Tipo 26M

Maserati Tipo 26M

Alfieri Maserati's masterpiece. Also known as the 8C 2500. Straight-8 enlarged to 2.5 litres, considerably redesigned from the earlier Tipo 26. The cylinder block was in cast iron, with most ancillaries in elektron alloy. With roller bearings, tubular connecting rods and aluminium pistons. 185 bhp at 5,600 rpm.

Frames of different diameters were used, either made of steel, aluminium or elektron alloy - or even a mix of materials. Long wheelbase of 2.75 metres for the single-seater, even longer of 2.79 metres for the road-going Sport model. The single-seater had a dry weight of 820 kg and a top of 230 km/h (143 mph). The Sport version with open two-seater spider or open four-seater tourer bodies weighed in at 950 to 1,000 kg. Top speed 180 to 200 km/h (112 to 124 mph).

The 26M notched up four important Grand Prix victories at Rome and in Spain in 1930, and at Monza in 1930 and 1931. Among its owner-drivers were no less than three of the most famous Luigis of their time (Arcangeli, Fagioli and Castelbarco), but Clemente Biondetti and René Dreyfus as well. Three cars were sold to Great Britain (one to Bentley boy Henry Birkin), one to Whitney Straight of South Africa and one to a Mr Kotte of Berlin. 14 cars were made, one of them coachbuilt as a Gran Sport by Castagna and one as a spider by Zagato.

Technical data

0-60 mph
Bodywork two-seater racing car
Bore and stroke 65x94 mm
Brakes drum brakes, mechanical
Brakes front
Brakes rear
Chassis ladder frame, with two longitudinal steel girders and cross members
Compression ratio 5.5:1
Cooling system centrifugal pump
Displacements (unitary)
Dry weight 1,808 lbs (820 kg)
Engine in-line 8
Engine weight
First race
Front Tyres
Front suspension leaf springs and friction dampers
Front track
Fuel & lubricant
Fuel feed Roots supercharger, a single Weber ASS carburettor mounted ahead of the supercharger
Fuel tank 28.60 Imp. gall. (130 litres)
Gear ratios
Height 47.24 in. (1,200 mm)
Ignition single-plug, Bosch or Scintilla magneto
Kerb weight
Length 151.57 in. (3,850 mm)
Lubrication dual oil pumps (pressure and scavenge)
Maximum power 185 bhp at 5,600 rpm
Maximum torque
Model Tipo 26M
One mile
Production dates 1930-1932
Production start 1930
Quarter mile
Rear Tyres
Rear suspension leaf springs and friction dampers
Rear track
Steering worm gear
Timing gear two valves per cylinder set in a 90°V, twin overhead camshafts
Top speed 143 mph (230 km/h)
Total displacement 2,495.4 cc
Transmission 4-speed + reverse
Tyres front 5.00x18; rear 5.50x18 - 6.50x16; Dunlop
Weight distribution
Wheelbase 108.27 in. (2,750 mm)
Wheels wire wheels, front 3.00x18, rear 3.25x18
Width 61.81 in. (1,570 mm)