My Car Quest

December 6, 2023

All Race Cars Should Be This Beautiful

by Mike –

I believe that all successful race cars are probably beautiful. I don’t know for sure if this is true but it should be true because in order to be a successful race car it requires proper aerodynamics and that almost always leads to an attractive shape.

It certainly is true for the Maserati 200S family and this Maserati 200SI which I photographed at the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance recently.

1957 Maserati 200SI – text by the owner, Dennis Varni

Maserati 200SI

Ferrari’s excellent 500 Mondial forced Maserati to develop a successor to its successful A6GCS. Maserati built twenty-eight of its 200S series race cars from 1955-58.

In 1957 the name changed to 200SI (Sport Internazionale) to signify its conformance to international sports car racing rules that required functional doors, a soft-top and a full width windshield. With its sleek shape it is perhaps the most charismatic and beautiful Maserati sports-racer ever built.

Maserati 200SI

It is powered by a 1994 cc dual overhead camshaft inline 4-cylinder engine with twin ignition fed by twin Weber 45DCO03 carburetors that develops 190 hp. Its top speed is 162 MPH. The engine, designed by Vittorio Bellentani, incorporates advanced features such as an aluminum alloy block with cast iron liners and dry-sump lubrication.

It is equipped with a fully syncromesh 5-speed manual transmission. The 200 series developed a reputation for requiring a high level of driving skill. The current owner acquired it in 1989. To do so he had to sell five cars from his collection, including a prized BMW Isetta and a 1940 Ford Woody.

Maserati 200SI

After a two year restoration it was exhibited at Pebble Beach where it was awarded first in class.

Let us know in the Comments – do you know of any successful ugly race cars? – current Formula 1 cars excluded.

Maserati 200SI

Maserati 200SI

Maserati 200SI

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All Race Cars Should Be This Beautiful
Article Name
All Race Cars Should Be This Beautiful
The Maserati 200SI race car is one of the most beautiful race cars ever made.


  1. Hi Mike,

    Nice feature on a gorgeous car that I saw close-up this past summer when Dennis Varni was kind enough to give me a tour of his garage. On the question of ugly but successful race cars, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I’ve always thought the Bristol 450 Le Mans car was a real eyesore, especially as first raced:

    It may have been aerodynamic, but that’s all…

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