Since its foundation in 1914 Maserati has stayed true to its mission to ‘build ultra-luxury performance automobiles with timeless Italian style’. Maserati history includes some of the worlds most beautiful road cars and legendary racing cars.
It hasn’t always been easy. Away from the motor show spotlights and motor racing laurels, the Maserati story has involved changes of ownership and political struggles but despite these challenges, the marque continues to produce stunning vehicles and in 2014 celebrated its centenary.
Maserati history – origins
Founded in 1914 in Bologna, Italy, by four brothers. Three of the brothers built racing cars for Diatto. However, the push came in 1926 when Diatto pulled the plug on racing car production, setting the brothers on the course to produce their own car.
Backed by family friend and car enthusiast Marquis Diego de Sterlich, the four brothers quickly set to work founding the Maserati marque and developing a car that would be driven by Alfieri Maserati.
The first Maserati – the Maserati Tipo 26
The Tipo 26 was the first car to bear the Maserati marque. It was built on a Diatto chassis and featured a 1.5 litre engine. The car caused a real stir on its debut at the 1926 Targa Florio when Alfieri drove it to an impressive class victory. Maserati had arrived.
The famous Maserati trident badge
The trident badge was adopted at the suggestion of Marquis Diego de Sterlich and designed by Mario Maserati, an artist, and the only Maserati brother who was not involved with engineering. The Fountain of Neptune in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore inspired Sterlich’s suggestion of a trident symbol as it represented strength and vigour, as well as being the symbol of Bologna, the marque’s original home city.
Fiat took control of Maserati in 1993, since then the brand has grown. Their range of GT and sports saloons are still exclusive and oozing with style and Italian-glamour, but now produced in higher volumes to rival marques like Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
There are a number of car clubs on offer to Maserati owners and fans. Please see our Maserati Clubs page for more information.
Maserati currently manufacture the Ghilbi and Quattroporte luxury sports saloons and the Gransport and Grancabrio GT cars.