Maserati's mission statement is to "Build Ultra-Luxury Performance Automobiles With Timeless Italian Style, Accommodating Bespoke Interiors, and Effortless, Signature Sounding Power".
Maserati is yet another luxurious Italian automotive company and was founded in 1914 in Bologna, Italy by Alfieri Maserati. 'Officine Alfieri Maserati SA' is the culmination of a strong technical interest and a drive for success following the tragic death of his older brother, Carlo Maserati in 1910. Carlo was an example for his five younger brothers who arguably helped shape the company they founded.
The famous Maserati Trident, designed by younger brother Mario Maserati, was inspired by the trident from the statue Neptune in Piazza Maggiore, Bologna.
The Maserati colours, red and blue, were taken from the banner of the city of Bologna, the home of Maserati.
The production of the first Maserati sports cars was marked by the acquisition in 1925 of ten Diatto 30 Sport chassis by Alfieri Maserati after Diatto, a racing company the Maserati brothers worked for, decided to give up racing due to heavy debts. This acquisition gave birth to the first Maserati sports car, the 'Tipo 26', named after the year of its successful debut. This was the beginning of successful racing involvement by Maserati which included the 1957 world championship with the 250F driven by none other than 5-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio, one of the best drivers of all time.
Maserati discontinued its factory racing participation in that same year in order to focus on road built cars.
Like many other automotive brands, Maserati's ownership has changed many hands over the years. After early financial backing of entrepreneur Adolfo Orsi, Maserati has been owned by Citroën, Chrysler and De Tomaso.
It is now owned in full by Fiat but its luxury car division is controlled by Ferrari (also owned by Fiat). Once arch rivals, Ferrari can be credited with bringing the struggling brand back into successful production as well as racing.
The MC12, based on the Ferrari Enzo chassis, won the FIA GT championships on three consecutive occasions from 2005.
A collection of vintage Maserati sports cars can be enjoyed at the Collezione Umberto Panini (CUP) located on the outskirts of Modena. Umberto Panini housed the 19 cars in 1996 in an attempt to prevent a piece of Emilia Romagna's rich automotive history being lost. Entry is free and by appointment only.
For opening hours, making an appointment and how to get there visit:
Written by Andrew Sestito
© Understanding Italy 2014
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