Italian luxury car manufacturer Maserati came into existence in December 1914. Six Maserati brothers– Alfieri, Carlo, Bindo, Mario, Ettore and Ernesto - were behind this famous automobile brand that has been an object of fancy of the rich and elite right from the start of the 20th century.
Maserati’s prominent trident emblem is believed to have been designed by Mario, one of the Maserati brothers who became a painter. The logo depicts a rose and is based on the Fontana del Nettuno, Bologna.
While Mario pursued his interest in painting, the rest of the brothers remained in the automobile business taking care of design and engineering.
One of the six brothers Alfieri started his journey in the automobile industry as a racing driver and won some major races. Impressed by his performance, Diatto gave him the opportunity to design cars as well as race for the company. Alfieri, Bindo and Ernesto went on to build several 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto.
When Diatto stopped manufacturing race cars, Alfieri produced the first Maserati – Tipo 26 that won its debut race, the 1926 Targa Florio. Following upon this success, Maserati went on to manufacture racing cars with 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinders. Even after Alfieri died in 1932, Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore continued making racing cars that won many championships. Maserati 8CTF was the only Italian car to win the Indianapolis 500 in addition to several other races.
The Maserati brothers sold their company shares (but continued their engineering role) to the Orsi family in 1937 after which the headquarters were shifted to Modena (current HQ).
With the Second World War, the priorities of the company changed as it started producing components for usage in the Italian war effort. After the war phase came the Maserati A6 series that was a roaring success in the racing arena.
After their 10-year contract with Orsi, the Maserati brothers formed OSCA. This new team at Maserati worked on several projects: the 4CLT, the A6 series, the 8CLT, and, pivotally for the future success of the company, the A6GCM.
The 1950s saw Argentinian driver Juan-Manuel Fangio winning many races for Maserati including the world championship in the Maserati 250F. As the 1960s drew to a close, Maserati was taken over by French car manufacturer Citroën in 1968. This was when Maserati Bora, Merak and Khamsin were launched. Maserati Quattroporte II never went into mass production but had seven made-to-order cars.
In 1975, an Argentinian racing driver named Alessandro de Tomaso bought over the company. From the year 1976, new Maserati models - Maserati Kyalami and Maserati Quattroporte III – were introduced.
After a hiatus of about 18 years, ownership changed hands again- this time, it was Fiat taking over the reins of the company in 1993. This was followed by the launch of 3200 GT and Maserati Spyder and Coupé in 2002. These cars were further replaced by the GranTurismo and GranCabrio.
A mere four years after it had taken ownership of the company, Fiat Auto sold 50% of its stake to Ferrari. The Italian racing giant made Maserati its luxury division and worked hard revive the brand that had come to the verge of bankruptcy.
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