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Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage achieves auction record

Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage achieves auction recordAt the recent RM Auctions sale in Monaco, this absolutely stunning Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage sold for over €2.4m (AU$3.5m) - equals R33.4-million. That's the highest price achieved for a 'Birdcage'. The Tipo 61 weighed only 600kg and 17 were built.

The car's 'Birdcage' nickname came from its innovative trellis construction that weighed just 36kg. The Tipo 61 was fitted with a 2.9 litre four cylinder good for around 186kW (250bhp). While earlier models used a 2.0 litre engine which produced 150kW (200bhp). With a kerb weight of just 600kg this would have gone like a rocket. And that's exactly what it did winning the Nurburgring 1000km race in 1960 and 1961.

Credit for the resulting Tipo 60/61 goes to engineer extraordinaire Giulio Alfieri who during 1958 created this stunning sports racing car. Its unique and very innovative trellis chassis construction, made of a plethora of small tubes between 10 and 15 mm thick (all 200 of them!) created a structure as rigid as it was light, weighing just 36 kgs, clothed in svelte wheel-hugging aluminium body - a true work of art and testimony to Maserati craftsmanship!

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