By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

By the late 1950s, Maserati had become pretty well known for its complex “birdcage” style chassis, as seen in the Tipo 60, 61 and 63. While lightweight and rigid, birdcage race cars were somewhat unreliable and often retired early due to mechanical failures. For this reason, and likely Maserati’s frugalness in that period, the company took a new approach with its early ’60s Le Mans racers.

Heavily based on the 450S, the Maserati Tipo 151 racers used a stronger and more conventional chassis construction. More standard steel tubing was used, and suspension consisted of coil springs and a De Dion rear axle. Overhead cam V8 engines were sourced from the 450S as well, and ran around 4 to 5 liters.

Three Tipo 151s debuted at Le Mans in 1962, but unfortunately all three retired early with various mechanical failures. Maserati held onto one car and continued to tweak its design. Improving the engine, chassis and suspension along the way lead to multiple iterations of the car (Tipo 151/2, 151/3, etc). Unfortunately in 1965, driver Lloyd “Lucky” Casner suffered a fatal crash in the 151/4 during practice laps at Le Mans. The car was returned to the factory and parted out afterward, with the V8 engine going to the new Tipo 65.

To honor Maserati’s efforts, Motorima Coachbuilding of Sweden created this aluminum-bodied 151/4 recreation in 2013. The car is built on a 1969 Maserati Mexico donor, utilizing its 4.2-liter V8 with Weber carburetors and ZF five-speed transmission. Motorima then constructed a tubular superleggera-style framework for the aluminum body, which reflects the 151/4’s style as designed by Piero Drogo and fashioned by Mario Allegretti. The body resembles that of the Zagato 450S, but with a defined Kamm tail.

Other detail work that went into the project included crafting a custom mold for the laminated windscreen, sourcing 15-inch Route Borrani wire wheels and Dunlop CR65 tires. The interior features gray upholstery and OMP harnesses.

Having covered less than 1,000 miles since its completion, the 151/4 recreation is offered for auction here on BringaTrailer.com. With six days remaining, the car has a current bid of $135,000.