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Model vs Prototype #8
Model pictures: Albert Prats.
Prototype pictured: Maserati Tipo 61 / chassis# 2452 / built 10-9-1959.

High Tech Modell - Maserati Tipo 60 'Birdcage' (1960)
Available as kit, ref# 87008 (without headlights) and ref# 87014 (with headlights).

The prototype:

The Maserati Tipo 60 was developed after it's predecessor, the 450S, turned out to be somewhat less then a success. The designers almost started from scratch when developing the Tipo 60, just using an engine based on the older 150S engine. To achieve a low frontal area, the engine was built in at a 45 angle and laid in a frame made of steel tubes. It is this tubular frame that gave the Tipo 60 the 'Birdcage' nickname. About six of the Tipo 60 models were built, the first made its racing debut, and took it's first win, at Rouen in 1959 in the hands of Stirling Moss. After the first races, work began on the Tipo 61, which was actually the same car with a bigger version of the engine. In 1960 Casner Motor Racing (Camoradi) bought three Tipo 61 models which were race-prepared at Maserati. One of these cars was entered in the Buenos Aires 1000km race where it proved to be faster then any other car except Phil Hills Ferrari. In the race, the car led until Masten Gregory spun it, and later retired with a broken gearbox. It wasn't long, however, before Stirling Moss made up for that disappointment by winning the Cuban GP for the Camoradi team.

For the 1960 Le Mans race, Camoradi brought along three cars of which one had a special body with a huge windscreen. However, none of the cars made it to the finish, the new-bodied car driven by Dan Gurney / Chuck Daigh did manage to work its way into the lead, but would not restart after the first pitstop. The second car, driven by Giorgio Scarlatti / Gino Munaron also had starter motor problems and stopped on the Mulsanne Straight and the third car, which also had starter motor trouble, retired with a broken gearbox after it had crashed into the bank at Mulsanne earlier. In 1961, four cars were entered, a Tipo 60 and three versions of the new Tipo 63. After the Tipo 63 of Nino Vaccarella / Lodovico Scarfiotti retired early with overheating problems, and Walt Hansgen had crashed his Tipo 63 after only 2 hours racing, this left Dick Thompson / Augie Pabst in a Tipo 63, which was also overheating, to finish fourth and the Tipo 60 of Briggs Cunningham / William Kimberley to finish eighth overall and third in it's class.

In 1961, several Maseratis were entered in the Pescara Grand Prix, apart from several Tipo 63s, there was a Tipo 61 for Camoradi owner Lloyd Casner and a Tipo 60 for Mennato Boffa. However, the Maseratis again suffered from unreliability. The Tipo 63 cars retired with problems like broken driveshafts and gearboxes and when Casner crashed very heavily when lapping a slower car that left Mennato Boffa the sole Maserati finisher in third place, a fine effort for the older Tipo 60. Internationally, that was the end of the Birdcage's era but the cars carried on winning in minor events. Despite the unreliability of the Tipo 60 in long-distance racing, the car achieved it's purpose, it made it possible for private teams to race in a Maserati at relatively low cost.

Dimensions:  Lenght 3800mm / Width 1500mm / Height 900 - 1000mm / Wheelbase

The model: Maserati Tipo 60, probably modelled after chassis# 2461 as driven by Stirling Moss in the 1000km race at the Nurburgring in 1960.

The 87thScale.info verdict: Another High Tech Modell beauty, it even features the famous 'birdcage' which comes as a seperate part and has to be folded from etched metal. Not something we'd recommend if this is the first kit you are going to build but it sure makes the model look good. Just look at the pictures !

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