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This article is about the automobile manufacturer. For the band Maserati, see Maserati (band). For the Maserati motorcycles (made 1953-60), see Maserati (motorcycle).
Maserati is an Italian manufacturer of racing cars and sports cars, established on December 1, 1914, in Bologna. The company's headquarters are now in Modena, and its emblem is a trident. It is a luxury car manufacturer competing directly with Aston Martin and Jaguar, and sometimes with large German mass-producers, including Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. It has been owned by the Italian car giant Fiat S.p.A. since 1993. Inside the Fiat Group, Maserati has been initially associated with Ferrari S.p.A., but more recently it has become part of the sports car group including Alfa Romeo.
See Maserati Brothers
The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, Ernesto and Mario, were all involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century. Alfieri, Bindo and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. In 1926, Diatto suspended the production of race cars, leading to the creation of the first Maserati and the founding of the Maserati marque. One of the first Maseratis, driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio. Maserati began making race cars with 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinders (actually two straight eights mounted parallel to one another). Mario, an artist, is believed to have devised the company's trident emblem, based on one the Fontana del Nettuno, Bologna. Alfieri Maserati died in 1932 but three other brothers, Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races.
In 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to the Adolfo Orsi family, who in 1940 relocated the company headquarters to their hometown of Modena, where it remains to this day. The brothers continued in engineering roles with the company. Racing successes continued, even against the giants of German racing, Auto Union and Mercedes. In 1939, a Maserati 8CTF won the Indianapolis 500, a feat repeated the following year.
The war then intervened, Maserati abandoning cars to produce components for the Italian war effort. During this time, Maserati worked in fierce competition to construct a V16 towncar for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche of Volkswagen built one for Adolf Hitler. This failed, and the plans were scrapped. Once peace was restored, Maserati returned to making cars; the Maserati A6 series did well in the post-war racing scene.
Key people joined the Maserati team. Alberto Massimino, an old Fiat engineer, with both Alfa Romeo and Ferrari experiences oversaw the design of all racing models for the next ten years. With him joined engineers Giulio Alfieri, Vittorio Bellentani, and Gioacchino Colombo. The focus was on the best engines and chassis to succeed in car racing. These new projects saw the last contributions of the Maserati brothers, who after their 10-year contract with Orsi expired went on to form O.S.C.A.. This new team at Maserati worked on several projects: the 4CLT, the A6 series, the 8CLT, and, pivotally for the future success of the company, the A6GCM.
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