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  Maserati 250F T3 'Piccolo'

  Article Image gallery (85) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1958
Numbers built:2
Predecessor:Maserati 250F T2 'Lightweight'
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 15, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIntroduced in 1954, the 250F had served Maserati and its numerous customers very well. Continuously updated, it was most successful in its fourth season when Juan Manuel Fangio driving a Tipo 2, or Lightweight 250F won the World Championship. With the already limited motorsport budget spread thin between the Formula 1 and Sports Car programs, Maserati's chief engineer Giulio Alfieri had no choice but to create one more evolution of the six-cylinder engined machine for the 1958 season.

Known internally as the Tipo 3 or T3, the new-for-1958 250F was effectively a scaled down version of the T2 raced so successfully in 1957. Appropriately nicknamed the 'Piccolo', the T3 featured a more sophisticated version of the earlier spaceframe chassis, with the wheelbase reduced to just 2,248 mm. Alfieri also discarded the ageing Houdaille hydraulic dampers with telescopic shock absorbers, Girlings at the front and Konis at the rear. The front-end also featured larger diameter springs. The five-speed transaxle was further slimmed down to reduce its bulk.

Maserati had fielded a V12-engined version of the Lightweight 250F but for the T3 opted to rely on the tried and trusted straight six. This was considerably lighter and more reliable than the complicated V12. Some work was required to use the existing straight six as from 1958 alcohol-based fuels were banned in favour of 130 octane pump fuel. By redesigning the exhaust and intake ports and adjusting the carburettors and valve timing, the Maserati engineers had managed to make the transition to pump fuel without losing any performance.

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  Article Image gallery (85) Chassis (2) Specifications