Presented by Barrett-Jackson – Named after its intricate and super-light spaceframe, Maseratis Tipo 60 and Tipo 61 Birdcage remain the masterpieces of Italian engineer Giulio Alfieri. Stirling Moss took the car’s first win at Rouen in 1959 it went on to nearly 170 victories from 1959-67.
One of as few as 22 built, this Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage is chassis #2459, built for Briggs Cunningham, prepared by Alfred Momo, and primarily driven by two-time SCCA Driver of the Year Walt Hansgen to three wins in 1960. Drivers for 1961 included Hansgen, Dick Thompson, and Augie Pabst, with one win plus third- and fourth-place finishes. Following a high-speed crash with Pabst during practice at Daytona, 2459 returned to Momo and was later shipped to England.
The restoration commenced under an Italian collector, who accumulated verified original parts and components over 15 years, including the cylinder head, lower crankcase and sump, cam covers, and transaxle tower. He also had a correct 2.0-liter engine rebuilt by Frank Tralli of Modena, Italy, and dyno-tested, with the test sheet on file. The frame was constructed in Modena using original techniques, materials, and factory drawings. The completed chassis and engine were shipped to Maserati experts in the U.K., where the rebuild was supervised by Richard Crump and finished in 2010, including a new body and fitting of additional original Birdcage parts, including the rear lights, repeater lights, rev counter, ignition switch, starter button, turn signals, and front hubs.
Following completion, 2459 was displayed at the 2012 Kuwait Concours dElegance and it won Best of Show at the 2013 edition of Keels & Wheels in Houston, where Bill Warner of Amelia Island renown was Head Judge. In 2019, it was exhibited in the U.K. at Salon Prive and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Beautiful, expertly rebuilt, and steeped in racing history with some of the greatest names, 2459 includes an official FIA HTP (Historical Technical Passport – Class TSRC4) issued August 27, 2010. Richard Crump personally inspected the finished car and wrote, If you were a Birdcage customer at the Modena factory in 1959 or 1960, what you see here is what you would have been delivered.
Hundreds of cars are set to cross the block with No Reserve at Barrett-Jackson’s Inaugural Houston Auction, September 16-18 at NRG Center. Check out the docket and become a bidder today!