On December 1, 1914, three of the seven Maserati brothers, led by Alfieri Maserati, established the eponymous Societá Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati in Bologna. The brothers, each a savvy mechanic in his own right, banded together to prepare client cars for racing duties.
Thus began a family dynasty that has now stretched nearly a full century, one filled with engineering savvy and racing success. There were interruptions along the way; during the First World War, two of the brothers, Alfieri and Ettore Maserati, were called to serve in the Italian army. Also, a number of their clients fell by the wayside as the European economy struggled in the 1920s.
This latter development led to the name “Maserati” first appearing on a car in 1926—the appropriately named Tipo 26—as the brothers transitioned from mere garagistas to full-bore constructors. Since that time, the Italian brand has been responsible for some of the most iconic cars of all time, including the 250F Grand Prix car, the Tipo 61 Birdcage, and the glorious 3500GT.
In recognition of the brand nearing its century mark, Maserati has launched a microsite, maserati100.com, to showcase its achievements over the years. The timing for this auspicious occasion could not be any better; in 2013, Maserati moved a record number of cars off the showroom floor, the majority of them the all-new Ghibli and Quattroporte.
These two sedans have been specifically designed to appeal to a wider base of customers. The latest version of the Quattroporte has grown in size to better capture the attention of buyers in growing markets such as China. Meanwhile, both the Quattroporte and the Ghibli are available with a very slick all-wheel drive system that will generate real traction with Canadian drivers. Without a doubt, the carmaker is set to begin its second century with huge momentum.
At the moment, the Ghibli and the Quattroporte are the least expensive cars in the world to feature Ferrari-built engines. As soon as more people become aware of this fact, look for these sedans to give Audi, BMW, and Mercedes a real challenge. This coming year will also see the introduction of the Maserati Levante, a sure-to-be-stylish SUV based on the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, one of the most capable off-road vehicles on the market.
To top it all off, there will also be plenty of official occasions leading up to the centenary this year, including a bestowal of honoured marquee status at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in March, the same designation at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Rolex Monterey Historic Races in August, and an official gathering at Maserati’s hometown in Modena in September.