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Maserati Tipo 26 (1926-1932)

The first Maserati of them all originated from a Grand Prix car that Alfieri Maserati had designed for Diatto: when the Milan car maker stopped trading in 1925, Alfieri took his design to the Bologna workshop that he had set up with his brothers in 1914. At its debut race in the April 1926 Targa Florio the Maserati Tipo 26, with Alfieri Maserati driving and a young Guerrino Bertocchi as riding mechanic, finished 1st in the 1.5-litre class and 9th overall, behind an armada of Bugattis. Alfieri won his class again in the March 1927 Tripoli Grand Prix in North Africa.

The in-line 8-cylinder engine featured a long-stroke design, with twin overhead camshafts and single plug ignition, and was fed by a supercharger with two (from 1927 a single) Memini carburettors. 120 to 128 bhp from 1.5 litres displacement. 3-speed gearbox, 4 gears from 1927. Ladder-style frame with a wheelbase of 2.65 metres, shortened to 2.58 metres in 1928 and aluminium bodywork. Live axles on leaf springs at both ends. The 18 inch-wheels diameter were equipped with Rudge central locks and Dunlop tyres. Fuel consumption was around 30 litres per 100 km (9.1 mpg).

Among the earliest clients were gentlemen drivers Emilio Materassi, Diego de Sterlich, Luigi Fagioli, Baron Filippo Sartorio and Maria Antonietta Avanzo. The first foreign customers were Joaquin Palacio in Spain and Marcel Lister in Great Britain. Of ten cars made, one engine survives with an Italian collector.


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