History of Maserati
When, in 1914, the Maserati brothers founded the Officine Alfieri Maserati in the heart of Bologna, Italy, they could hardly have imagined the impact they would have on the world.
Alfieri, Ettore, Ernesto and Bindo were four brothers united by their unrelenting passion for cars and engines. Their vision, enthusiasm and expertise turned out to be the cornerstones of what would one day become a global brand, universally recognized as a symbol of motoring excellence.
This is Maserati’s story.
Ettore, Bindo, Ernesto and Alfieri II. The picture is taken before 1932 outside their first workshop in 11 Via de’Pepoli, Bologna.
Maserati prides itself on its long and glorious heritage
Officine Alfieri Maserati was founded on December 1, 1914, in Bologna, Italy. Since then, Maserati has played a consistently leading role in the development of the sports car and its culture. More than a century of activity has brought with it glorious achievements, both on the road and the track, as well as more challenging times, which have helped forge the company’s character and personality.
However, the history of Maserati involves more than its glorious sporting achievements and the launch of great road cars. The company has also developed industrially over the years. Its relocation from Bologna to the current site in Viale Ciro Menotti, Modena, in 1940, is one of the main events in its history.
But even today, its worldwide reach emanates from its historic Maserati headquarters. Maserati is now a global brand operating in more than 70 markets. Uniquely, Maserati has succeeded in embodying within its cars both heritage and innovation, memory and vision, the past and the future. Its heart may be in its Italian roots, but its eyes are firmly focused on the future.
Today, Maserati pride is reflected in the values that define the marque. In this section, you can relive Maserati’s enthralling history and get to know the people, achievements and cars that have made the brand famous.
The Trident, the symbol of a myth. The badge used on all racing cars in Maserati’s history, has remained constant throughout the evolution of the brand and its style, technology and performance, accompanying all the victories and successes of Maserati cars.
One figure of iconic importance in Maserati’s history has dominated Piazza Maggiore in Bologna since the 16th century. It was the city’s Fountain of Neptune that inspired the Maserati Trident logo, symbolizing both Bologna itself and the Maserati brand.
Around 1920, Maserati needed a logo that would ensure that its new car would stand out from the crowd. So it was decided that Mario Maserati, a talented artist and the only Maserati brother not to be obsessed by engines, should be commissioned to design the company logo. Mario drew inspiration from Neptune’s statue in Piazza Maggiore, its trident symbolizing strength and vigor. The red and blue that accompany the design are the colors of the banner of the city of Bologna, where Officine Maserati was located at that time. Inseparably linked to the brand, the Trident underlines the exclusive status of the firm’s cars and their identity as masterpieces of elegance, luxury and sports-car performance.
Awaken Your Soul
Since the dawn of time the Trident has been the symbol of courage and strength. Its origin is lost in the memory of time, but its power remains untouched.
Every Maserati has always been graced with an elegant, distinctive radiator grille, one with a very special meaning.
From the mid-1930s onward, radiator grilles became especially distinctive. The Maserati 6CM saw the first use of a new grille featuring chromed fillets with a rounded, extremely sinuous form. Similar shapes, with fillet grilles, also appeared on the Maserati 8CTF and the 4CLT, both cars which were to become part of the marque’s racing history.
The Maserati Tipo 26 had chromed trims on its grille, bringing prestige to the front end of the car and underlining its sporty elegance. As the years passed, new combinations were tried: the Maserati 8CM introduced a black grille with chrome edging that created a break between the colors of the grille and the bodywork, generating depth and giving the car an even more original look.
As the radiator grilles of its racing cars evolved, Maserati also paid great attention to styling the grilles of its road cars. One example is the Maserati A6 from the late 1940s, with its distinctive chromed grille that emphasized the car’s impressive front end. On some versions, such as the A6G/2000, the grille also included the Trident logo, placed in the center and highlighted by its chrome finish.
As the years passed, the cars’ power increased and engineers needed better cooling solutions. In the 1960s and ‘70s, as the design of the cars became more streamlined, radiator grilles varied a great deal from model to model. The radiator grille on the Ghibli had a chromed surround and a Trident badge in the middle, while the Indy did not have a grille as such, since the engine was cooled by a number of air inlets in the underside of the nose.
Radiator grilles continued to evolve in the 1980s, with angular car features combined with simple but striking grilles, as in the case of the Maserati Biturbo.
The trend has continued through to the current design of the Maserati GranTurismo, with the chromed Trident badge proudly displayed on a black background, just as on the new Maserati Ghibli and Maserati Quattroporte, with their expressive grilles that underline their elegant, sporting personalities.
Evolution of style
Through the evolution of its designs, Maserati has led the way in automotive fashion, with unique cars, elegant yet athletic, always with highly personal and distinctive lines. From the rounded, curving details of the early years, Maserati automobiles gradually evolved to become larger, longer and more streamlined.
Then in the 1960s design evolved further, with clean lines, sinuous surfaces and a unique style recognizable all over the world. The shapes of the 1970s were more angular, as technological developments led to new aerodynamic solutions, flat lines and sharp edges. These forms evolved into the right-angled shapes of the 1980s and ’90s, which themselves opened the way for the sleek lines of today, more rounded but equally streamlined and eye-catching.
Over the years, Maserati has worked with many established engineers and designers, such as Giugiaro, Zagato, Ramaciotti and Pininfarina. Having worked together on several projects, Maserati and Pininfarina have created some of the most popular designs and concept cars of all time, including the Birdcage 75th, heralded as one of the most iconic Maserati models in recent history.
Following the Quattroporte, Pininfarina designed a new coupé which continues to have a profound impact on the history of Maserati and the motoring world. Stunningly beautiful, the GranTurismo took the Geneva Motor Show by storm in 2007.
In 2014, Maserati’s homage to its own sports heritage, the Alfieri Concept Sports Car, was revealed. This thoroughbred racing machine and masterpiece of automotive design is by no means a nostalgic, retrospective study, but a beautiful, visionary sculpture on wheels.
Meanwhile, following considerable investment in new production facilities, the company launched a four-door sports sedan and reintroduced the Ghibli name to a brand new and highly appreciative audience. Massively popular right from the start, the Ghibli ushered in the marque’s centenary year by achieving the company’s highest volume in sales to that date.
As sales continue to hit new heights, Maserati expanded its model lineup with its first-ever SUV, the Levante. Alongside the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranTurismo Convertible, for the first time, the Maserati range covers the whole of the global luxury automotive market.
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