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It was on the first of December 1914 that the Maserati Brothers founded Maserati, a marque destined to go down in motoring history, in Bologna. However, a year before, in 1913, Alfieri Maserati had opened an Isotta Fraschini garage in Bologna, although he only worked there for a short time before founding Società Anonima Alfieri Maserati. Initially, the Maserati business was a garage, operating in Bologna, at number 1 on Via de’ Pepoli; the Maserati Brothers started working on their own car designs, until the outbreak of the First World War.  

During the Twenties and Thirties, the Maserati garage continued to turn out racing cars for sale all over the world, also producing on-road cars with all the marque’s distinctive elegance combined with sporty performance derived from the racing circuit. In 1937, when the Orsi family took over the management of the business, Maserati moved from its original headquarters in Bologna to a location in Modena, on Viale Ciro Menotti, where some of the marque’s key sports and GT cars are still designed and built today.

Once the War was over, Alfieri was determined to get his dream back on the road, so he found a disused demijohn factory in the Pontevecchio district, at number 179, Frazione Alemanni, Bologna. The new premises were large enough for the Maserati Brothers to move there with their families, and it was here that the business acquired the name of Officine Alfieri Maserati SA. In the meantime, during the War, Alfieri Maserati had also opened a spark plug factory in Milan under the name Fabbrica Candele Maserati; in 1919, it also moved to Bologna. 

The beginning of a dream

At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, engines were not at all reliable and a large proportion of malfunctions were caused by their electrical systems. In 1907, by changing the voltage of his Bianchi’s electrics, Carlo Maserati solved all the problems relating to failure to ignite the fuel inside the combustion chamber. This improved reliability considerably, giving better performance and more continuous power output.


Alfieri went on to discover that some of the problems of the spark plugs were due to their poor insulation, so he developed a new model insulated using mica, a special mineral that allowed engines to perform much better, improving their reliability considerably.

Tipo 26 MM

The Maserati Tipo 26 MM is a sports car derived from the original Maserati Tipo 26, although it adopts only some of this car’s technical features. The Maserati brothers equipped the car with all the latest technical and technological inventions, specifically creating it for endurance racing.

Maserati V4

During the early years of the brand’s history, the Maserati brothers tried out various technical methods for improving their racing cars’ performance. One outstanding example of this constant striving for better performance is the Maserati V4, a racing car with a V16 engine produced by combining two straight eight engine blocks from the Maserati Tipo 26, the car from which the V4’s chassis and bodywork were also taken. This gave the Maserati V4 amazing power with excellent performance, although its handling deteriorated due to the very heavy weight on its front axle.

Tipo 26R

The Tipo 26R was a two-seater racer incorporating the latest technology, which improved on the mechanics of the Maserati Tipo 26. In 1928 the Maserati Brothers built the Maserati Tipo 26 R, a racing car with a 1,690 c.c engine with smaller connecting-rods than the original model, equipped with unusual roller-type main bearings. These roller bearings put the R in the name of this car, just two of which were built.

Maserati 4CM

One of the Maserati 4CM’s main characteristics was its braking system, with hydraulically operated brakes that provided better control of braking and thus improved the car’s racing performance.

Siluro 4CM

The Maserati Siluro 4CM Carenato was one of the first experimental cars revolutionized research into aerodynamics. Extreme forms, styled by skilled arronautic engineers and aided by impeccable construction. 

4CL Carenato

In the late Thirties, development in car design was proceeding at a whirlwind pace in the Maserati workshops, with a wealth of new ideas, innovations and technologies. The study of aerodynamics was in its infancy, but Maserati missed no opportunity to try to improve its cars with the aid of specialists in this sector, and came up with a number of innovative solutions it would also use on the models of the future.

Almost all the racing-cars of that time had mudguards, a design feature which not only generated aerodynamic turbulence but also hindered the car’s efficiency, limiting its speed and performance. At Maserati, the decision was therefore taken to try out new forms of bodywork, creating innovative shapes and coverings which would maximise the car’s aerodynamic efficiency: this led to the birth of the Maserati 4CL "Streamliner” or “Carenato” in Italian.

Maserati 4CL

In spite of its excellent design, the new eight cylinder engines of the competition had rendered the Maserati 6CM obsolete; the time had come to write a new page in engine history. So Ernesto Maserati developed the Maserati 4CL, a single-seater racer designed for the Voiturette class of the top international Grand Prix races and featuring what were then futuristic technical solutions, which enabled it to achieve no less than 31 successes between 1939, the year when it went into production, and the arrival of the Maserati A6 GCM in 1950, after a long stoppage due to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Tipo 6CS/56

In the late Forties, Ernesto Maserati decided to create a new car for the brand, to be built around an essential key feature: the 1.5 litre six cylinder engine. In 1945, Luigi Villoresi and Guerino Bertocchi were already testing the first bare chassis built for this car, with just four wheels, brakes, steering and engine (no bodywork) on the San Veneziano road near Modena, starting the development of what was to become a Maserati icon of the Fifties.

Maserati A6G 54 Zagato Spyder

The Maserati A6G 54, the model from which the Maserati A6G 54 Zagato Spyder derives, is based on a conventional tubular chassis built by the specialist Gilco, directly derived from the chassis of the original A6G. It was equipped with a two litre engine built in alloy throughout, with two overhead camshafts, a definite improvement over the previous models. The use of a timing chain provided greater simplicity than the gearing system by which the valves were operated in the racing models. The car’s performance, aided by its four-speed gearbox, was impressive, with a top speed of about 210 kilometres an hour. 

