The Ex- Reg Parnell, Richmond Trophy and Goodwood Trophy winning
1948-49 MASERATI 4CLT/48 1.5 LITRE SUPERCHARGED GRAND PRIX MONOPOSTO
Chassis No. 1596
Engine No. 1593
Italian racing red with black seat and surrounding trim
Engine: four cylinder in line, 1,489cc, twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, Roots two-stage supercharger, 260bhp at 7,000rpm: Gearbox: four speed; Suspension: front, independent with coil spings and hydraulic shock absorbers, rear longitudinal leaf springs with hydraulic shock absorbers; Brakes: four wheel hydraulic drum; Single seater.
Maserati's postwar fortunes were founded by numerous private owners - the best of them factory-backed - campaigning pre-war 1½-litre supercharged vetturetta cars like the 6C and 4CL models. The latter had been introduced for 1939, combining twin-overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder. Its bore and stroke became engraved on the heart of every schoolboy enthusiast - 78mm by 78mm - and as the 'sixteen-valve' Maseratis they achieved considerable success.
In 1947, Ing. Alberto Massimino became Maserati's chief engineer, assisted by Bellentani and Gorrini, and for 1948 they produced an improved 'sixteen-valve' Formula 1 - or at that time some preferred to call it Formula 'A' - car, entitled the 4CLT/48.
The additional letter 'T' stood for 'Tubolare', describing a new tubular chassis frame, replacing the obsolescent channel-type main members with round tube. Independent front suspension used upper rocker arms bearing on inboard coil-springs, the live back axle was still carried on splayed-out quarter elliptic leafsprings as on the 4CLs, but the 4-cylinder 16-valve engine was now two-stage supercharged and delivered around 260bhhp at 7,000 rpm, or rather 173.3bhp per litre.
The first pair of 4CLT/48s made their successful debut in June 1948 at San Remo. Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi finished first and second, earning the model the name the 'San Remo Maserati', as they went on to complete an extremely successful season in the shapely new Fantuzzi-bodied cars. When more appeared in private hands they formed the back-bone of late-forties 1½-litre supercharged Formula 1 racing, mixed in with numerous older cars from the Trident marque.
British driver Reg Parnell, a haulage contractor from Derby in the North Midlands, had become one of Englands lead racing personalities of the time, most notably behind the wheel of the pre-war Maserati 4CL. In conjunction with like-minded racing friends he formed what was effectively a British arm of the Italiana Scuderia Ambrosiana. He and Leslie Brooke acquired the third and fourth production 4CLTs to be built, a factory listing chassis 1595 - engine 1592 - as being consigned to Brooke on 29th August and the chassis offered here, '1596' - engine '1593' - going to Reg Parnell on 14th September, 1948. The car was supplied just in time for the opening of the Goodwood Motor Circuit where Parnell beat Bob Gerard in his ERA for the Goodwood Trophy, Gerard's chasing drive being deemed by The Motor to have been 'worth the entry fee' alone.
Parnell contested much of the 1949 racing season in this car, and other Goodwood successes were to follow, including the Richmond Trophy race on Easter Monday, April 18th, and the Goodwood Trophy on September 17th, whilst in Zandvoort in July he had won Heat Two of the Dutch Grand Prix and secured fastest lap in the final. The Richmond Trophy was again won by Parnell in April 1950.
As postwar racing development progressed, the 4CLTs became overshadowed and little success followed this, so at the end of an active European racing career, '1596' was sold to New Zealand.
This 'San Remo Monoposto' continued to be actively campaigned there by a succession of amateur racing enthusiasts, Pat Hoare, Ernie Sprague, Dick Campbell, Victor Blackburn and Ian McKellar, before being basically renovated and then exhibited on display at the Queenstown Motor Museum. Ownership changed in 1982, and a full 'ground up' restoration was commissioned at the hands of Brian Middlemass in 1983, after which the Maserati was used in further competition.
In 1989 the car returned to Europe, to be auctioned in Monaco by Christie's, when it was sold for 5 million francs. It was acquired by the present owner four years later, and has since continued to be exercised from this private collection, most recently competing in the Fiftieth Anniversary Grand Prix de Lausanne.
This exceptional Maserati single seater is race ready, comes with FiA papers and, falling into catagory 1, is eligible to race in Grid A of the Shell Historic Ferrari Maserati Challenge.