eleventh place.
In Cunningham, the Tipo-151-1963 era ended the 250-mile race at Daytona, where chassis 004, driven by Marvin Panch, after a training accident went up in flames. Chassis 006 was sold to the American racing team Team Meridian whose driver Skip Hudson in 1963 with third place in a national sports car racing in Cotati, the only podium of this race car reached.
In Europe, Maserati focused on working with Johnny and Simone gave the Frenchman to revise Tipo 151 for use in the 24-hour race at Le Mans this year. Despite again faster times at the driving test in April and training before the race, there was again no finish. André Simon, aged 43, a very experienced pilot, led the first fuel stop. Lloyd Casner, who took over the car, but fell after 40 rounds Transmission damage from. The eighth rank of Lucien Bianchi in the Trophée d’Auvergne was a small consolation for the second failure at Le Mans.
1964 disputed Trintignant and Simon again in the 24-hour race at Le Mans and failed this time by an electrical problem. The 12-hour race at Reims the ignition and the 1,000km race from Paris went on strike ended prematurely because of an accident.
On April 11, 1965, the project Tipo 151 ended fatally. During the tests for 24-hour race of the racers and Camoradi Racing team boss Lloyd Casner was killed. On the long straight towards Mulsanne crashed Casner at nearly 300km/h The exact cause of the accident was never fully clarified. Then Johnny Simone and Maserati completed the further development of this vehicle.
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