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1914-2024: 110 years of the Maserati

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Chronological point of view on the ownership and management of the company:

- Section Fratelli Maserati era – from 1914 to 1937

- Section Famiglia Orsi era - from 1937 to 1968

- Section Citroen era - from 1968 to 1975

- Section De Tomaso era - from 1976 to 1992

- Section Fiat era - from 1993 to today

 

Point of view by type and intended use of the vehicles:

- racing car section

- road vehicle section

 

Point of view by Coachbuilder:

- Fantuzzi

- Touring Superleggera

- Vignale

- Frua

- Ghia

- Allemano

- Pininfarina

- Italdesign

- Zagato

- Bertone

- Marcello Gandini

- Centro Stile Maserati

- other








From: December 01, 2024
To: June 01, 2025
6 cars are counted for this anniversary

Maserati. One of the most glorious brands in the history of the motor-car but also one of the oldest of the sports brands. It was the first to be launched in Emilia (starting what would become Motor Valley) in 1914 - 33 years before Ferrari and 50 years before Lamborghini and De Tomaso. When Enzo Ferrari started thinking about races, Maserati vehicles had been winning competitions and beating records for years. The whole Maserati family was dedicated to engines, infected by this ‘virus’, starting from Carlo, the eldest, who died prematurely. Four Maserati brothers designed, built and sometimes drove motor-cars, all self-made in small workshops in Bologna. The sixth brother was an artist and he designed the symbol of the Trident. The Maserati brothers created racing cars of all types - single-seaters and sports cars, from 4 to 16 cylinders, which, driven by the best drivers of the time, like Nuvolari and Varzi, triumphed around the world, from Rome to Indianapolis. They also set technical and speed records. The only problem was money, of which there was often a shortage. This aspect would become a constant, almost a malediction, in the history of the brand - 110 years, many of which have been in difficult economic conditions; five transfers of ownership, sometimes taking place to avoid closure. Just before the Second World War, the Maseratis sold to the businessman Adolfo Orsi, who transferred the headquarters of the company to his hometown Modena. The Maserati brothers stayed in the company for some years and then they left. The Maserati continued to race with Orsi, on the road and the track, and won a lot, from the great endurance races to the F1 world championships, through drivers of the calibre of Fangio and Moss, and first-class technicians, like Mr Alfieri. However, after these sports successes, Orsi decided to concentrate on the production of grand tourer road vehicles. Maserati customers were now no longer just drivers but also actors, industrialists and monarchs. To satisfy their taste, which often demanded the greatest exclusivity, Maserati used various coachbuilders (Touring, Frua, Vignale, Ghia and others) which, in addition to ‘standard’ vehicles, created various unique models. Adolfo Orsi also had an idea which became the first sports saloon in history, the Quattroporte. However, the world was changing quickly and, in 1968, the Orsis decided to sell to Citroen. The French industrialised and expanded the company but abandoned it after a few years because of their financial problems and the oil crisis. The Italian government intervened, making the resources to continue available, and passed the tiller to Alejandro De Tomaso, who suggested a new project - an accessible Maserati, the Biturbo. There was an initial boom in sales of this model, which gave the company coffers the space necessary to go on, but there was then another crisis and survival was once again at risk. Then Fiat took it over and entrusted the task of resurrecting the image and sales to Ferrari. The historic rivals of the past managed Maserati for eight years, returning it to Fiat restructured and healthy, with many important sports successes of the MC12 as a dowry. Maserati continued its development and reached its centenary in good health, with sales records and ambitious projects on the horizon, and financially solid as has happened few times in its tormented yet fascinating history.

 

1914-2024: 110 years of Maserati

 

AUTOMOTIVE MASTERPIECES pays homage to the Maserati 110th Anniversary with an exhibition on the brand which aims to bring together as many significant and particular specimens of the brand as possible. A large virtual exhibition which will reunite the most prestigious Maserati models scattered around the world, contextualising them within the history of the brand. The vehicles will be visible in the exhibition from different, interconnected points of view, and linked to other associated exhibitions.

Maserati has had a long, troubled history in which there have been various owners. Each of these has made their mark on the management of the company and its creations. As a result, the exhibition will be divided chronologically into different sections, to navigate through the complex facets of Maserati history. Each section will correspond to different historical phase roughly corresponding to an owner. This there will be a section on the cars of the pioneering years of the Maserati brothers, when the company basically produced racing vehicles, all self-made in small workshops in Bologna. Then there will be the vehicles of the 30-year period when the Orsi family of Modena ran the company, florid years in which the commitment to racing continued before turning to the production of very high quality grand tourers for roads.


After the brief Citroen period lasting just a few years in which there was a progressive industrialisation of the company, we reach the management of Alejandro De Tomaso who, financed by the Italian state, extended production to make the Maserati brand accessible to a wider clientele. Lastly, the current owner, Fiat which, for 20 years, has continued its incessant work of brand revaluation, also using the co-operation and synergies of Ferrari, which managed its old rival directly for some years, even taking it to victory in competitions of a certain level, for some aspects.

 

Another more or less compulsory criterion with which to divide the models when we talk of Maserati is that of separating the two spheres in which the company has operated for most of its history - racing and the production of road vehicles. This is why a distinction is made between these two types of vehicle in each section.

