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Maserati 8C 3000

This Maserati was one of only two made of this two-seater model in 1932, partly because it was the transition model to the 8CM, the single-seater Grand Prix racer.

It was a relatively minor burn that legendary racing driver Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin sustained during the 1933 Grand Prix in Tripoli. In the absence of a good mechanic he topped up the oil himself in the racing car, this Maserati 8C 3000, and burnt his arm on the extremely hot exhaust pipe. He gritted his teeth, carried on with the race and finished third. Later, he neglected the wound and this proved fatal. Birkin contracted blood poisoning and died shortly afterwards.

Birkin, a two-time winner of Le Mans (in 1929 and 1931) was one of the famous ‘Bentley Boys’, a group of racing drivers who triumphed with Bentley racers at the end of the 1920s and in the early 1930s. Actor, comedian and car enthusiast Rowan Atkinson (‘Mr Bean’) made a television drama in 1995 about the life of Birkin, entitled ‘Full Throttle’.

The first, of only two made of this two-seater model in 1932, won the 1933 French Grand Prix with the Italian racing driver Giuseppe Campari behind the wheel.

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