Maserati 8CTF: How an Italian conquered the Indy 500 and cemented itself in motorsport history

Jun 11, 2020 221

There are few things as quintessentially American as the Indianapolis 500, especially during the inter-war years when European manufacturers and drivers had all but abandoned the prestigious endurance event. But that came to an end - albeit briefly - when a native of Indiana, Wilbur Shaw, won the race in a Maserati 8TCF consecutively in 1939 and 1940. The 8CTF itself has a fascinating history. Designed by Ernesto Maserati, the company's director, chief engineer, and official race driver, the car was built in 1938 with the support of the Orsi family.

Return to competitiveness

These Modena entrepreneurs had taken over the business from the Maserati brothers in 1937. With its eight-cylinder monoblock engine that gave origin to its model name (eight-cylinders testa fissa or 'fixed head'), the 8TCF was Maserati's bid to return to competitiveness against the other European constructors. 

Read more


You may be interested