Vintage News

6/20/2014 - Maserati Centennial Exhibit Opens At Enzo Ferrari Museum in Italy

Maserati racing legends take the front row; from left: Tipo 60 "Birdcage," Grand Prix racer 250F and 300S sports racer
(photo: courtesy Maserati N.A.)

Modena, Italy - If you're headed to Italy in the next six months, you may want to plan a side excursion to Modena's futuristic Enzo Ferrari Museum, where a century of Maserati race and road cars will be on display, along with an engaging show using 19 projectors that trace the marque's most significant moments and origins. Twenty-one iconic Maseratis will be on permanent display for the duration of the exhibition, with a total of 30 cars utilized over the six-month run through the end of this year.

"Maserati 100 -- A Century of Pure Italian Luxury Sports Cars" launched earlier this month with guest of honor Sir Stirling Moss, who achieve notable success for the Trident marque, along with cousins Carlo and Alfieri Maserati, sons of company founders Ettore and Ernesto Maserati who started the brand in 1914 with their brother Alfieri. Curator of the exhibition is Adolfo Orsi Jr., grandson and son of Adolfo and Omer Orsi, Maserati's owners from 1937-67. Also at the launch were Maserati CEO Harald Wester and Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo.

Among the cars on display from collectors around the world are the first Maserati, the Tipo 26; the V4 Sport Zagato which set the world speed record in 1929 with Baconin Borzacchini at the wheel; the 250 F which Moss took to wins in the 1956 Italian and Monaco Grands Prix, the same model with which Juan Manuel Fangio won the F1 world championship in 1954 and '57; the Tipo 60 "Birdcage" known for the slender metal tubing that comprised the front-engined sports racer's super-lightweight chassis; the road cars, including Maserati's first, the A6 1500 of 1947 bodied by Pinin Farina, the 3500 GT of 1957 and the 1965 Quattroporte, the "world's fastest saloon," owned by Italian film actor Marcello Mastroianni.

Ironically, as explained by museum director Antonio Ghini, Maserati's existence helped make Ferrari a success. Their rivalry grew as Enzo Ferrari raced Alfa Romeos in the 1930s and Maserati won the world's top race, the Indy 500, in 1939 and 1940. Things heated up post-war, on the track in the 1950s with Fangio taking both marques to F1 world championships and on the street in the 1960s as Maserati created grand touring cars to rival Ferrari's output, but Maserati's ownership changes cued also-ran status by the 1970s. Ferrari backer Fiat acquired Maserati in the 1990s, and the relaunch of new product with Ferrari input such as the Quattroporte in 2003 set the stage for a remarkable renaissance of the Trident marque, with the Gran Turismo and new Ghibli models sparking a sales explosion. Through May, Maserati's U.S. sales more than tripled, to 4,476 vehicles, and the company is sure to set a record of more than 10,000 sales in America this year.

Maserati is the featured marque at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in August, and various celebrations to mark the centennial are planned around the globe. For more information visit: www.maseratiusa.com

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