Maserati 3500 GT

The Maserati 3500 GT was a very important car for the marque and the first Italian production car to be fitted with an indirect fuel injection system. The Maserati 3500 GT was launched in 1957 and was immediately successful on a worldwide scale.

The Bird Cage Chassis

Maserati’s Chief Engineer Giulio Alfieri got to work on an absolutely revolutionary chassis, designed to be lightweight but extremely rigid, to deliver outstanding performance and superb handling. This led to the birth of the Bird Cage chassis, an ingenious structure that enabled Maserati to get back to winning ways. This type of chassis provided the basis for five different cars, the Maserati Tipo 60, Tipo 61, Tipo 63, Tipo 64 and the modern, Birdcage 75th.

Tipo 151

In 1962, Maserati built a new racing model designed to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hour race, after a number of formal requests from private racing teams. The result was the Maserati Tipo 151, a coupé with longitudinally front-mounted engine, which also incorporated the first use of several interesting technical features that would be further developed in subsequent years.

Sinum

Ghia built the Simun on a Maserati Tipo 116 chassis, which was to provide the basis for the future road variant. At the same time Vignale also created a prototype, which was chosen instead of the Simun and was produced as the Maserati Indy. The single Maserati Simun built, was fitted with a 4,136 cc eight-cylinder engine capable of generating more than 260 horsepower. It had a five-speed manual transmission, which drove the rear wheels in keeping with the brand’s tradition.

Boomerang

In 1971 Italdesign Giugiaro presented the Maserati Boomerang, one of the most irreverent concept cars in Maserati’s entire history. The Boomerang had an extremely futuristic design, conceived to be several years ahead of the Brand’s style, launching a wedge-shaped form which would later be used on several other cars. It featured daring lines and a body that was very low, wide and aerodynamic: a real racing car conceived for the road.

The Maserati Medici, which went on public display for the first time at the 1974 Turin Motor Show, was a car that immediately got heads turning due to its design features. It took the wedged shape so fashionable at the time and evolved it into a four-door saloon design, with glass roof and characteristics never previously seen in the marque’s cars. After a large number of stylistic changes and the development of new mechanics, the Maserati Medici’s design was actually the foundation for the third generation of the Maserati Quattroporte. 

In 1974, the Citroen era was in full swing and Maserati was in search of a new style for its cars. During those years, Giugiaro’s Italdesign firm was working with Maserati on new design ideas for its sports cars, and it was in 1974 that the Maserati Tipo 124, also known as the Italdesign 124, was built to a design by Giorgetto Giugiaro himself. 

On 14 December 1990, Maserati presented one of the most innovative prototypes of its history: the Chubasco. Unveiled to the press, customers and dealers during the annual Maserati festivities in Modena, the Maserati Chubasco shared the stage with two new models: the Maserati Shamal and the Maserati Racing. The Chubasco was built to be the car of every enthusiast’s dreams and was shaped by a pure passion for fast cars using the most sophisticated technologies the early Nineties had to offer.  

In the late Nineties, Fiat purchased a 100% stake in Maserati. Maserati decided to mark this fresh start by creating a new car that would re-awaken the Brand’s spirit with lines that were innovative but also elegant and sporty. The result was the Maserati 3200 GT, with countless new technical and stylistic features that proved to be pointers to the future. One of the car’s most interesting details was its tail lights, as Maserati became one of the world’s first constructors to use LED lights on a standard production car.

With the arrival of the new century, Maserati set its sights on a triumphant return to the American market. Maserati choose the US as the location for the launch of a new open-top sports car, to re-conquer the hearts of American auto enthusiasts. The Geneva Motor Show in early 2001 saw the presentation of a prototype conceived for the racetrack, the Maserati 320S Barchetta, a model created to preview the lines of the Maserati Spyder, which was to make its debut at the Frankfurt show a few months later. 

Birdcage 75th

This concept car was created in 2005 to celebrate the 75th birthday of Pininfarina, using the name and imitating the innovative character of the iconic Maserati Birdcage cars that played such a starring role in Sixties motorsports. A dream car, created not to be functional but to remain in the memory over the years. Futuristic technical features such as the dome to protect the occupants, gave an extremely streamlined look and a design that immediately earned a place in the history books.

Alfieri

The Alfieri Concept Car, presented at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show, is more than a concept. It's a statement. Proving once more that Maserati is a sports-car company to it's very core, and paving the way for the continuation of Maserati's racing legacy.

Alfieri

Learn More

Maserati has always focused strongly on the development of innovative engineering solutions, but one fundamental factor behind its race victories has been its research into ultra light alloys. Since its foundation, the Brand has constantly been on the lookout for stiffer, lighter materials to enable it to improve its cars’ dynamic performance, first on the track and then on the road, giving customers unique driving sensations, unrivalled sports handling and sheer enjoyment.

Tipo 26MM

The Maserati Tipo 26 MM is a sports car derived from the original Maserati Tipo 26, although it adopts only some of this car’s technical features. The Maserati brothers equipped the car with all the latest technical and technological inventions, specifically creating it for endurance racing.

Maserati V4

During the early years of the brand’s history, the Maserati brothers tried out various technical methods for improving their racing cars’ performance. One outstanding example of this constant striving for better performance is the Maserati V4, a racing car with a V16 engine produced by combining two straight eight engine blocks from the Maserati Tipo 26, the car from which the V4’s chassis and bodywork were also taken. This gave the Maserati V4 amazing power with excellent performance, although its handling deteriorated due to the very heavy weight on its front axle.

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