What happens when you think of the brand name Maserati? You think of Quattroporte, Ghibli, Gran Turismo, and now, of their newest sports car: the MC20. There is more to that name than you would imagine. Maserati in motorsport has had scarce representation, but when they’ve shown up in the past, they’ve seen great success. Enter the “Birdcage.”
Back in the 1960s, Maserati developed their Tipo 60/61 race cars with the help of Caroll Shelby (yes, that Shelby), who did some early test driving. With that, and the automaker’s intricate tubular frame that inspired the Birdcage moniker, Maserati was equipped in 1960 to enter the 24 hours of Le Mans — and maintain average times that clocked in more than 4 minutes ahead of Ferrari. Unfortunately, a starter issue and torrential rains would prove to be too much for the open wheel race car, but it redeemed itself with exceptional results winning the Six Hours of Nürburgring (then the Nürburgring 1000 km).
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Fast-forward to 2004, and Maserati returned to motorsport with a sensational race car, which became a scandal when it was unveiled. Due to debate around regulations for homologation, the MC12 Corsa is not only notorious for being a rule-bender but an outright legend, as no other vehicle was ever able to achieve what it did in its day.
No other vehicle has been able to win the 24 hours of Spa on a vehicle debut the way the MC12 did in 2005, then again in 2006, and once more in 2008. The accolades don’t stop there, the MC12 GT1 won five consecutive titles for the GT category of endurance racing and in 2010 went on to win the inaugural FIA GT1 World Championship.
As far as provenance is concerned, this vehicle was developed with Ferrari’s Formula 1 technicians conducting four to five consecutive days of testing every 15 days. It proved to be the only application of the Ferrari Enzo V12 engine in the racing world, as the Enzo never saw anything beyond the FXX program. With its unique combination of racing wins, engineering achievements, and a limited production of only 12 units, the Maserati MC12 Corsa is undeniably a collectible commemoration of Italian automotive history.
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