The Maserati Tipo 6CM was designed by Ernesto Maserati and began to take shape in 1935. The car was fairly conventional in looks but its contents were extremely advanced. Even more ground-breaking than the new engine (a straight six with the cylinders cast in the same block as the head and arranged in pairs on the same elektron crankcase.
Twin overhead camshafts driven by a rising gear chain, 2 valves per cylinder and a Roots volumetric supercharger, providing a maximum power of 175 HP), the car’s most distinctive feature was its chassis, which marked a major step forward in vehicle design. The basic structure was still the ladder frame, but with innovative front suspensions which provided a major advantage over English and French competitors.
The suspensions consisted of torsion bar springs mounted so that the spring tension could be adjusted to suit the characteristics of the circuit. Like the rest of the car, the bodywork was updated in a variety of ways, especially with regard to its aerodynamics.
The extremely rounded shapes, the succession of different side panel forms and the more slanted front clearly reflected the research into aerodynamics ongoing throughout the years of its construction. This car’s racing supremacy reached its peak in 1938, when it triumphed over the formidable British ERA cars that had always been the Italian constructors’ most dreaded rivals.
The same year also saw the debut of Alfa Romeo’s famous Alfetta, created for the Vetturette Grand Prix competitions. However, to the Maserati Brothers’ great satisfaction, that year the Tipo 6CM also defeated the Alfetta at the Pescara GP.