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The 150S was Maserati’s smallest sports racing car. Intelligent engineering and an appealing body made the Maserati 150S a one of a kind vehicle. With a 4-cylinder engine, the 150S had advanced engineering features including:
- Dry-sump lubrication
- Aluminum alloy block with cast-iron liners
- Hemispherical combustion chamber
To prove how efficient the 150S was, the Maserati factory works team occasionally used the car to represent their manufacturing company in significant international racing events.
From 1955-1957, only 27 150S models were produced.
While the 150S could primarily be seen as a racing car, most of the models Maserati produced were sold to customers.
150S development began in 1953 after Maserati’s chief engineer, Giulio Alfieri, drew a new four-cylinder engine. To cut costs, Maserati designed the alloy ‘four’ so that it could be enlarged for a two-liter racer.
The new 1484 cc produced a healthy 140 bhp at 7500 rpm with:
- Twin camshafts
- Twin plugs
- Twin-choke webers
- Four-speed gearbox
Maserati had efficiency in mind when deciding to develop a single new chassis.
The chassis could be adjusted in length for various applications. Gilco was commissioned to help produce the chassis. Ferrari had Gilco producing some of their frames.
Efficiency only began to increase from the point that the chassis was made. DeDion axle rear suspension was included, which carried over from the 250F Formula 1 car. Since British manufacturers were gradually introducing disc brakes, Maserati fitted the usual drum brake options.
A Solid Start for 150S
During Maserati’s 150S international racing debut, Jean Behra boosted sales through a convincing race win at the Nürburgring 500 km. While the success attracted attention toward the 150S, Maserati still felt the need for improvements.
Some cars were delivered to customers while development on the 150S continued. 1956 featured a five-speed gearbox for the 150S that continued to win races. Wins included a victory at the 1956 Messina Five Hours as well as a ninth and second in class at Le Mans.
Due to reduced resources, Maserati ended developments on the 150S to focus on F1 racing and larger-engined sports racers. While the 150S became discontinued, the engine was sold separately for other racing cars as well as powerboats.
The final development of the 150S engine produced 165 bhp and only weighed 130 kg. 150S engines stopped being used after the early 1960s.
Maserati 150S Summed Up
Maserati took a different turn with the 150S model as their previous cars mostly focused on serious sports cars and single-seaters for high levels of motorsport. Creating the 150S allowed Maserati to market a vehicle that had serious driving capability to amateur racers.
Excellent handling and a strong engine defined the 150S. Not only did the bodywork of the 150S draw attention, but the design was also quite aerodynamic. The overaching aim was to an amateur could sit behind and feel like he was a part of the Maserati racing team.
Restorations of the 150S have occurred in more recent generations, such as the 1990s. While most produced 150S models have suffered neglect, damage, or modifications, the 1667 model remains untouched and undamaged, making it one of the most popular classics in the world.
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