Maserati 26M Sport

Maserati 26M Sport

1930 to 1932

Introduced in 1930, the only thing that the 26M family retained from its 26 series predecessor was the number. The 26B had already obtained the maximum possible displacement for the crankcase, necessitating a completely new design for the “M” series. This led Alfieri Maserati to create a new two-and-a-half-litre engine with a particularly long stroke (94 millimetres with a 65 bore), a somewhat unusual feature in Maserati’s production at the time. The new 2495 cc engine was midway between the large V4 / V5 (3961-4906cc) engines and the 1100cc 8-cylinder engine used to power the 26C.

Engine displacement was by via twin gear-driven double overhead camshafts. The crankshaft originally featured five bearings; these were later replaced by roller bearings, with displacement taking place by means of a dry sump lubrication system using scavenger pumps. The chassis, with its channel section side members, ensured a particularly sleek line, thanks to its low ground clearance. Medardo Fantuzzi coachbuilt the Maserati 26M in both Corsa and Sport versions: the latter featured a slightly shorter wheelbase compared to that of the “Corsa”.

In 1931, the year in which several improvements were made to the brakes and engine, Castagna Coachbuilders presented a 26M “Gran Sport” road car with superior finishes; around the same time Ugo Zagato created a finish for the “Sport Tipo 1000 Miglia”, a lightweight spider with aluminium bodywork which, according to Maserati’s official catalogues, could also be powered by a 2-litre engine. A couple of Sport models were coachbuilt as four-seaters in Great Britain and were used in endurance events. The 26M series went out of production in 1932 after producing 13 cars, one of which was a longer wheelbase versioned named ‘T’ (Turismo).

Technical specifications

ModelTipo 26M
Production start1930
Ignitionsingle-plug, Bosch or Scintilla magneto
Lubricationdual oil pumps (pressure and scavenge)
Transmission4-speed + reverse
Chassisladder frame, with two longitudinal steel girders and cross members
Front suspensionleaf springs and friction dampers
Rear suspensionleaf springs and friction dampers
Brakesdrum brakes, mechanical
Steeringworm gear
Cooling systemcentrifugal pump
Length151.57 in. (3,850 mm)
Width61.81 in. (1,570 mm)
Height47.24 in. (1,200 mm)
Wheelbase108.27 in. (2,750 mm)
Dry weight1,808 lbs (820 kg)
Tyresfront 5.00x18; rear 5.50x18 - 6.50x16; Dunlop
Wheelswire wheels, front 3.00x18, rear 3.25x18
Top speed143 mph (230 km/h)
Bodyworktwo-seater racing car
Fuel tank28.60 Imp. gall. (130 litres)
Years of activity1930-1932
Enginein-line 8
Bore and stroke65x94 mm
Total displacement2,495.4 cc
Compression ratio5.05.01
Maximum power185 bhp at 5,600 rpm
Timing geartwo valves per cylinder set in a 90°V, twin overhead camshafts
Fuel feedRoots supercharger, a single Weber ASS carburettor mounted ahead of the supercharger