Tipo 8CTF - 1938-1939

Maserati 8CTF

The 8 Cilindri Testa Fissa (8-cylinder fixed head) engine was designed by Ernesto Maserati early in 1938. Saved from his financial woes by Orsi, Maserati chose a three-litre supercharged engine - a type he had significant experience with. Featuring independent fuel feed to the two groups of four cylinders, the engine had twin Roots superchargers, and by 1939 was punching out a very impressive 365 bhp. The 8CTF debuted at the 1938 Tripoli Grand Prix and performed well, even though the final result was not entirely impressive.

As the clouds of the Second World War gathered, the number of races being held fell drastically, leaving far fewer opportunities to develop the design. However, the car still made it into the history books when Wilbur Shaw won the Indianapolis 500 in it in both 1939 and 1940.

Technical data

0-60 mph
Bodyworkaluminium-bodied single seater
Bore and stroke69x100 mm
Brakeshydraulic drum brakes on the wheels
Brakes front
Brakes rear
Chassisbox section ladder frame, with two longitudinal steel girders and cross members
Compression ratio6.5:1
Cooling systemwater-cooled, centrifugal pump
Displacements (unitary)
Dry weight1,719 lbs (780 kg)
Enginevertical in-line 8
Engine weight
First race05/15/1938 - Tripoli GP
Front Tyres
Front suspensionindependent front suspension, torsion bars, friction dampers and anti-roll bar
Front track
Fuel & lubricant
Fuel feedtwo Roots superchargers, two Memini MA12 carburettors mounted ahead of the superchargers
Fuel tank33 Imp. gall. (150 litres)
Gear ratios
Height43.30 in. (1,100 mm)
Ignitionsingle-plug, Scintilla magneto
Kerb weight
Length161.42 in. (4,100 mm)
Lubricationdual oil pumps (pressure and scavenge)
Maximum power350-366 bhp at 6,300 rpm
Maximum torque
One mile
Production dates1938-1939
Production start1938
Quarter mile
Rear Tyres
Rear suspensionleaf springs, friction or hydraulic dampers, anti-roll bar
Rear track
Steeringworm and sector
Timing geartwo valves per cylinder set in a 90°V, twin overhead camshafts
Top speed180 mph (290 km/h)
Total displacement2,991.4 cc
Transmission4-speed + reverse
Tyresfront 5.50x19-6.00x19; rear 6.50x19; Pirelli
Weight distribution
Wheelbase107.08 in. (2,720 mm)
Wheelswire wheels, front 3.25x19; rear 4.00x19
Width59.84 in. (1,520 mm)