Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Third Generation Ariel Atom 2008 shares similar features in our 1960 Maserati Birdcage classic:

As we know the Maserati Birdcage has left its mark on History and is an absolutely beautiful power vehicle. Nothing could compare to the Birdcage but recently I have come across the Ariel Atom designed by the Ariel Motor Company from England that shares some familiar similarities.
 The first Atom was designed in 1999 -2002 as an exoskeletal sports car meant to give their customers an exotic experience with no windows, no roof and no doors. Grab a helmet because the 1.6 and 1.8 liter series of mounted engines gives incredible accelerations and cornering speeds.

 Since 1999 they have modified the Ariel into its present generation released in 2008 the Atom 3, with the same philosophy as the original, this Atom extends its race features offering exciting performance and a few tweaks that resembles the Maserati Birdcage. With its 2.0L Honda engine tuned to 245 horsepower and 0-60 in less than 3 seconds compared to our 1960 beauty Birdcage weighing in 50lbs lighter than the Atom v.3, with 2.9L master engine, 250 horsepower and 0-60 in less than 3.5 seconds, both of these cars are equipped to perform. These new models continue to impress us and this is a great example showcasing how the Maserati Birdcage became the standard of future race car generations.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

1963 Austin Healey 3000 MKII BJ7 Convertible

Austin-Healey, One of the most successful rally cars of the 1960's


The MKII was the first Healey to have a permanently fixed convertible top, a curved wraparound windshield and pivoting wind windows. Just over 6,000 were built before production of the MKIII 3000 began.

In 2007, one was sold for $49,500 at RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $60,000 - $70,000. What was missing for it to not hit the estimated amount? Over $65,000 had gone into restoration and it has been the recipient of many awards throughout the years. In 2008, it went for $62,700.

Personally, if the Healey was being sold for $49,500, then you should be getting...

Newly rebuilt:

  • Carburetors
  • Engine and Steering Gear Box
  • Paint
  • Transmission
As well as:

  • A vehicle that can produce around 140hp
  • 4 speed manual transmission with overdrive
  • Owned and maintained (with extreme care) by the previous owner. 
To some, that might be asking for a lot, but one is out there- I know it!

Look for a number of these vehicle in the upcoming auction, Barnett-Jackson January 12-19, 2014 in Scottsdale, AZ. Let's see how much these go for...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

1955 Jaguar D-Type

Expect to see the 1955 Jaguar D-Type at all of the world's greatest historic motorsport events

Design requirements for the D-Type said it should be lower and shorter that its predecessor. This would help the car achieve a higher top speed and increased cornering capability.
The D-Type engineering calls for a lower and shorter build. This helps achieve the infamous and legendary Jaguar endurance in sports car racing.  This car has proven it's durability when successfully reaching top cornering speeds when racing.

Top build goes along with the extensive racing history. The chassis no. XKD-530 structure has a historic win streak and one that cannot go without mention- back in 1961 when the D-Type finished 1st in Class at the Leningrad Grand Prix.

Comprehensive restoration took place in 2003 by a noted D-Type expert and is one of the 54 unique examples produced for certain customers.

During the RM Auctions, the D-Type was auctioned off for $3,905,000.
Design requirements for the D-Type said it should be lower and shorter that its predecessor. This would help the car achieve a higher top speed and increased cornering capability.
Design requirements for the D-Type said it should be lower and shorter that its predecessor. This would help the car achieve a higher top speed and increased cornering capability.
Design requirements for the D-Type said it should be lower and shorter that its predecessor. This would help the car achieve a higher top speed and increased cornering capability.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Maserati Tipo 61 2459 Restoration Documentation

Maserati Tipo 61 2459 Issued Historic Technical Passport/FIA Class: TSRC4 Documents by Motor Sport Association on August 27, 2010 After a Lengthy Restoration.

This will be useful for anyone who has questioned the authenticity of the restoration process for the Birdcage. I have found evidence that supports the entire process. Please read the following and check out the documents that support my information.

First, let's talk about where the restoration first took place- the Maserati Tipo 61 2459 Birdcage began in Modena, Italy where the Maserati Factory is located.  An Italian collector spent many years locating proper Birdcage parts.  The chassis was restored correctly using over 200 small diameter chrome-molybdenum steel tubes of varying lengths and thickness which were welded with the same Italian process duplicating what the factory did during the original production of these cars.

The Maserati Tipo 61 No. 2459 engine was rebuilt by Franco Tralli also in Modena, Italy and upon completion was Dyno'd to check operation and horsepower of the engine. 

Click Here  for a copy of the Maserati Tipo 61-2459 Dyno Report.

The chassis and engine of the Maserati Tipo 61 2459 were then shipped to Steve Hart Racing in England where they were reunited with other original Birdcage parts for the completion of the restoration.

Click Here for a copy of the letter from Steve Hart listing the original parts used. 

Finally, the completed car was submitted to Motor Sports Association in April 2010.  They carried out an extensive inspection on Maserati Tipo 61-2459 and issued the Historic Technical Passport/FIA Class: TSRC4 Documents to the new owners on August 27, 2010.

This car is considered the most accurate and correct Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage.  Only 22 Birdcages were ever produced and only a few have the FIA stamp of approval which allows the car to be accepted at any racing venue in the world.

Click Here to view the complete FIA stamp of approval.   

1967 Maserati Ghibli Coupe

Another one of my favorite Maserati's!

I remember having the chance to drive one of these Italian supercars. The Coupe was powered by a 335 hp and V-8 engine. It was such a memorable experience.

What other cars of the same period compare to the Ghibli?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Maserati Birdcage Additional Links

I found some other useful links regarding the Maserati Birdcage:

Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’ -
Maserati 60 - Ultimate Car Page

If any readers have additional links they would like to add, feel free to do so!

Experts Agree Maserati Birdcage Tipo 61-2459 Might Be The Best Yet

Limited. Classic. Historic

Who is Responsible for the Restoration of the Maserati Birdcage?

The Birdcage has a loyal following, who are knowledgeable and eager to learn more about this classic. Well, here is some historically accurate information on the restoration of the Maserati Birdcage Tipo 61-2459. This beauty was completed in March 2010 by Steve Hart Restoration and Race Preparation Ltd. in England. 

Steve Hart Racing: A Brief History

The name Steve Hart is very well known to anyone who knows about Historic Racing.   

From his base in rural Norfolk, UK, Steve Hart and his experienced team travel the historic circuit to offer track side support and advise to the many owners who have entrusted their precious racing and road cars to him.

With 25 years in the restoration and race preparation, Steve Hart admits to a particular fondness for Maserati's, although the quality of his team's workmanship has spread to other marques including Ferrari, Alpha, etc.  Dealing with predominantly racing cars means a far higher reliance on making parts and this area of the business is headed up by Steve's father David a talented machinist.  They can supply every conceivable part (well almost)!

The restoration side of the business has seen a workshop full over the years with many wonderful cars.  Let us dwell on one in particular, perhaps the finest front engine sports racers ever constructed. We are of course talking of the Maserati Birdcage Tipo 61. Most other Birdcages around the world have received some help, love, or attention from Steve Hart Racing.

Successful race preparation is not just about precision engineering, but also precision project management.  The Team at Steve Hart Racing have a fanatical desire for perfection, with historically significant cars, they undertake any project from partial repairs to full, sympathetic bare metal rebuild whilst maintaining originality. They are the proven specialists for producing fast, reliable race cars of race winning quality.

Go check out the Steve Hart Racing website because they specialize in other historic classic cars besides the great Maserti's.