Ken Okuyama’s Kode61 Birdcage is a modern take on a classic Maserati

Talented designer Ken Okuyama used this past weekend’s 2023 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy to debut the latest in his series of coach-built specials, the Kode61 Birdcage.

As the name and color scheme clearly signals, the car is a modern take on the 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 race car, which was nicknamed the Birdcage because of the intricate construction of its chassis. The chassis was made up of network of 200 thin chrome-moly steel tubes, a design that helped to save weight while maintaining rigidity.

The Kode61 Birdcage is the first car from a Japanese coachbuilder to be presented in the concept car category at the Villa d’Este Concorso. Okuyama is short on details, but the door opening style, the wheelbase, and mid-engine layout all hint at the modern Maserati MC20 being the donor chassis. The wheels are also the same found on the Maserati supercar.

The interior looks nothing like the interior of the MC20, though. It features a retro design complete with a gated manual shifter that rises up far above the center console. There are also modern cues, like the carbon fiber on the dash and the carbon bucket seats.

Ken Okuyama

Ken Okuyama

Okuyama is a former Pininfarina designer responsible for cars like the Ferrari Enzo and a previous Maserati Birdcage concept rolled out in 2005 and based on the chassis of Maserati’s MC12 supercar. He today runs his own industrial design company, Ken Okuyama Design. The company has been churning out limited-edition models under the Kode series for the past two decades, including 2016’s Kode57 and 2017’s Kode 0.

Like those other creations, the Kode61 Birdcage will be built in a small run, with production to take place in Yamagata, Japan.

Pricing hasn’t been announced but other recent Kode cars have cost in the low seven figures.

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