 

However, the Maserati brand also has another particularity. It has never had a reference ‘tailor’, as happened for other brands, but has alternated between the best bodybuilders existing in the various epochs for its road vehicles - from Pininfarina to Touring, Frua to Giugiaro, Vignale to Zagato and yet others. Therefore, among the various viewpoints from which this exhibition on the Maserati can be seen there will also be one cataloguing the different models according to the bodybuilder used.

 

 

The exhibition will be shaped through a census of the most significant Maserati models existing, starting on 1 December 2024 (at exactly 110 years from the foundation of Maserati) and will last about six months. In the exhibition, each of the vehicles will be shown through its own website, which will not only present pictures but also describe the history of the model in general and the specimen in particular. This will give an additional chance to travel through the century of history, which can be run following the gradual evolution of the models. As the census of a vehicle is completed, its site will go on-line, creating a preview of the exhibition which will be slowly implemented, also intersecting with other exhibitions, such as, for example, those on bodybuilders (the exhibitions relating to Bertone and Zagato Maseratis are under construction), or the drivers, thus with the development of new points of view.

 

Some interviews of the most important people in the history of Maserati who are still alive, from the drivers to the technicians who contributed to creating the cars, will complete the exhibition. 

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The Curators

Curators are the journalist Claudio Ivaldi and the general coordinator Automotive Masterpieces Sandro Binelli. They will involve some historic Maseratis on which they dedicate specific investigations.

 

Claudio Ivaldi has been a passionate fan of the Maserati brand since childhood, perhaps marked by destiny as he was born in Voghera, where the Maserati brothers were also born. He has been active in associations on the brand for years, being Secretary of the Maserati Club Italia, which he helped to found and for which he organises events and meetings. As a journalist, he also works with some sector magazines, writing articles on Maserati and taking part in events in Italy and abroad.

 

Alongside Mr. Ivaldi, Sandro Binelli, enthusiast about design and history of the automobile, former organizer of the Mille Miglia from 2008 to 2012 and the concourse uniques special ones in Florence and St. Petersburg. Sandro Binelli today is General Coordinator of Automotive Masterpieces.





Cars that have joined the lab


Chronological point of view on the ownership and management of the company:

- Section Fratelli Maserati era – from 1914 to 1937

- Section Famiglia Orsi era - from 1937 to 1968

- Section Citroen era - from 1968 to 1975

- Section De Tomaso era - from 1976 to 1992

- Section Fiat era - from 1993 to today

 

Point of view by type and intended use of the vehicles:

- racing car section

- road vehicle section

 

Point of view by Coachbuilder:

- Fantuzzi

- Touring Superleggera

- Vignale

- Frua

- Ghia

- Allemano

- Pininfarina

- Italdesign

- Zagato

- Bertone

- Marcello Gandini

- Centro Stile Maserati

- other

List divided by Coachbuilder

 

- Fantuzzi:

all racing cars, singol-seater and sports until 1957

Prototypes and one-off: 150 GT Spyder (vettura stradale)

 

- Touring Superleggera:

Production car: 3500 GT

Prototypes and one-off: 3500 GT, 3500 GT Cabriolet, 5000 GT, A8GCS, Bellagio

 

- Vignale:

Production cars: 3500 GT Spyder, Sebring, Mexico, Indy

Prototypes and one-off: A6G 2000, 3500 GT “Roadster“, 5000 GT

 

- Frua:

Production cars: A6G/2000 Gran Sport Spider, A6G/54 Spider, Mistral, Quattroporte, Kyalami.

Prototypes and one-off: 3500 GT, 3500 GT Spyder, 5000 GT, Mexico, Quattroporte II V8

 

- Ghia:

Production car: Ghibli

Prototypes and one-off: 5000 GT, Simun

 

- Allemano:

 Production cars: A6G/54, 5000 GT “Indianapolis”

 

- Pininfarina:

Production cars: A6 1500, A6G 2000,  Quattroporte V, GranTurismo, GranCabrio

Prototypes and one-off: A6GCS Berlinetta, 5000 GT, Birdcage 75th

 

- Italdesign:

Production cars: Bora, Merak, Quattroporte III, Serie 138 (3200 GT / Spyder / Coupè / GranSport), MC12

Prototypes and one-off: Boomerang, Coupè 2+2, Medici, Buran, Kubang

 

- Zagato:

Production cars: A6G/54 Berlinetta , Biturbo Spyder

Prototypes and one-off: V4 Sport, A6G/54 Spyder, 450S berlinetta Costin, GranSport

 

- Bertone:

Production cars: Khamsin, Quattroporte II

Prototypes and one-off: 3500 GT, 5000 GT

 

- Marcello Gandini:

Production cars: Shamal, Barchetta, Ghibli II, Quattroporte IV

Prototype and one-off: Chubasco

 

- Centro Stile Maserati:

Biturbo (tutte le versioni chiuse fino al 1989), Karif, 228: Pierangelo Andreani

Quattroporte VI, Ghibli III, Alfieri, Levante. (Ramaciotti, Tencone, Ribotta)

 

- other:

Prototypes and one-off: Boneschi (3500 GT), Monterosa (5000 GT), Sports Cars (Birdcage 2472), Scaglione (Tipo 64), Embo (Biturbo cabrio), Opac (Spyder)




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