My Car Quest

February 29, 2024

A Beautiful And Rare Racecar -The Maserati Tipo 151

by Mike – 

These black and white photos were sent to me by My Car Quest reader A.A. (Tony) Olissoff in New Zealand. These pictures are of Maserati Tipo 151/004 and Tony believes they are at Le Mans in 1964.

Maserati Tipo 151

The Maserati Tipo 151 was a racecar produced between 1962 and 1963. It succeeded the famous Birdcage, so called because of the design of the tubular frame that looked like a birdcage.

Maserati Tipo 151

There were only three Tipo 151s produced by Maserati and they did not have great success in racing. Although they were very fast they had a tendency to not finish races.

Maserati Tipo 151

At the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1962 Johnny Simone drove a car painted red with white stripes and the Cunningham cars were white with blue stripes.

Maserati continued to race this model at Le Mans through 1965 where Lloyd “Lucky” Casner was killed during practice in Tipo 151/4, the car pictured here, which was destroyed in that crash.

Maserati Tipo 151

The engine is a 4-liter V8 and the beautiful body design is by Giulio Alfieri, a Maserati designer. Maserati had a habit of fielding one of the most beautiful cars on the track.

A.A. (Tony) Olissoff says the photos were sourced from Willem Oosterhoek, and a note on the back credits them as from the Sicard Collection (taken with a little Minox).

Notice the history just sitting around in these photos. The Alfa Romeo truck, an AC Cobra and the other cars. I hope you all see the Bizzarrini GT 5300. What are the other cars?

Jack Koobs de Hartog wrote in,

The event was the practice (April 18/19) for the Le Mans 24h in June 1964.
The car, Maserati 151-3 also called Tipo 152
Body of the car by Carrozzeria Sports Cars (Piero Drogo)
The “Bizzarrini” in the background is Iso A3/C #B*0201
The truck is not an Alfa Romeo but an OM.

maserati logo

This article was originally published in March 2012.

A Beautiful And Rare Racecar -The Maserati Tipo 151
Article Name
A Beautiful And Rare Racecar -The Maserati Tipo 151
The rare Maserati Tipo 151 race car and more on My Car Quest.


  1. wallace wyss says

    I once asked Pete Brock if the concave rear of this 151 was his inspiration for the rear of the Cobra Daytona coupe and he said he didn’t remember the 151. Then I saw a picture of Brock racing a small Cooper and guess what car was ahead of him–a Maseratt 151 coupe.

    • Peter Brock says

      Interesting comment Wally. My Cooper was only raced on the west coast in SCCA events during 1959-60. The only 151 Maser that ever raced on the west coast wasn’t the 151-3 shown here, but a completely different earlier design. I never saw the 151-3 until I saw it at Reims in 1964. The Daytona Cobra was designed in late 1963. I couldn’t “remember” a car I didn’t see until a year after it appeared at Reims. Peter Brock

  2. Wayne Watkins says

    The dark convertible in the last two photos in front of the Maserati is a Sunbeam Rapier . Nothing special as it was just the two door convertible version of the Hillman Minx . A similar motor was used in the Sunbeam Alpine

  3. Hi Mike.
    And our ‘tribute’ 151/004 (aka Tipo152) construction is well on the way.
    Will post some photos to you.
    Building the car so that a safety roll cage could be introduced has been a bit of a mission, but is now integral with the chassis/spaceframe. Using dozens of original photos we’ve found, determining the body shape has been difficult but rewarding. There were so many changes made.
    The alloy silver car as shown was lengthened and changed in a whole host of ways into the ‘red with stripes’, then the ‘white with stripes’ car that Lloyd Casner unfortunately drove in 1965. By the way, it was first a 4.5 litre car, but then quickly became a 5 litre capacity. Final iteration included lucas fuel injection on almost 5.1litres.

    It is daunting just how small, and especially how low, this car really is. Getting in and out of the beast will take training. To do it elegantly will require a contortionist or ballet dancer.

    My plan is that it will be 80% a road sports car, and 20% race and track car.
    I can’t wait to rumble up to a cafe in it, setting off car alarms on all the Beemers and Mercs, just for a trim latte, before blasting out to the track..

    • I look forward to seeing photos.

    • Peter Brock says

      Look forward to seeing your 151-3 recreation. I consider that car the best design of a GT for that era. Others have tried to recreate it but none have yet succeeded. It needs to be done and seen correctly! When is the expected completion date? and where? Peter Brock

      • Hi Peter.
        I hope to have a rolling chassis to evaluate in Sept this year when I get back from racing my Formula Junior in the UK and Europe this season. We are building the car in Auckland, New Zealand.
        The bodywork is being partially done at the same time, but all fingers are crossed for a Christmas unveiling this year, 2015 at the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing ( ).

        I’m blogging my way around the UK and Europe doing the historics. You may get a chuckle from my misadventures (or be taken back to the glory days of ‘living out of the car’ while on the circuits) if you have a look at this once in a while:
        Cheers and all the best.

  4. There was a 151 in Grass Valley CA for sale on Craigs list a while back looked like it needed finishing.

  5. Hi Guys.
    Sorry I haven’t replied back.
    Wonderful input here and especially from Mr Brock. Thanks for the input Sir.
    I can only hope that one fine day I find an event where I can run alongside a Daytona Coupe and both of us can revel in the noise and fun of such ‘beasts of the bitumen’.

    We are well down the path, having worked around a number of quirks, like wheel offsets fouling planned suspension and rear brake caliper placement. Today we had a fitting, finalising placement and angle for the seat, steering wheel and pedal box. Within a few days, the full welding of the chassis will commence, now that we know that everything (including driver) fits.
    Trying to make sure that the essential profile of the car from front, side, rear and all three-quarters has been a mission. Especially hard when there are only period and track photos to work with and minimal fixed dimensions at hand (the 151/3 car seems to have been modified almost on a race by race basis, so getting the body lines right is a mission). The Barrie Baxter car recently run at Goodwood is a VERY good rendition and we’d be as chuffed as it gets to have our car compared to that. (The car on the previous link I believe was a conversion from a Mexico and based on that chassis, although it is a helluva weapon to go to the local restaurant in)
    We have had to ensure a proper safety roll cage is integrated for racing, but trying to minimise the effect of that for its appeal in terms of the original design.
    Pics in your regular email Mike.
    Take care.

  6. George Asks says

    There is a Maserati TIPO.
    A Alfa Romeo TIPO
    A Ferrari TIPO.

    What does TIPO mean? I’ve been searching the net but all I find are race cars with TIPO in their name.
    No information about what a TIPO is.
    Any ideas?

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