The History Behind Maserati

February 15th, 2019 by

Maserati: Luxury Cars with a History of Excellence

Maserati luxury vehicles have come a long way.

The now world-famous company begins with a father, Rodolfo Maserati, and a mother, Carolina Losi, along with their seven children who inherited the passion for precision engineering and speed.

In 1900, at the age of 17, Carlo Maserati designed his first single-cylinder engine. By the end of that year, he was hired by Fiat as a test driver.

During his spare time in Turin, Italy, Carlo designed a new single-cylinder engine that he put into a wooden car chassis. Respectfully, this is considered to be the first Maserati car.

In 1909, Carlo set his sights on designing and producing a superior airplane the world had yet to see. A year later, his dream was cut short. Carlo lost his life to a lung disease in 1910 yet still remained a shining example for his brothers and their passion for the future.

Maserati & World War I

On December 1, 1913, Alfieri, Ettore, and Ernesto Maserati opened a car garage with an attached workshop, Società Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati, in Via de’ Pepoli in Bologna, Italy.

This was the beginning of the Maserati company in Italy. It was in this workshop that the brothers began creating their own car designs up until Italy became involved in World War I.

Five months after the First World War began, Alfieri and Ettore were drafted for military service. Luckily for the brothers, they were well behind the battle lines. Their engineering expertise was a benefit for the army, as they helped design and produce spark plugs for aircraft engines.

After his time in the war, Alfieri Maserati opened a spark plug factory in Milan with a sign above the door that read “Officine Alfieri Maserati SA.”

The Birth of the Maserati Trident

At the start of the 20th century, engines weren’t very reliable, largely due to electrical system malfunctions.

Alfieri went on to discover an issue with the spark plugs, so he developed a new model that used mica insulation. This significantly improved reliability, power output, and performance.

In 1920, Alfieri, Ernesto, and Ettore worked tirelessly to create the first official Maserati vehicle. Their brother Mario was the artist of the family and not as interested in engines. Because of this, he was given the task of designing what is now an iconic symbol: the Maserati logo.

The Neptune statue in Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, Italy surrounded by stone buildings on a sunny day with clouds in a blue sky

Mario decided to use a symbol that is iconic to Bologna — the trident from the Neptune statue in Piazza Maggiore.  A symbol of strength and vigor, Mario also incorporated red and blue from the banner of the city of Bologna.

Recognized Around the Globe

The next few years brought tremendous successes for the Maserati company, from racing victories to the unveiling of its first GranTurismo in 1946 at the Geneva Car Show.

Christened as the A6, in honor of Alfieri, it was adored immediately by the public.

Throughout the 1960s, Maserati had become famous for its connection with Italian designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro. His first project was a V8-powered Ghibli, which was originally slated for a production run of 100 cars. Due to its immediate success, it paved the way for the modern-day Ghibli consumers desire.

The success from days past paved the way for the future of the marque as they set out to conquer the American market.

In 2003, Maserati released the first GranTurismo model in nearly half a century. Famously designed by Pininfarina, the Maserati Quattroporte completed the model lineup and was an instant success. Its timeless silhouette was conceived from a modern perspective that combined a luxurious soul and the fury of a GranTurismo.

Continuing to exhilarate and create innovative models, Maserati unveiled the Levante SUV at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013.

The warm, Mediterranean wind that can change from mild to gale force in a moment was the inspiration behind naming the Levante.

The story of seven brothers bringing a dream to life and the continued success of the Maserati company is a testament to hard work, superior craftsmanship, and passion.

With a history that is almost as famous as the Trident logo, the Maserati brand has proven to stand the test of time while creating a name that is synonymous with sport and Italian luxury vehicles.

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