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Love and Rockets: From Zero to 100

  • Matt Crossman

 

<< 1913: Brothers Alfieri, Ettore, and Ernesto Maserati open an auto repair shop in Bologna, Italy. 

 

1920s: Inspired by the colossal statue of Neptune in Bologna, brother Mario Maserati designs the trident logo. 

 

1926: The Maseratis build their first car, the Tipo 26. Alfieri drives it to a win in the first race it enters—the Targa Florio, one of the oldest and most difficult tracks in sports car racing. 

 

>>1929: Maserati sets its first world record. Baconin Borzacchini pilots a 16-cylinder V-4 for 10 kilometers in Cremona, hitting an average speed of 246.069 km/h. The feat announces, in a blur, that Maserati will be a force in the racing world.

 

1937: Adolfo and Omar Orsi, father-son entrepreneurs from Modena, buy the company. The Maserati brothers agree to stay on for 10 years.

 

1939: Maserati becomes the first—and still only—Italian car to win the Indianapolis 500, with Wilbur Shaw driving the souped-up Boyle Special. Maserati and Shaw do it again the following year. 

<<1947: For the first time, Maserati builds a road car for daily use, and not for the racetrack. Its name, the A6, pays homage to Alfieri and the number of cylinders.

 

1954: The company’s first grand touring car, the Pininfarina-designed A6GCS/53 Berlinetta, debuts. Its lines—long and sleek, rounded at the front—define Maserati style for decades. 

 

1954: Juan Manuel Fangio drives the Maserati 250F to the company’s first F/1 championship. Fangio and Maserati win again in 1957. 

 

>>1957: The 3500 GT introduces the Maserati ethos of luxury car on the outside and racecar on the inside. 

 

1958: Maria Teresa de Filippis, driving a 250F Maserati at the Monaco Grand Prix, becomes the first woman to race in the F/1 series. 

 

1959: The Tipo 60/61, dubbed the Birdcage for its innovative and lightweight frame made of steel tubing, flies to victory lane at Nürburgring in ’60 and ’61. 

 

1963: The four-door Quattroporte brings raw speed to the sedan. 

<<1967: The first Ghibli rolls off the production line.

 

1968: French manufacturer Citroën purchases Maserati and struggles until 1993, when Citroën sells to Fiat. 

 

1978: Joe Walsh—in his ode to rock-star excess, “Life’s Been Good”—warbles, “My Maserati does 185, I lost my license, now I don’t drive.” He exaggerates: His 1963 5000 GT reaches only 175. 

 

1998: The Maserati 3200 GT debuts. It is the first Maserati built by Ferrari. 

 

2005: Maserati unveils the Birdcage 75, a concept car whose futuristic design makes spaceships look vintage.

 

2011: Maserati unveils an SUV concept. The highly anticipated Levante goes on sale in 2015.

2013: Bonhams sells a 1955 300S Sports-Racing Spider for $6.8 million, setting an auction record for the marque. 

 

>>2014: On May 25, the Boyle Special is taken out of mothballs for a 75th-anniversary victory lap at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Indy champ Johnny Rutherford at the wheel.  

 

 

 

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