As plans for
limited production gather pace
Pininfarina's futuristic-looking Maserati sportscar concept,
the Birdcage 75th, roared into life at the Goodwood
International Festival of Speed over the weekend.
The Birdcage 75th was created by Pininfarina in conjunction
with Motorola, as a modern reinterpretation of the famous
'Birdcage' racer that gained fame in the late 1950s and
early 1960s. In its first guise, as the Tipo 60, it appeared at Rouen in
1959, while it went onto claim notable wins, including a
double victory in the gruelling Nürburgring 1000kms. The
'75th' tag signifies that this year is the 75th anniversary
of the Italian design and engineering concern, an event they
have been commemorating.
It was presented to the world at the Geneva Salon back in
March and drew much praise for its outrageous, bold and
sweeping lines. It won the ‘Best Concept of the Geneva Show’ in the
'Editors’ Choice Awards' category of the important American magazine, Autoweek.
The motivation behind this award was simply “100% passion”.
An appearance for the Birdcage 75th at the Concours
d'Eleganza at Ville d'Este beckoned last month, before an
appointment for this outrageous machine to turn a wheel for
the first time in anger at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
was announced by Maserati.
The Birdcage 75th is
based on the chassis and underpinnings of awesome Maserati MC 12 sportscar,
and utilises its powerful V12 engine. All around the concept
car can be seen styling cues drawn from Maserati's heritage,
not least the large front grille. It is a true
'dream car', which harks back to the days of the 1960s and
1970s when designer's visions were unfettered by the constraints
that are sadly all to prevalent today. It is a breath of
fresh air, and so when Maserati revealed that the Birdcage
75th is destined for limited production it generated much
excitement, although the final version is said to 'differ
significantly' from this concept.
Thrust out in
the open at Goodwood the new concept's flowing aerodynamic
lines could be appreciated fully. In the 'Supercar Paddock'
the Birdcage 75th was surrounded by some of the most exotic
sportscars currently in production, while next to it was the
MC 12 on which it is based.
Nick Mason, a famous collector and racer of classic Italian
cars (he in fact revealed he actually owns two original
'Birdcage' racers) but who is probably more widely known as
the drummer out of rock group Pink Floyd, was entrusted to
take the Pininfarina Birdcage 75th up the length of the
1.6-mile Goodwood Hill during Saturday afternoon's supercar
He professed to have only seen the car for the very first
time just an hour before the run took place, but set off in
the 175mph concept with great aplomb. It certainly caught
the attention - a space-age looking machine racing up the
'hill'. Mason was impressed, at the finish line he expressed
his pleasure in driving the Birdcage 75th, and stated that
he had been particularly impressed by its excellent handling