Maserati (6 cil.)


“….. Others, among them BMW, Porsche, Maserati, OSCA and BRM tested desmodromic valve gear but never competed with it.”

“Maserati built and tested a desmodromic six, but never raced it”

Source: Classic Grand Prix Cars : The Front-engined Formula 1 Era 1906-1960 by Karl Ludvigsen (cop. 2000) Resp. P. 31 and p. 169.



Mr. Ermanno Cozza, the historic consulent of Maserati, sent my Italian Agent Andrea Ridolfi a letter and a fax with the drawing of the system and some info.(8 November 2005)

Dates: Maserati 250F 6 cylinders Bore and Stroke: 84 x 75 mm. Displacement: 2493.8 cc

It was built and tested in the 1954/55. Mr. Cozza tested personally the engine. During those years Maserati made some researches for more power: Direct- and Port Injection; alcohol Fuel for a faster combustion and Desmodromic Valve Train.

Maseratidesmo1small Maseratidesmo2detailsmall






The first desmo system (see pic on the left) was a project of Ernesto Maserati in 1943 with some changes of the Technical Director Ing. Giulio Alfieri. The second system (see pic on the right) was a project of the Ing. Massimino in the 1944. Maserati used these 2 systems for its testing in 1954/55.

Months of tests on the head with stops caused by some trouble with some broken parts. 2000 rpm over the max rpm of the conventional engine (8000 rpm), but the gain in power was less than hoped for and calculated on paper. Tests stopped and the Desmo system was put in the archive, because the injection system gave a lot more power than carburettor. End of the story. Maserati owns a lot of drawings of the engine, but is very retentive in sharing this information.

[Classification system left = Group 5 and sytem right is probably a Group 7 B]