100 years of Maserati 0

maseratiMaserati reach their 100th year anniversary this week. We take a look at some of the Italian company’s best cars and toughest times during their 100 year history.

How it Maserati started

Founded in 1914 on December the 1st, the company would go on to achieve great things. Alfieri, Bindo, Ettore and Ernesto, the Maserati brothers started the company by building racing cars and developing spark plugs.

The first car produced by the company, the Tipo 26 was built in 1926. It managed to achieve victory on its racing debut. The company’s famous logo was created during era too.

However in 1932, just six years later Alfieri Maserati passed away due to liver complications. He will be honoured at the Geneva Motor Show next year with the Alfieri sports concept car being revealed.

The 8CTF winning the Indianapolis 500

In 1937 the three remaining brothers sold shares to the Adolfo Orsi family. The company then moved to Modena, and has remained there since.

More success was to come, with the Maserati 8CTF managing to win the Indianapolis 500 in 1939 and the 1940.

The Maserati brothers helped the Italian army during the World War II. They put all of their energy and focus into building machineries in order to assist with the country’s effort.

The Maserati brothers leaving the company

The Maserati brothers were eventually forced out of the company by Orsi. Engineers from Fiat and Alfa Romeo were drafted in, which prompted the brothers to leave and starting a new car company named OSCA.

Along came the Maserati 4CLT, 8CLT, the A6 Series and the A6GS after being signed off by Orsi after the Maserati brothers exit.

Victory in Formula One

The company even launched the 250F model in order to compete in Formula One. The powerful car had a 2.5 litre straight six engine. This managed to develop 270 BHP and had a top speed of 180 MPH. The legendary Argentinian racer Juan Manuel Fangio, raced in the car in 1954 and returned to the car in 1957, managing to the win the World Championship in that particular year.

Focusing fully on luxury cars

After their racing car experience, Maserati decided to pull out of the motor sport altogether. From here they decided to focus their attention on luxury road cars. This is the era when the legendary 3500GT was built. 1959 saw the 5000 model, powered by a V8 produced. The Vignale-bodied Sebring came three years later.

The Mistral 2 + 2 coupé and Spider models came in 1963. The Quattroporte, the company’s first ever four door car also came along in the same year.

The Maserati Ghibli two seater coupé was first produced in 1967. The Spider variant of the car was released two years after. This magnificent model came with 330 BHP along with a 4.7 litre engine which was able to race from 0 – 60 MPH in just 6.8 seconds.

The 1980’s, a defining era

The 1980’s was a significant period for the company. It seems that there was more focus on affordable front engine coupes rather than mid-engined sports cars. The Maserati Biturbo model rivalled the likes of the BMW 3 series. It was developed as a coupe or a saloon and was able to hit over 130 MPH. However the car was not well received by the public.

In 1989 Maserati hit a low point after the production of the vehicle ‘Chrysler TC by Maserati’. The car was Dodge Daytona with a different badge on top of adopting a Chrysler body. The car wasn’t did not receive many positive reviews.

1990’s seeing the introduction of Fiat and Ferrari

In the 1990’s Fiat bought a 51% share of Maserati after Alejandro De Tomasso had a stroke. Fiat put in some very heavy investment into the Italian Supercar company. It was under Fiat when the Maserati 3200 GT was launched, in 1998. This turned out to be a pivotal point in the company’s history.

Ferrari took full control of the company after buying a 50 percent stake in the company from Fiat. Ferrari made Maserati their luxury division.

The introduction of the Maserati MC12 and Quattropole

2004 saw the Maserati MC12 supercar produced. This particular vehicle had its chassis based on the Ferrari Enzo. The car was made to signify the company’s return to motor racing after 37 years out. Plenty of power was able to be produced from the vehicle, as you may expect. The engine within was a 6.0 litre V12 which was able to produce a magnificent 620 BHP. From 0 – 62 MPH the MC12 could record a time of just 3.8 seconds. Just 55 of the models were made, making it a very exclusive car.

In the same year the Maserati Quattoporte was also released. It came with a 4.2 litre V8 which was able to produce a maximum of 395 BHP. This particular engine was also within the 4200 GT and the GranTurismo.

Maserati in the current era

Maserati made a profit in 2007 for the first time in 17 years under the Fiat Group ownership. Previously Ferrari had split from the company, being replaced by Alfa Romeo.

Maserati in the present day are planning to release their first ever SUV model. This will be named the Levante and will go on sale at the end of 2015. In the year after there is expected to be an Alfieri sports car, coming in both coupe and convertible variants. The Granturismo is expected to be replaced in 2018.