Magnificent 8CTF roars around the Brickyard yet again.
75 years after Wilbur Shaw drove the car to victory at Indianapolis, three-time winner Johnny Rutherford had the honour of piloting the ‘Boyle Special’ on a victory lap ahead of this year’s event. What’s more, this historic Maserati was immortalised by the Historical Vehicle Association as the first foreign made car the be permanently archived in the the United States Library of Congress. The move is intended to authenticate historically significant vehicles.
Ernesto Maserati himself was the man behind the 8CTF, which was created to take on the might of the German Grand Prix cars of the Thirties. The twin-supercharged straight-eight motor was reputed to deliver a very useful 365bhp, which was enough to win at Indianapolis in 1939, ’40, and was within an ace of winning again in 1941 where it finished third.
The car you see here is one of only three 8CTFs made, and is apparently the sole member of the trio left in original condition. Incredibly, one of its sister cars was driven to victory on the punishing Pikes Peak hillclimb in the same year as Wilbur Shaw’s triumph at the Brickyard.
Sadly we couldn’t find any footage of the 8CTF running in anger at Indianapolis, which is a shame. Can you imagine what one of these cars must have looked and sounded like turning in average lap speeds of over 125mph?!