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
Bodyworktwo-seater racing car
Bore and stroke65x94 mm
Brakesdrum brakes, mechanical
Brakes front
Brakes rear
Chassisladder frame, with two longitudinal steel girders and cross members
Compression ratio5.5:1
Cooling systemcentrifugal pump
Displacements (unitary)
Dry weight1,808 lbs (820 kg)
Enginein-line 8
Engine weight
First race
Front Tyres
Front suspensionleaf springs and friction dampers
Front track
Fuel & lubricant
Fuel feedRoots supercharger, a single Weber ASS carburettor mounted ahead of the supercharger
Fuel tank28.60 Imp. gall. (130 litres)
Gear ratios
Height47.24 in. (1,200 mm)
Ignitionsingle-plug, Bosch or Scintilla magneto
Kerb weight
Length151.57 in. (3,850 mm)
Lubricationdual oil pumps (pressure and scavenge)
Maximum power185 bhp at 5,600 rpm
Maximum torque
ModelTipo 26M
One mile
Production dates1930-1932
Production start1930
Quarter mile
Rear Tyres
Rear suspensionleaf springs and friction dampers
Rear track
Steeringworm gear
Timing geartwo valves per cylinder set in a 90°V, twin overhead camshafts
Top speed143 mph (230 km/h)
Total displacement2,495.4 cc
Transmission4-speed + reverse
Tyresfront 5.00x18; rear 5.50x18 - 6.50x16; Dunlop
Weight distribution
Wheelbase108.27 in. (2,750 mm)
Wheelswire wheels, front 3.00x18, rear 3.25x18
Width61.81 in. (1,570 mm)