Augie Pabst -- Briggs Cunningham's Maserati Type 64

Briggs Cunningham brought this 3 liter V12 powered mid-engined Maserati to the "L.A. Times Grand Prix" held at Riverside Int. Raceway on Oct. 12-13-14, 1962.  For the 1963 event, it returned powered by a 289 cid Ford V8.  It didn't do much in either configuration.

From Maserati historian Willem Oosthoek:  

"The car was present at the 1962 Times GP, but not raced. Cunningham used the Cooper/Buick [Hansgen] and two Tipo 151 Coupes [Pabst and Daigh]. In 1963 Dick Thompson raced it at the Times GP, but by then it had wire wheels. In the photo it still has the original solid wheels, so it has to be 1962. My bet is either Pabst or Hansgen during practice in 1962, most probably Pabst. Pabst raced the car the next week at Laguna."
From website contributor and Aston Martin DB3S owner Ron Keil:

"Just looked at Martin Hill's set of photos for the first time and, lo and behold, there is a picture of the Maserati Tipo 64 which has to be the
one I bought after selling the DB3S.  I can't imagine more than one of these cars had been refitted with a Ford V8.  What another mistake I made!

I bought the car in mid-1966 from Hamilton Vose, who had done a cartwheel in it somewhere in the Midwest.  The very front of the frame was somewhat bent and the bodywork bunged up but it wasn't all that badly damaged.  I got it sans engine and intended to use a BOP aluminum V8 which was far lighter than the Ford; I estimated the car could be on the grid at about 1300 pounds. 

There was a good reason for the ill handling of the car: the "articulated" DeDion rear suspension.  Even the DeDion "tube" was a bundle of small- diameter tubes!  It looked to me, then a neophyte engineer, as though it had no hope of controlling rear wheel camber and my intent was to re-create the suspension without the articulation. 

The car came with a boxful of spares and odds and ends apparently swept up from Ham's shop.  There was even an aluminum center-section from either a lightweight E-Type or a D-Type.  There were two spare transmissions, each apparently missing the very flimsy reverse gear which had been mandated by the FIA. 

After a couple of months of working on the frame -- and having decided to reengineer it anyway -- I realized it was time to return to school and put the car on the market again, never having had it turn a wheel.  I finally found a buyer about a year later and, I believe, Irv Dickson of Grizzly Engineering rebuilt the car for the new owner.  I've not seen it since nor sought to see it."

Willem Oosthoek's response to Ron's email:

"Tam passed on your e-mail regarding the Tipo 64. I wrote a book on the rear-engined Birdcages, which came out in February last year. In it chassis 64.002 is covered very extensively, under owners Briggs Cunningham, Augie Pabst and Ham Vose. I interviewed Vose but he did not remember whom he sold the car to, after crashing it in the rain at Road America in 1965. It later
reappeared in Colorado under Don Sutherland, whose crew restored it. You are the missing link and it is too bad the book is out already, without you being included.

The car still exists and spent many years in the Blackhawk Collection in the San Francisco area under the wrong identity of 63.002, with an incorrect 2-liter 4-cyl Maserati engine. Today it is owned by Onofrio Triarsi in New Jersey, who intends to reinstall the original V12 Maserati engine.

Ham Vose did not realize the car existed either. When I called him he lived in Napa, California, and when I mentioned the car was only a 45-minute drive away, he was at the Blackhawk Collection the next day!"

Ron Keil's response to Willem's email:

"Willem, I certainly wish we had been in touch before you completed the book; perhaps you can add a short addendum for subsequent editions.  I hadn't really thought much about the car for a long time, since I never finished putting it back together (more realistically, I never finished even a good start at getting it back together).  Instead, I have thought many times about the car I sold which was replaced by the Tipo 64. 

Fortunately the man to whom I sold that one is now a friend and I have watched his restoration project with much interest.  Certainly I couldn't afford the project and even more emphatically could not buy the car back even if he offered it. 

You are certainly welcome to put me in touch with the previous and subsequent owners of 64.002 or to ask me for more details.  How little did
we anticipate at the time that some day these cars would become prized relics of a golden age of racing?   Thank you for getting in touch."

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