As with many stunning luxury marques of such longevity, Maserati began as a result of one young man’s infectious passion, skill and vision.
He was a 17 year Fiat employee, who designed a new single cylinder engine in his spare time and put it into a wooden chassis. The young man in question was Carlo Maserati (pronounced mazeˈraːti) and the year was 1899.
Although one may claim that this was the first ever Maserati, Carlo had far higher ideas about his new invention, he wanted to fly. Within three years Carlo left Fiat to become a test pilot for Isotta Fraschini. Due to his contagious enthusiasm Carlo’s 16 year old brother, Alfieri, decided to join him. Alas, Carlo died very young of lung disease, yet his legacy lived on in young Alfieri in whom he had imparted his knowledge, ideas and passion for over 10 years before his untimely death. Unlike Carlo though, Alfieri’s passion was for racing cars.
After Carlo’s premature death, Alfieri moved to Bologna with his brothers, Ernesto and Ettore, and in 1914 opened the Maserati Motor Company with a mission to produce luxury Italian race cars. As Italy entered the Great War, the Maserati brothers were conscripted into the Italian army, who used their technical expertise to their advantage and kept them well behind the front line, for safety. Alfieri even began to design and produce special spark plugs for aircraft engines, which he wisely patented as soon as the war was over.
Alfieri was the first to acknowledge that although he and his brothers Ernesto and Ettore were all fabulous engineers they did lack that vital element of design flair. Luckily, their middle brother Mario was the exception, he was an artist and the only sibling who had nothing to do with engineering. Alfieri appreciating his brother’s artistic skill persuaded him to join the family in their car venture and Mario went on to create the company’s logo based on the trident in the Fountain of Neptune statue in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore and the rest as they say is history.
Since 1925 Maserati have produced scores of award winning race cars and GTs. One of the most famous was the Maserati 250F, which was first raced in the 1954 Argentine Grand Prix where Juan Manuel Fangio won the first of his two victories. Britain’s Sterling Moss also won the Monaco Grand Prix along with many other podium places in the 250F in the mid 1950s.
Maserati stopped racing in 1957, and although the company has changed ownership many times, the vision and ethos of the Maserati brothers remained: “Build ultra-luxury performance cars with timeless Italian style, accommodating bespoke interiors and effortless, signature sounding power”.
Maserati has always been a very exclusive and desirable marque for the affluent, style-conscious automotive enthusiast. In fact, it was not until the early 2004 that their production exceeded 4,000 luxury vehicles a year.
In recent years Maserati has carved out a niche of such desirability that they have become the talking point of many a motor show, producing a range of exciting luxury saloons, GTs and Cabriolets which are the envy of all. Demand for these exquisitely designed and lavishly fitted vehicles has seen sales figures sour. Yet it would appear that the best is still to come.
Within the next 18 – 24 months there may be 2, dramatically different Maseratis on the streets of Britain.
Named after their founder, the Maserati Alfieri promises to be the most desirable supercar that Maserati have ever produced. The concept car above, was launched at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Maserati CEO, Harald Wester claimed “This car has a foot pedal that is hungry to be floored”. The entire motor industry is on tenterhooks with excitement to see how this car performs, although nobody is in any doubt that, should this car go into production, the results will be as stunning. With styling like this, the Maserati Alfieri is certainly a car worth waiting for.
Maserati have an ambitious goal to increase production to around 75,000 cars by the end of 2018. Even before the arrival of the stunning new Alfieri, that goal was not as ambitious as one might, think due to the surge in popularity in recent years. However, much of that growth could come from a whole new direction for Maserati; the Levante SUV.
As everyone knows, SUV stands for “sports utility vehicle”. The Maserati have injected the “sport” element back into the SUV world to stunning effect with their highly desirable concept vehicle, the Maserati Levanti. High end SUVs may not be a new idea but sportier and more luxurious than any SUV currently on the market. If production is confirmed, the Maserati Levanti, with its beautiful styling and powerful engines, plans to be the most desirable SUVs in Europe. We hope the Maserati brothers would have been proud.
H.R. Owen have a wide range of approved used Maserati models, as well as the full range of new Maserati models. Please make an enquiry regarding any models that you are interested in test driving, or would like to find out more about.