Maserati is a brand synonymous with luxury and style. With over one hundred years building ultra-stylish performance vehicles, the Italian automobile manufacturer is renowned for its racing heritage, bespoke styling, and high performance.
Today, Maserati is a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with headquarters located in Modena, Italy. It all began, however, with the Maserati brothers Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ernesto and Ettore. Born to Rodolfo Maserati, a train driver, and his wife Carolina, the five brothers would all contribute to the development of Maserati, today one of the world’s most iconic luxury car brands.
A Brief Timeline of Maserati:
- 1914: “Società Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati” car workshop is officially opened in December by brothers Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati in Bologna. With the advent of World War I, the company manufactures spark plugs primarily for aircraft engines to support the war effort.
- 1920: The Maserati trident emblem is designed by Mario Maserati. The inspiration for the logo is the Neptune statue in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore.
- 1926: Alfieri, Ernesto and Ettore create the marque’s first vehicle, a 16-cylinder V4 race car called the Tipo 26.
- 1929: A new Class C world record of 154 mph is set by the Tipo 26.
- 1932: Younger brother Bindo Maserati joins the company. Alfieri Maserati dies from complications following a kidney operation.
- 1933: The Maserati 8CM Grand Prix race car is debuted at the Tunis Grand Prix. Driven by Italian driver Tazio Nuvolari, the car takes first place in this race and later the Belgian Grand Prix, also with Nuvolari at the wheel.
- 1937: The Maserati brothers sell the company to Adolfo Orsi, an industrialist from Modena. The brothers sell their shares but remain working in engineering roles with the company for a decade.
- 1939: The “Boyle Special” 8CTF wins the Indianapolis 500 driven by Wilbur Shaw. The company headquarters is relocated to Modena. With the outbreak of World War II, Maserati resumes production of spark plugs for the government, along with batteries and electric delivery vehicles.
- 1940: Shaw wins the Indianapolis 500 again in the same vehicle.
- 1945: Maserati returns to car manufacturing at the end of the war. The marque expands production to new models including the popular grand tourer and sports car styles.
- 1948: The A6 1500, a six-cylinder grand tourer designed by Pininfarina, is introduced at the Geneva Motor Show. The car takes its name from “Alfieri” (“A”) and the number of cylinders (“6”). It is the first non-racing vehicle produced by Maserati and is highly successful.
- 1954: The famous Maserati 250F enters Formula One racing. Other Maserati to grace the track during the 1950s included the 200S, 300S, 350S, 450S and the Tipo 61.
- 1957: Juan Manuel Fangio wins the German Grand Prix at Nürburgring behind the wheel of a Maserati 250F. The 3500 GT is revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, making it the marque’s first series-produced car
- 1962: The Sebring replaces the 3500 GT.
- 1963: A slew of new models are released from 1963-64, including the Mistral two-seater coupé, the first saloon vehicle, the Quattroporte, and the Spyder in 1964; all are styled by Pietro Erua. The Quattroporte is the first luxury sports sedan for the marque, introduced at the Turin Motor Show.
- 1966: The Ghibli coupé is presented at the Turin Motor Show. The Ghibli Spyder and Ghibli SS follow.
- 1968: Citroen acquires Maserati. Adolfo Orsi remains as president.
- 1971: The Maserati Bora is introduced at the Geneva Motor Show.
- 1976: Citroen goes bankrupt and sells Maserati to Argentinian industrialist and race car driver Alejandro de Tomaso.
- 1981: The twin-turbocharged Bitburbo coupé is introduced. A powerful 6-cylinder, the sports car has a top speed of 133mph and becomes a bestseller.
- 1989: After buying a stake in Maserati, Chrysler Corporation teams up with Maserati to create the Chrysler Touring Coupé for the U.S. market. It is unsuccessful and the Chrysler-Maserati partnership ends.
- 1993: Fiat, who owns Maserati’s rival Ferrari, purchases Maserati.
- 1997: Maserati moves under Ferrari management.
- 1998: A Giorgetto Giugiaro designed coupé with a Ferrari engine is revealed at the Paris Motor Show: the 3200 GT.
- 2003: The 5th generation Quattroporte is presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Designed by Pinninfarina, it is the first Maserati designed by the coachbuilder in 50 years.
- 2005: Maserati management moves to Alfa Romeo.
- 2007: Maserati debuts the Pininfarina-designed GrandTurismo at the Geneva Motor Show.
- 2013: The reinvented Ghibli is revealed at the Shanghai Motor show. The same year, the 6th generation Quattroporte is presented at the Detroit Motor Show.
- 2014: Fiat merges with Chrysler to become Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Maserati celebrates its centennial anniversary with the launch of the Alfieri concept car at the Geneva Motor Show.
- 2016: The first Maserati SUV, Levante, launches.
Celebrating 100 Years of Maserati
2014 marked the centennial anniversary of the iconic marque. Maserati celebrated the milestone by unveiling what the car manufacturer dubs “the car anticipating the future”. The Alfieri concept car launches at the Geneva Auto Show to showcase the future of Maserati – a future that is set to be realized in 2020 as the vehicle finally goes into pre-series production next year.