Maserati Birdcage (Tipo60/61)

Maserati Birdcage Bruce Thomson

This was supposed to be a quick sketch and render but became a little more complex – but let me start at the beginning. In 2005 I was living in England, and a very close friend of mine was doing some work for Maserati which included going up to the Cotswolds to interview Nick Mason about his Ten tenth collection which included  a Maserati 250F F1 car from the fifties and this Maserati Birdcage. My friend was kind enough to invite me along on this jaunt, and although I didn’t get to meet Nick Mason (Curses!!!) as this trip was to get photographs, I did get to toddle through his amazing collection. Nick Mason’s collection was in a hangar and the Birdcage had been pulled out to sit front and centre and the door raised to let some light in. I should mention that it was November, and I was seeing the first snow that actually accumulated on the ground in England in this very slightly northern (compared to London) area southeast of Wales.

The car was white with Prussian Blue racing stripes and this made for a tricky render – white cars are always hard to render (because in practice, there is so little “white” involved). The light was low and filtered through cloud cover and I wanted to capture the bleak weather in the image.

This is the only Maserati Tipo 60/61 that I have ever seen in the flesh. Not surprising really as there were only 23 ever made (16 +1 of the Tipo 61s and 6 units of the Tipo 60). These cars were raced in the Targa Florio, the 1000km of Nurburgring and the 24 Heures de le mans amongst others. It was a real privilege to be able to view one in person.

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