Collector Auto Insurance: A Brief Maserati Timeline
This December 1st marks Maserati’s centennial birthday. Founded in 1914 in Bologna, the Italian automaker has become one of the leading names in luxury, speed and style around the world over the last century. Humble roots and amassing achievements both on the road and the race track have helped fashion the company’s character, personality and prestige among collectors, enthusiasts and other industry members.
While you may know Maserati for their powerful engines and sleek styling, there is much more to the auto maker’s rich history than you might realize. Here are a few interesting facts about Maserati to celebrate their 100 years of accomplishments.
– The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto were all involved in automotive manufacturing, production and racing as adolescents in the beginning of the 20th century. The bothers worked for various Italian transportation manufactures including Fiat S.p.A and Diatto. Led by Alfieri, the brothers began working as a joint-stock company under the family name.
– The logo was designed in 1920 by fifth son Mario Maserati who was an artist and the only Maserati brother not involved with engine production. The trident was chosen at the suggestion of a family friend due to its connection with Bolognia, and connotation of Neptune’s virtues of strength and vigor. Mario incorporated the colors red and blue from the flag of Bologna into the design, which remain symbolic of the brand to this day.
– For the first 12 years the brothers specialized primarily in engine building. It wasn’t until 1926 when that the Tipo 26 became the first vehicles to sport the Maserati name. After that early success the brothers began producing race cars with 4, 6, and 8 cylinder engines. They took engine performance a step further by creating a model with two twin 8 cylinder engines mounted side by side, to create a powerful 16 cylinder performance racer which would shatter speed records and help win the Maserati brothers racing prestige.
– In 1929 Maserati set the world speed record for reaching finish line speeds of 246.069 km/h, their record would remain unbroken until 1937.
– In 1939 Maserati became the first and only Italian automaker to win the Indianapolis 500, and even more impressively they were able to repeat their win the following year.
– During World War II Maserati endeavored unsuccessfully to construct a V16 towncar for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche of Volkswagen could build one for Adolf Hitler. Throughout the war they became one of the largest producers of spark plugs, batteries and other automotive components for the military.
– In 1957 Maserati retired themselves from race car production to focus on road cars commercial luxury auto production. They did however continue to produce racers for privateers on a case by case basis.
– Maserati passed through a number of corporate hands over the next few decades until Fiat acquired the brand in 1993. Fiat reinvested in the Maserati brand and line at which time the brand saw a resurgence of enthusiasm and public appeal. In 1997 Fiat sold 50 percent of the Maserati to long-time German rival Ferrari. In 2007 Maserati made a profit for the first time in 17 years.
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