Maserati (Officine Alfieri Maserati, Sp.A. Bologna, Italy)
Competitive years: 1926-1940
Horsepower Range: 105-220
Color Images by Jonathan Sharp
By the 1940s, the big Maseratis, in the guise of the 8CLT, finally found success but in the unlikely arena of Indianapolis Speedway. But from 1931 to 1940, the vast majority of successes for Maserati racing automobiles were gained via the voiturette races for 1100 and 1500cc cars. But there they did very well indeed, particularly in Italy where there were at least 53 voiturettes races between 1931 and 1940. Maserati won most, but on occasion rudely interrupted by MGs, Delages, Alfettas, ERAs and the occasional Amilcar.
And the cars they made, the 4 C (cylinder) M (monoposto) 1100, 1500 and the 6CM 1500 and 4 CL were diamonds and like the gem tough, too; one could last a season without any mechanical worries or major overhauls. From the 6CM on they had independent front suspensions and were easy to handle. In a word, perfect cars for the independent amateur. With the Bugatti Type 37A and 51A, they gave life to the class and were the cars of choice for most of the drivers. Like the Alfetta, the 4CL became a mainstay of the Grand Prix formula after the war, but the residing geniuses of the brothers Maserati were no longer with the company they founded.