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  Maserati 300S      

  Article Image gallery (482) Chassis (17) Specifications User Comments (2)  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1955 - 1958
Numbers built:27
Designed by:Fantuzzi
Successor:Maserati 450S
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:November 10, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionBuilding on the success of the two-litre A6GCS/53, Maserati set about creating a larger engined sports racer, capable of scoring outright victories in the newly created World Sports Car Championship. The A6GCS/53 was as big a hit in the salesroom as it was on the track and Maserati hoped to continue that tradition by creating a machine that was both very fast but also easy enough to run and service by the Italian manufacturer's numerous customers.

At the time, the largest engine available was the 2.5-litre straight six fitted in the 250F Grand Prix racer. In 1954, a development car was fitted with this engine but adapted to run on regular petrol, it simply was not powerful enough to match the latest large displacement Ferrari and Jaguar engines. The first attempts to further enlarge the engine by increasing the stroke resulted in a 2.8-litre unit, which was still short on power. As this was the maximum allowed by the block, the Maserati engineers set about creating what was effectively a slightly larger version of the 250F motor.

Finally settling on a displacement of just under three litres, the new 300S engine retained the same 90 mm stroke of the previously tested 2.8 litre but with a wider bore of 84 mm. The all-aluminium engine featured a twin overhead camshaft cylinder head. In its original guise, the new straight six featured three 42 mm Webers while later in its career 45 mm examples were fitted and even direct fuel injection was tested. Running on regular petrol, the 300S was capable of producing a reliable 245 bhp. With 45 mm carburettors, it was good for around 260 bhp.

With the engine under development, the attention then shifted to the chassis that would house the three-litre straight six. Thoroughly modern, this was an intricate tubular frame, which combined small diameter oval and round tubes. Although time-consuming to build, this space frame design was both lighter and stronger than conventional chassis. The very first 300S were constructed at the Maserati factory but the labour intensive work was later outsourced to Gilberto Colombo's specialist company Gilco.

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  Article Image gallery (482) Chassis (17) Specifications User Comments (2)