Sunday, May 18, 2014

1957 Maserati 450 S Costin-Zagato

Up to 1956, Maserati solely focussed on small-engined sportscar racing with engine sizes ranging from 1.5 litre in the 150 S to the 3 litre in 300S. So Maserati set out to build an engine and chassis that was capable of beating the 'big-boys': Ferraris, Astons and especially Jaguars.

Maserati 450 S, built 1956-1958, were nine racing cars made by Maserati of Italy, and used in FIA's endurance World Sportscar Championship racing. Two engines were developed. One, a 3.5 litre 6 cylinder and a 4.5 litre 8 cylinder. The 6 cylinder was used in the 1956 Mille Miglia with some not so hot results. So, work continued on the 8 cylinder configuration and near the end of 56’ it was installed. The work paid off as the engine was rated at 400 hp and was mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The motor also sported 4 Weber carbs for plenty of breathing capacity. With all this power the braking systems were also improved to handle this beast. These improvements continued to pay off. Subsequently, at Sebring, the 450S snagged a victory while being driven by Juan Manuel Fangio and Jean Behra. 

This one-off Maserati 450 S Costin-Zagato, known as "il Mostro" for its monstrous power, has an aerodynamic body. It was specially designed for the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1957. W
ith encouragement of Stirling Moss, Maserati had Frank Costin, an English aerodynamic consultant, design a low drag body for the 450. In just a couple days, Zagato manufactured Costin's body, and the result was somewhat unflattering. Unfortunately, with Stirling Moss at the wheel, this configuration performed poorly and turned slower times compared to a 450 S with a roadster body. Before retiring from this event due to rear axle issues, Moss powered the car to a second place spot. Rules changes in 1958 rendered the 450S ineligible to race.(, wikipedia &

 Maserati 450S Roadster (1956-58)

9 were built.

2015 Maserati Mostro Zagato Coupe Concept

A new Zagato coachbuilt custom that celebrates the centenary of the 1957 Maserati 450 S.

(Photos from,,,

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