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  Maserati 200S
 

  Article Image gallery (82) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1955 - 1956
Numbers built:8
Designed by:Fantuzzi
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 06, 2008
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Click here to download printer friendly versionOriginally introduced in 1946, the A6 model in its many guises served Maserati very well on the road and on the track. Despite several updates, it was starting to show its age in the mid 1950s. Maserati decided to start with a clean sheet and replaced the A6 GCS/53 with no fewer than three new racing cars in 1955. Two were powered by a newly developed four cylinder engine, while the third featured a three litre version of the 250F straight six. Of the two four cylinder cars, the 200S was designed for the same two-litre class as the A6 GCS/53.

Maserati had raced four cylinder engines before, like the hugely complicated 16 valve 4CLT, which dated back to the late 1930s, but the new four cylinder engine was a fresh design. Anticipating a cost efficient multi-class application, the all-alloy 'four' was developed with a displacement of 1484 cc and 1994 cc. Like all Maserati engines, it was equipped with twin overhead camshafts and twin-spark ignition. The two litre unit in the 200S was good for a healthy 190 bhp at 7500 compared to the 140 bhp of the smaller 150S engine.

Mated to a four speed gearbox, the engine was installed in a conventional tubular chassis. To cut costs the first chassis were fitted with a live rear axle, but customers requested a more advanced DeDion axle to be fitted, which already came standard on the 150S. Apparently chief engineer Giulio Alfieri believed that the higher powered car could get away with a less sophisticated suspension. Front suspension was fully independent on all examples. Like Ferrari, Maserati continued to rely on the tried and trusted drum brakes.

A single 200S was built in 1955 as Maserati focused on the 150S and 300S racing cars. The prototype 200S was extensively tested throughout that year and received continuous developments. It was first raced at the Grand Prix of Imola in June of 1955 and again at the Targa Florio later in the year. It failed to impress at both occasions. A second car was built and raced in minor events early in 1956. The 200S production car debut came in June of that year during the Supercortemaggiore race at Monza where three brand new cars were entered. The sole survivor finished second to the latest three litre Ferrari.

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  Article Image gallery (82) Chassis (2) Specifications