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Maserati 300S

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Maserati 300S
1955 Maserati 300S (serial no. 3051) at the Bugatti Circuit in 2007
DesignerMedardo Fantuzzi
Body and chassis
Body style2-door, convertible
Layoutfront engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine6 cyl., 3.0 litre (2992cc) in-line engine
Transmissiontransverse four-speed gearbox
Wheelbase2,310 mm (90.9 in)
Length4,150 mm (163.4 in)
Width1,450 mm (57.1 in)
Height980 mm (38.6 in)
Curb weight780 kg (1,720 lb)[1]
PredecessorMaserati 250F
SuccessorMaserati 450S

The Maserati 300S was a racing car produced by Maserati of Italy between 1955 and 1958 to compete in the FIA's World Sportscar Championship. Twenty-six examples were produced.


The 3.0-litre (approx 245 bhp (183 kW) at 6200 rpm)[citation needed] engine was based on the Straight-6 design of the Maserati 250F and incorporated a lengthened stroke developed by Vittorio Bellentani to increase the capacity from the original 2.5-litres. The compression ratio was reduced from 12:1 to 9.5:1, partly due to the FIA regulations requiring the engine to be run on road car fuel. It used three Weber carburettors, initially 42DCO3, later 45DCO3. A trellis structure was used instead of the tubular one of the 250F, and the aluminium body was by Medardo Fantuzzi. The brakes were the same as the 250F, precisely machined alloy drums with extensive finning. The suspension was also of the same design as the 250F but with some strengthening to cope with the rougher tracks and road surfaces encountered in WSC racing. New features for the 300S included the incorporation of a De Dion type rear axle, a transverse four-speed gearbox and two chain driven camshafts.[1][2]

After a poor showing in the first season (1955) mainly due to mechanical malfunctions and development problems, the 300S won at the Nürburgring in 1956 and finished second overall. It was second to the Maserati 450S, and was followed by the Maserati 350S. After the major accident at Guidizzolo in the 1957 Mille Miglia, the last few examples of the 300S were sold to customers in the USA.[3] Giulio Alfieri gave up an attempt to fit it with fuel injection. One 300S was developed with the new V12 engine, becoming the Maserati 350S.[1][2]

Mark Knopfler, originally of Dire Straits, is a long term owner of a 300S and has raced the car in historic competitions.[4][5] Additionally he featured the lines "If I was a Maserati, A red 300s, I'd ride around to your house, baby, Give you a driving test." in the song Red Staggerwing on his 2006 album All the Roadrunning.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Maserati 300S". Ultimatecarpage.com. November 10, 2014. Archived from the original on January 8, 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "1955-1959 Maserati 300S". Supercars.
  3. ^ "1956 - 1958 Maserati 300s @ Top Speed". Top Speed. 2006-03-06. Retrieved 2022-09-22.
  4. ^ "Star Cars and Drivers Line Up For Festival". Donington Historic. April 23, 2014. Archived from the original on September 15, 2014.
  5. ^ "The Maserati 300S and Mark Knopfler's Fender". Italian Ways. August 13, 2014.
  6. ^ Lyrics for "Red Staggerwing" by Mark Knopfler