Maserati 450S: A Bazooka from Modena
Walter Bäumer and Jean-François Blachette

Maserati 450S: A Bazooka from Modena by Walter Baumer and Jean-François Blachette
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Maserati 450S book by Walter Baumer and Jean-Francois Blachette


Maserati 450S: A Bazooka from Modena
by Walter Bäumer and Jean-François Blachette

"When she didn't break, she won". The Maserati 450S, also called Tipo 54 in the factory codification, was the fastest and most powerful of the Maserati built to face the arch-rival Ferrari in the World Sports Car Championship of the 1957 season which constituted the apotheosis of the golden age of motor racing. Fitted with the powerful Maserati 4.5 Liter V8 engine and dressed in an elegant bodywork by Fantuzzi, it was the "lethal weapon" that was to allow Maserati to win the 1957 Sportscar World Championship.

Nicknamed "Bazooka", the 450S became also the most tragic race car that Maserati ever build: it won in Sebring and Sweden, totally failed at the Mille Miglia, at the Nürburgring and in Le Mans culminating in a grotesque and disastrous race in Venezuela, leaving all laurels to Ferrari. Then it became obsolete in Europe due to a change of the FIA regulations for 1958.

Emigrated to the USA, the Maserati 450S started its other race career with owners such as Tony Parravano, Jim Kimberly, John Edgar, Temple Buell, Ebb Rose and Frank Harrison. The 450S then won many races in the USA at the hands of the best US drivers like Carroll Shelby, Jim Hall, Masten Gregory, Dan Gurney, Lloyd Ruby and Bill Krause, and so became a very important part of the US race history in the 1950s.

This book retraces the saga of the ten Maserati 450S “Bazookas” built and their eventful lives, chassis by chassis, illustrated with an exceptional iconography of period photos, most of which have never been published before.

  • The most powerful sports racing car of the 1950s
  • Includes the history of all 10 cars
  • It was the most tragic racing car from Maserati, representing the glory and the disaster of the World Championship.
  • Driven by greats such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jean Behra, Carrol Shelby, Bill Krause, and Masten Gregory.
  • Over 200 period photographs, most of them never seen before

  • ISBN: 978-1-956309-12-6
  • Publication Date: February 2024
  • Page Size: 290mm x 295mm, landscape
  • 320 pages, 257 illustrations/photographs
  • Hard cover in dust jacket
Author Biography
Walter Bäumer was born in 1954 into a family of car enthusiasts. His uncle, also called Walter, was a Mercedes Grand Prix driver and the winner with Huschke von Hanstein of the 1940 Mille Miglia driving a BMW 328, and his father, Werner, acted as Walter’s manager and business adviser. After high school, Walter studied photography, and for many years worked as a photographer and freelance art director for well-known companies in the fashion and cosmetics industries, and magazines such as Esquire, Lucca, Vogue, Style and Playboy. Since 2003 he has worked full time as a Maserati historian. He lives in Düsseldorf, Germany. More about Walter Bäumer
Jean-François Blachette is a long-time enthusiast of Maserati history and the collecting of Maserati period photographs. He is president of the Club Maserati France and editor of Modena, the club magazine. Retired from the car industry, he is now a craftsman of 1/43 high-quality Maserati models through his small company JFB Models.

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