The exquisite insides of a Maserati Birdcage

The Birdcage was a wonder, and the epitome of pre-monocoque race car design, a gossamer web of 200 pencil-thin chro-moly steel tubes welded fillet brazed into a delicate space frame which weighed all of 90 pounds.

The car came in various configurations and, while not the most reliable thing, the four-cylinder Tipo 61 variant scored back-to-back wins at the 1000 km Nürburgring in 1960 and 1961 in the hands of Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Lloyd Casner and Masten Gregory.

This photo of a late-model mid-engined Tipo 63, powered by a helicopter-loud V12, shows the wild series of tubes which gave the car its lightness and rigidity.