History

The Family

Maserati was built on having a strong passion for racing and engineering. 

Rodolfo Maserati and Carolina Losi had six children; three of those children took their fathers passion for engineering and racing to heart, and eventually founded Maserati.  

Rodolfo's children were Carlo, Bindo, Alfieri, Mario, Ettore, and Ernesto. Ernesto, Alfieri, and Ettore will later open up the Officine Alfieri Maserati in 1914 in Bologna.


Before 1914, Carlo was working at a bicycle factory in Affori where he designed and built a single cylinder engine specifically made for bikes. This would later become the beginning foundation for the first Maserati engine. In 1901 he was hired to work for Fiat, he ended up bringing his brother Alfieri with him. Carlo's real passion was for racing in 1904 he moved to Milan as a test driver and assistant in the rehearsal room, he was later joined by Ettore and Bindo. With Ettore they decided to start their own business. However, Carlo's journey came to a sad end, he passed away at the age of 29 from lung disease. 

After the passing of Carlo, Alfieri was proving himself as driver at Isotta Fraschini (company based in Milan that specialized in producing Italian Luxury cars). Moving his way up in the company proving that he didn't just excel in mechanics but public relations. By the age of 27 Alfieri wanted to work together with his brothers. Ettore and Ernesto joined Alfieri to start their own company.


Originally, in 1914 the Societa Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati was a mechanical garage to help with car repairs. Two years later, Alfieri and Effore were called off to war leaving the garage in the hands of Ernesto. In 1916, Ernesto was also called off to war at the time not wondering what would happen to the garage. When arriving back to the garage, the brothers quickly discovered that the space was too small, eventually establishing a new headquarters in Bologna. The new building was overlooking the Via Emilia called Levante, which the first Maserati SUV was named after.


The SCAT

In 1919, the brother's shop was resuming repairs at full capacity which also included the development and modification of racing cars. At the time they had no intention of producing any racing vehicles, but wanted to race the cars themselves on the track. Alfieri in 1920, was ready to get back to racing. The brothers took a SCAT gearbox, bought a Isotta Frashini frame, and Rudge spoke wheels to make the "Special Type." The "Special Type" will be Maserati's first assembled car.

The Type 26

In the winter of 1925, the brothers dedicated themselves to produce their first racing car, they called it the "Type 26". The Type 26 was powered by 1500cc an 8-cylinder engine, and supercharged by compressor that developed 120hp at 5300 RPM. At this time Alfieri turned to his brother Mario for an emblem logo design for the Type 26.


The Trident

Mario, came up with the Trident logo because of the statue of Neptune in a fountain located in the center of Bologna. The Trident was carved into the right hand of the statue, which was later symbolized Maserati. The Type 26 will make its appearance in April of 1926, with the trident emblem, the number 5 and red for the Italian national racing color.  At this time the type 26 was incredibly popular. Every Italian driver wanted one. A man named Joaquin Palacio a driver would be one of the first people who Maserati would sell the race car to outside of Italy. Soon, only 43 would be produced in numerous variations.

After a serious racing accident in 1927 Alfieri was forced to give up racing and let Emilio Materassi take his place. Emilio would later become an Italian champion, with a long series of titles for Maserati. In 1929, Maserati obtained their first speed record, this record would stand until 1937. Not long after Alfieri's accident, he was forced to go into surgery to removed one kidney. Unfortunately, he never recovered and passed away on March 3rd, 1932, he was only 44.


Shortly after Alfieri's passing, Bindo joined Ettore and Ernesto in the business. They each had specific roles in the company at this time. Respectively president, project manager, and a test manager so they never had overlapping responsibilities this started the creation of corporate structure. The first car that was made out of this new structure was the Type V5.  



New to corporate, the Maserati brothers knew that they needed to do something to be able to enjoy economic tranquility. They turned to Adolfo Orsi, an entrepreneur that understood companies and could benefit from the visibility and prestige associated with the Maserati brand.

Moving the Company

 It is now 1937, Adolfo Orsi became the owner of Alfieri Maerati which built racing cars and Fabbrica Candele Maserati which produced spark plugs. Even though Adolfo owned the companies, the brothers continued in the business as consultants. They would still be designing race cars, helping with the development, and even bring them to the races. By 1939 the business moved from Bologna to Moderna.

The Maserati A6: A for Alfieri, 6 for the engine cylinders. Was born in 1947 right after the second world war, as the company went back to work making a car that can race and be on the street. They would continue the production until 1956.


The Beginning of Something New

In 1947, the Maserati brothers were forced to make a decision. Either continue consulting under Orsi or leave the company in which they founded that represented their last name. The brothers made the tough decision to leave the company they grew together to found OSCA (Officine Costruzioni Autimobili). At OSCA they would produce small-scale sports and competition car models. By 1964 the brothers sold OSCA to MV Agusta which closed in 1967. As for the brothers, Ernesto passed away in 1975, Bindo passed in 1980 and Ettore in 1990.

Maserati & Ferrari work together

Meanwhile, Maserati became an exclusive manufacture for road cars. In 1993 when two historic rivals join forces for the first time in history. Maserati and Ferrari designed the 3200 GT, a coupe that showcases a Ferrari engine but a Maserati aesthetic. This was the beginning of the iconic Spyder that we love!


Today

Today, the brand continues to innovate thanks to the launch of Levante, the Maserati of SUVs.