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30th of April 2017

Automotive



Throttle-Back Thursday: The Maserati 150S was a no-nonsense racer from the Golden Era

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The postwar era produced no shortage of memorable racing machines, and Maseratis have always attracted a greater-than-average amount of attention. When it comes to radical cars like the Tipo 61 "Birdcage," it's easy to see why. But even their less extreme offerings have a timeless appeal.

Today's article, pulled from the Jan. 23, 1984 Issue of Autoweek, starts with a brief history of Maserati's racing efforts before turning its focus to the 150S, a 1.5-liter four-cylinder racer with a Fantuzzi-designed body draped over a tubular semi-spaceframe. The "baby" of the lineup (Maserati also built 2.0-, 3.0- and 4.5-liter cars), it was notably reliable in competition. While the bigger cars had speed on their side, as we wrote, "they either won or they broke." It scored a victory at its first outing, the 1955 500 Kilometers of the Nurburgring, with none other than Jean Behra -- from whom Autoweek borrows its logo -- at the wheel. Twenty-seven were built.

The car came at an interesting time for Maserati, which, like so many of its contemporaries, was apparently established just so that its founders could go racing; 1957 marked the introduction of the 3500 GT, a classic gran turismo in its own right but a huge departure for the company. Maserati probably owes its existence to the 3500 GT's success, never mind that it was a world away from the monoposto racers that had put the Trident on the map decades before.

The car at the center of this article, chassis No. 1675, is apparently the second to last to leave the Maserati works. Fortunately, its owner (as of 1984), one Bob Baker of La Jolla, California, was doing the Maserati brothers proud by campaigning it in vintage racing events.

Read more about the car, and the company that built it, below.

Autoweek January 23, 1984 -- history of the Maserati 150S racers

(9.52 MB)

Graham Kozak

Graham Kozak - Graham Kozak drove a 1951 Packard 200 sedan in high school because he wanted something that would be easy to find in a parking lot. He thinks all the things they're doing with fuel injection and seatbelts these days are pretty nifty too. See more by this author»

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