Tipo 61 Birdcage (1959-1961)
Named for its tubular space frame chassis, the Tipo 61 Birdcage was built between 1959 and 1961 for events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance classic. The intricate chassis featured more than 200 chro-moly steel tubes welded together, giving a more rigid and lighter structure than other methods available at the time, hence the ‘Birdcage’ nickname.
Just 16 examples of the Birdcage were built, designed by Giulio Alfieri, and powered by a 2.9-litre inline-four. Producing 250bhp, the 600kg, front-engined machine could reach speeds of up to 177mph.
Notably, Stirling Moss won the Tipo 61’s first race in 1959, a feat that encouraged various teams to take them racing. Lloyd "Lucky" Casner created his Casner Motor Racing Division to enter three Tipo 61's in the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans, however reliability issues meant they never took home the title. More successful, however, was the Camoradi team, who in both 1960 and 1961 won the 1,000km Nürburgring.