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
Bodywork aluminium-bodied single seater
Bore and stroke 69x100 mm
Brakes hydraulic drum brakes on the wheels
Brakes front
Brakes rear
Chassis box section ladder frame, with two longitudinal steel girders and cross members
Compression ratio 6.5:1
Cooling system water-cooled, centrifugal pump
Displacements (unitary)
Dry weight 1,719 lbs (780 kg)
Engine vertical in-line 8
Engine weight
First race 05/15/1938 - Tripoli GP
Front Tyres
Front suspension independent front suspension, torsion bars, friction dampers and anti-roll bar
Front track
Fuel & lubricant
Fuel feed two Roots superchargers, two Memini MA12 carburettors mounted ahead of the superchargers
Fuel tank 33 Imp. gall. (150 litres)
Gear ratios
Height 43.30 in. (1,100 mm)
Ignition single-plug, Scintilla magneto
Kerb weight
Length 161.42 in. (4,100 mm)
Lubrication dual oil pumps (pressure and scavenge)
Maximum power 350-366 bhp at 6,300 rpm
Maximum torque
Model 8CTF
One mile
Production dates 1938-1939
Production start 1938
Quarter mile
Rear Tyres
Rear suspension leaf springs, friction or hydraulic dampers, anti-roll bar
Rear track
Steering worm and sector
Timing gear two valves per cylinder set in a 90°V, twin overhead camshafts
Top speed 180 mph (290 km/h)
Total displacement 2,991.4 cc
Transmission 4-speed + reverse
Tyres front 5.50x19-6.00x19; rear 6.50x19; Pirelli
Weight distribution
Wheelbase 107.08 in. (2,720 mm)
Wheels wire wheels, front 3.25x19; rear 4.00x19
Width 59.84 in. (1,520 mm)