1er December 1914, in Bologna, three brothers, from a family of seven children, founded the “Società Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati”: Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto. A family very involved in the automobile since the eldest of the Maseratis, Carlo, had become a test driver with Fiat and Isotta Fraschini after having built bicycles and motorcycles; he will kill himself while racing in 1910. The company founded in 1914 is a garage but it will be necessary to wait until the end of the First World War for serious things to begin.
First car in 1926
As early as 1922, Alfieri and Ettore produced a racing car for the Diatto brand; the Tipo 20, fast and reliable, was not successful in Grand Prix but won the 24 Hours of Monza in 1924. The two brothers wanted to build their own car and in 1926 produced what could be called the first Maserati: the Tipo 26.
It sports a trident (designed by Mario Maserati). A rival of the Bugattis, the Tipo 26 won the Targa Florio that same year. On September 28, 1929, in Cremona, a Maserati set a speed record of 246.069 km/h over 10 km; a record that will stand for 8 years.
A logo for 108 years
Mario Maserati, the artist of the siblings will draw the logo which will continue on all the cars. He will be inspired by the statue of Neptune which is in Piazza Maggiore in Bologna. The sea god’s trident will be the brand’s emblem.
When the logo takes on colors, the colors blue and red, also symbols of the city, will be used; red for the trident…
These elements will change little; for a few years, the Maserati emblem has returned to black but only the typography of the name has changed and the trident is very stylized.
Thirties, glory and sadness
The 1930s began with the death in 1932 of Alfieri; yet, innovation is always a priority. The Maserati 8CM from 1932 will be the first sports car equipped with hydraulic brake controls.
Despite the sporting successes, Maserati was bought by the Orsi family in 1937. This did not stop the competition since the Maserati 8CTF called « Boyle Special » won the Indianapolis 500 in 1939 and 1940. From Bologna, Maserati moved to Modena .
Post-war, the prosperous period
In 1947, Maserati launched its first road car, the A6 1500. It was a great success. Maserati also shines in Formula 1; in 1957, the brand won the championship for the second time with the victories of Juan-Manuel Fangio on the 250 F. That same year, the trident presented the 3500 GT at the Geneva Motor Show; first grand touring car, it was also the first to go into series production.
In 1960, the engineer Alfieri created the birdcage, a racing car in the form of a tray with a multi-tubular chassis; a revolution that will save the tipo 60, 61,63 and 64 several times over.
In the early sixties, Maserati produced its Quattroporte, a sporty luxury sedan, then a series of GTs whose names are references to the wind: Ghibli, then after the takeover of Citroën in 1968, Bora, Merak, Khamsin… From the collaboration with Citroën will be born a fragile V6 which will be under the bonnet of the SM.
The adventure with the rafters will last until 1975 when Citroën abandons the ship which, fortunately, will not sink thanks to the control of the Italian State and then to the takeover of the company by Alejandro De Tomaso, owner of the eponymous cars. He successfully launched the Biturbo, then the Ghibli 2 and the Shamal.
Owners follow each other at Maserati
In 1983, De Tomaso met Lee Iaccoca, the president of Chrysler who invested 35 million dollars to present a range of cars with a luxurious finish equipped with American engines prepared by Maserati. The success will not be there and, in 1987, Chrysler and De Tomaso throw in the towel. And it is Fiat that invests in Maserati.
In 1997, Fiat decided to merge Ferrari and Maserati, the two former rivals; Maserati became a sort of sub-brand of Ferrari… However, in 1998, the 3200 GT with the engine… Ferrari arrived, from which the Spyder was to derive, which marked Maserati’s return to the USA.
From Fiat FCA to Stellantis
Competition is always in Maserati’s genes; in 2003 appeared the MC12, which would win six titles in the FIA GT championship and scour the circuits between 2005 and 2010. In 2006, Fiat Chrysler automobiles married Alfa Romeo and Maserati in a new sporting pole to let Ferrari shine alone.
In 2007, Geneva was the scene of the world premiere of the new GranTurismo designed by Pininfarina. (in 2003, the coachbuilder signed the dress for the 5e generation of the Quattroporte, a first for 50 years).
7,496 cars were produced that year. In 2016, the Levante was the brand’s first SUV. After the Fiat/PSA merger that gave Stellantis, Maserati’s projects are moving towards electrification through a program called Folgore (lightning)!
At the start of 2023, the new Gran Turismo coupés and convertibles will become the first cars from the firm struck with the Neptune trident to be 100% electric.