For more than 100 years, Maserati has represented the best that Italian manufacturing has to offer. From racing machines to luxurious automobiles, Maserati has shaped how we think of cars and what cars other automakers should aspire to make. For many, a Maserati — any Maserati — is a dream car, blending awe-inspiring powertrains with bedroom poster-worthy designs. But how did the brand get to this point?
Maserati was founded in 1914 as a family business by Alfieri, Ettore, and Ernesto Maserati. Like their eldest brother Carlo, who had passed away four years before, Alfieri was a gifted mechanic. Unfortunately, the business had to be put on hold when the war broke out, with Ernesto — the only one not enlisted — running the workshop in Bologna while Alfieri began to design more efficient sparkplugs for planes.
When they returned, they were able to begin work in earnest. Their interest lied in making race cars, which they assembled out of modified parts, but they quickly discovered the quality of these parts was not up to their standards and, in the 1920s, they set out to build their own car from the ground up.
In 1926, Maserati and the now-famous trident were introduced to the world as a racing marque. The first race car, the Tipo 26, finished first in its class at its first race, immediately establishing Maserati as a name to take seriously.
Maserati would go on to score victory after victory across several major racing series throughout the following decades. In 1939, it became the first European brand to win the Indy 500. In 1954 and 1957, Formula 1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio drove a Maserati 250F to win two of his five drivers’ championship titles. Maserati also enjoyed success in the first era of the World Sports Car Championship, and was the manufacturer to beat in the 2000s with the powerful MC12.
Modern and future era
In 1993, after more than 40 years of on-track rivalry, Maserati and Ferrari were brought together by Fiat. This was the beginning of a new partnership marked by innovation and revolutionary designs that led to modern exotic cars like the Quattroporte and GranTurismo. Additionally, many of Maserati’s cars over the last few decades have been powered by Ferrari engines.
For Maserati, the future will be a mix of old and new. The automaker is launching a brand-new super sports car, the MC20, which heralds its return to motorsport. Additionally, it will electrify its entire range by 2023. If history holds true, Maserati will continue to be the standard for automotive luxury and performance as the industry heads into a new future. Be part of it at Maserati of Newport Beach.