When it comes to the history of the prestigious automaker Maserati, there's only three things that should come to mind: Racing, Family, and Quality.
Built On Family, Preserved On Quality
Beginning with Rodolfo Maserati and Carolina Losi and their 7 children in the late 1800's, the Maserati family was born. Six out of seven sons, Carlo, Bindo, Alfieri I (died at the age of 1), Alfieri II, Mario, Ettore, and Ernesto, had a hand in the automotive family business.
The automotive fixation began with Carlo, who designed an engine for a motorized bicycle. His passion for designing and working with motorized parts was a common theme amongst all of his brothers, who also shared his intuitive skills.
After Carlo passed in 1910 from Tuberculosis, the brothers formed Maserati in Bologna, Italy in 1914. Alfieri II worked for a friend but decided to go into business with his brothers, beginning the Officine Alfieri Maserati SA. An effect of the times, Alfieri and Ettore are drafted for the war, but the business continues and thrives thanks to the efforts of Alfieri who patented spark plugs for war planes during the World War.
The Maserati Trident, and Success Amid Tragedy and Change
Alfieri contacts his brother Mario who is an artist, and asks him to design the Maserati logo during construction of the very first Maserati. Following the advice of a friend, Mario chooses the trident from the statue of Neptune in Piazza Maggiore, a symbol of strength and vigour of hometown Bologna.
The Maserati family then enjoys success throughout the 1920's and early 1930's, but then tragedy strikes in 1932 when Alfieri passes away from liver complications due to an accident a few years earlier. However, the company and family stays strong until selling the company to Adolfo Orsi in 1937. The brothers stay on for 10 additional years, before beginning their own company OSCA, lasting through the 1960's.
The Last Tribute Maserati and First Daily Production Vehicle
(Photo credit: Favcars.com)
Meanwhile, Orsi moved Maserati production to Modena, where it remains to this day. There, he managed the company during World War II, using his facilities for spark plug production for the war effort. And as the Maserati brothers end their 10 year contracts with Orsi, brother Ernesto designed one final model in honor of brother Alfieri, the A6.
The A6 became a hit with the public, who appreciated its sleek look and modern design, as well as the fact that it was a daily driver and not the typical racing vehicle from the brand.
Back To Racing Roots And Big Wins With Fangio
The 1950's and 1960's for Maserati was a time of racing appeal and big wins against top competition. In the early 50's, Orsi divides up the management of companies between family members, while Modena becomes a race competition for Maserati and Ferrari. Owner Orsi and Maserati manage to strike a deal with driver Juan Manuel Fangio, taking him away from Ferrari.
Fangio hops aboard a Maserati and pilots it to four victories in 8 events in the Formula 1 GP. Not only did the combination of wins give Fangio his fifth world championship, it was more about the final win, on the Nurburing circuit in Germany, that helped cement Fangio and Maserati's racing legacy.
The Mistral, The Quattroporte, and The Ghibli
The 1960's turn out to be a very productive era in the history of Maserati, introducing the Mistral, the Quattroporte, and the Ghibli to the public. The Mistral begins production in 1964, while the Quattroporte luxury sedan is the talk of the Turin Auto Show in 1963.
The fastest sedan in the world, the Quattroporte begins its long successful reign as a Maserati model. Maserati introduces the Ghibli at Turin in 1966, and is once again greeted by the public with open arms.
The Ghibli, from which only about 100 were originally scheduled to be made, quickly upped that number to 400. By the end of production in 1972, a total of 1295 Ghiblis were produced.
Maserati Mistral Maserati Quattroporte Maserati Ghibli
The Most Widely Produced Maserati Of All-Time: Biturbo
After the Orsi family partners with Citroen in the 1970's, only to eventually sell the company to the automaker, Citroen then sells Maserati to entrepreneur Alejandro De Tommaso. Maserati continues to have success however, with the Quattroporte Royale being Sandro Pertini, the Head of the Italian State's official car.
However, in 1981, the Maserati Biturbo comes to market, yet again making quite an impact on the public. The vehicle turns out to be the most widely produced Maserati, continuing the successes of the luxury automotive company into the future.
Squashing Old Feuds, And The Return To The U.S.
When Fiat purchases Maserati in 1993, one thing is clear: Italian automakers are merging. From 1993-1999, Fiat brings about a partnership of two historic rivals under one roof: Ferrari and Maserati.
Two of the most iconic Italian auto manufacturers combine technology and ideas to launch both companies into the future.
The GranTurismo and New Quattroporte
Maserati continues its rise heading into the future, led by new luxurious and unmatched models: the GranTurismo, and the revamped Quattroporte. As elegant as ever and more advanced than most every vehicle on the market today, the newest Maserati vehicles leave nothing to the imagination. Fully customizable and the total automotive experience, these models highlight the beauty behind the Italian automaker.
Maserati's future is bright thanks to its historic past and legendary creators.