The history of Maserati in American open wheel racing goes back to 1937 when Wibur Shaw, who took part in the Vanderbilt Cup race, was astonished by the Italian cars. He told to his friend Mike Boyle: “If I had a car like that, I’d win the next 500-mile race in it.” Boyle agreed with Maserati factory, but due to misunderstanding the Italians first sent a 6CM voiturette to America, too small for Indy-500. Finally, in 1939 Boyle bought 3.0-liter 8CTF which cost him $15,000, several times than usual American-built Indy special. The car was in production in 1938 and was powered by 8-Cylinder 2991 cc 350 hp engine. The 8CTF renamed as Boyle Special became a part of Indianapolis history when Shaw won the 1939 Indianapolis 500 and again in 1940. Following Boyl’s success, American / French ex-Grand Prix female driver Lucy O’Reilly Schell entered her two recently acquired Maseratis in the 1940 Indianapolis 500 for French pilots Rene Le Begue and Rene Dreyfus. Both raced for Schell’s Ecurie Bleue in Europe, but were unfamiliar with the Brickyard and with the American racing rules. Le Begue qualified chassis 3030 in thirty-first position, while Dreyfus did not qualify in the second car (chassis 3031). On race day, it was decided for the two drivers to split time in the car, and each drove two stints of approximately 50 laps (125 miles) apiece. Le Begue started the race and ran approximately laps 1–50 and laps 101–150. Dreyfus piloted the car for laps 51–100 and from 151 to the finish. The pair brought the car home in 10th place, flagged 8 laps down. Following the race the cars were sold to Lou Moore, who rebranded them as the Elgin Piston Pin Specials and entered in the 1941 Indianapolis 500. The scale model was produced by Replicarz in its exclusive 1:43 Indy series.
|1940||AAA National Championship||Indianapolis 500|
|Rene Le Begue / Rene Dreyfus||49||Lucy O’Reilly Schell|
|Maserati 8CTF||Maserati||L.O’R. Special|