Gunner’s Classic Corner: 1938 Maserati 8CTF Boyle Special

The Boyle Special Maserati is on display in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway “Hall of Fame” museum.

At Indianapolis Motor Speedway on race day 2014, six historic racing cars took a lap around the Brickyard before the green flag dropped on the 500-mile race. One of the cars—the 1938 Maserati 8CTF Boyle Special—is truly a unique machine. It is the only racing car in history to win the 500 more than once.  A number of drivers have won the race more than once, but not in the same car.

This serial number 3032 Italian-built Maserati took the checkered flag at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s “Memorial Day Classic” in 1939 and 1940. Both times it was piloted by American driver Wilbur Shaw, who would later own the Speedway. The car is a gorgeous machine with maroon finish, a rounded radiator shell and long, handsome character lines. We built a model of the car as a kid and it has always been our favorite racing car of all time.

The Boyle Special is also one of the dozen of cars currently on display at the Speedway’s “Hall of Fame” Museum. It has a place of honor there and now the Historic Vehicle Assoc. (HVA) has announced that the car will be honored by becoming the third car ever submitted for recognition on the National Historic Vehicle Register. The register is part of the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) that is permanently archived in the U.S. Library of Congress.

The Maserati joins the 1964 Shelby Daytona Coupe (CSX2287) and the first-ever fiberglass dune buggy, the 1964 Meyers Manx, on the National Historic Vehicle Register.


About John Gunnell 116 Articles
John “Gunner” Gunnell has been writing about cars since ‘72. As a kid in Staten Island, N.Y., he played with a tin Marx “Service Garage” loaded with toy vehicles, his favorite being a Hubley hot rod. In 2010, he opened Gunner’s Great Garage, in Manawa, Wis., a shop that helps enthusiasts restore cars. To no one’s surprise, he decorated 3G’s with tin gas stations and car toys. Gunner started writing for two car club magazines. In 1978, publisher Chet Krause hired him at Old Cars Weekly, where he worked from 1978-2008. Hot rodding legend LeRoi “Tex” Smith was his boss for a while. Gunner had no formal journalism training, but working at a weekly quickly taught him the trade. Over three decades, he’s met famous collectors, penned thousands of articles and written over 85 books. He lives in Iola, Wis., with his nine old cars, three trucks and seven motorcycles.

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