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The evolution of the Maserati.

January 8, 2012 3 comments

 

The first all Maserati car - The Tipo 26.

Established on the 1st of December, 1914 in Bologna, Italy. Maserati is one of the oldest car manufacturers in the world.  There were in total 7 brothers in the Maserati family, 6 of who made the company – designs, constructions, engineering, concepts and drafts.  After the war, the company moved from Via dé Pepoli to new offices in the suburbs of Bologna. Alfieri who was one of the Maserati brothers, began his career as a racing driver. He won in the Susa-Moncenisio, the Mugello Circuit and the Aosta-Great Saint Bernard. After these victories, He was offered the chance to design cars for the company Diatto and to even race with them. He worked for the company till 1926 and after leaving he produced the first all Maserati car The Tipo 26. The car won it’s debut race and was driven by Alfieri Maserati himself.

In 1927, Alfieri had an unfortunate accident which led to him being sidelined but even this did not stop Maserati on winning the Italian Constructors Championship. In 1929, The V4 with a 16 cylinder engine made it’s debut and helped the company expand with it’s record breaking speed and power in the Italian Grand Prix.  In 1931 came the 4CTR and the front-wheel-drive 8C 2500, the last car to be designed by Alfieri Maserati, who died on 3rd March, 1932. An enormous crowd attended his funeral in Bologna, including workers from the plant, famous drivers, and ordinary people, who all wanted to show their affection for the great man. His death though, did not hinder the rest of the companies progress as the brothers kept their heads high and worked hard. In 1933 Tazio Nuvolari joined the team, making a significant technical contribution, particularly in fine tuning the chassis, adapting it to the characteristics of the new engine; Nuvolari won the Belgian Grand Prix, and those of Montenero and Nice. That was when Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union began a sustained assault on the racing scene, making life difficult for Maserati in the more important races. In spite of this, the company continued to notch up victories in more minor, national races, and this led the brothers to concentrate output in this area. In 1936 they found a patron in Gino Rovere who invested a great deal in the company and appointed Nino Farina, his ‘protégé’, as Chairman. The 6CM appeared, which gave Maserati the competitive edge in the voiturette class.

 

The A6-1500.

 

Maserati 250F

1937-1967 are the years most Maserati loyalists call the “Golden Years”. The company relocated from Bologna to Modena where it remains to this day. The company dominated the racing scenario even with strong competition from Mercedes, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. After the second world war, Maserati had matured in finances and tools, this helped them produce a car most people back in the day would call “magical”. This was the A6-1500 – The all new GT car for Maserati. The car notched up many wins till early 1950’s when Ferrari and Alfa Romeo also stepped up a gear to make life difficult. Gioacchino Colombo was appointed as the chief engineer. He modified A6 and laid the foundation for the 250F. 1954 saw the debut of the 250F in which it won the Argentine Grand Prix. The car helped them win many important victories. In 1957, the company officially announced it’s retirement from the racing scene but still kept building cars and prototypes for private teams.

Maserati Quattroporte - Launched 1963

Maserati 3500 GT -Launched in 1958

Maserati 3500 GTI – Also known as the Sebring, Launched 1962

Production of the 3500 GT, which was launched in 1958, began at the start of an important new era for Maserati and consequently the plant had to be expanded. Production cars and sales became the main goals and Maserati’s racing activities became of secondary importance.

The Sebring was presented in 1962 and the Quattroporte in 1963, the first Maserati 4-door saloon with a 90° V8 engine and a displacement of 4,136 cc. All these cars did reasonably well in the market but they never had the cutting edge over competitors.

In 1968, Maserati was taken over by French car manufacturers, Citroen. New models were launched and Citroen borrowed the Maserati experience and engineering diversity to their benefit. Maserati also acquired Citroen’s guidance and expertise particularly in hydraulics.

New models included cars such as the Maserati Bora, Maserati Merak, Maserati Khamsin and soon the Maserati Quattroporte II however with the Oil Crisis of 1973 and the massive decline in demand for these cars, Citroen went bankrupt and in 1975, the company was taken over by Alessandro de Tomaso, former Argentine racing driver.

Maserati Merak - Launched 1971

Under De Tomaso’s reign, Maserati produced a handful of cars which included rear wheel drive coupes at cheaper prices and better, aggressive performances. Maserati produced the Kyalami, Quattroporte III, Biturbo, Karif, Spyder, Shamal and Ghibli over the course of the next 16 years.

Maserati Kyalami - Launched 1976

Maserati Ghibli - Launched 1990

Maserati Quattroporte III - Launched 1979

In 1993, Maserati was now taken over by Fiat. Substantial investments were made and since then it has finally started to rejuvenate itself. 1998 saw a new dawn in Maserati’s legacy as they launched the 3200 GT. A car that caught the world by surprise and could reach speeds of up to 177 miles per hour and 0-60 in just 5.5 seconds.

Maserati 3200 GT - Launched 1998

Since then, Maserati in corporation with Ferrari produced the GranTurismo and GranCabrio. Both worked together till 2005 until Maserati were split off and merged into with Alfa Romeo. They made every competitor a friend and in 2007, they made their first profits since 17 years and were finally a company back on their feet. Nowadays, Maserati is considered to be a luxury car brand who produce a range of stunning vehicles that are truly a sign of engineering brilliance. It has been a long journey for Maserati but if the brothers were still alive today, they’d be proud.

 

 

 

Maserati GranCabrio - Launched 2011

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