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Ends: 23:59 ET, 19th May
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Dwyer's AMG Group puts on an event for Maserati
is a famous Italian manufacturer of racing cars and
sports cars, established in 1914 in Bologna. The company's
headquarters are now in Modena, and its emblem is
a trident. Today, Maserati is owned directly by the
Italian car giant Fiat, after having been a part of
Ferrari for some years.
Maserati brothers, Alfieri Maserati, Bindo Maserati,
Carlo Maserati, Ettore Maserati, Ernesto Maserati
and Mario Maserati, were all involved with automobiles
from the beginning of the 20th century. Alfieri, Bindo
and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto.
In 1926, Diatto suspended the production of race cars,
leading to the creation of the first Maserati and
the founding of the Maserati marque. One of the first
Maseratis, driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio.
Maserati began making race cars with 4, 6, 8 and 16
cylinders (actually two straight eights mounted parallel
to one another.) Mario, an artist, is believed to
have devised the company emblem: a trident. Alfieri
Maserati died in 1932 but three other brothers, Bindo,
Ernesto and Ettore, kept the firm going, building
cars that won races.
In 1937 the remaining Maserati brothers sold their
shares in the company to the Orsi family, who in 1940
relocated the company headquarters to their hometown
of Modena, where it remains to this day. The brothers
continued in engineering roles with the company, however.
Racing successes continued, even against the giants
of German racing, Auto Union and Mercedes. In 1940
a Maserati won the Indianapolis 500, a feat repeated
the following year.
war then intervened, Maserati abandoning cars to produce
components for the Italian war effort. During this
time, Maserati worked in fierce competition to construct
a V16 towncar for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche
of Volkswagen built one for Adolf Hitler. They failed
in this endeavour and the plans were scrapped. Once
peace was restored, Maserati returned to making cars,
the Maserati A6 series, doing well in the post-war
racing scene. This was the last involvement of the
Maserati brothers, who after the 10-year contract
with Orsi, went on to form the O.S.C.A. car builder.
famous Argentinian driver Juan-Manuel Fangio raced
for Maserati for a number of years in the 1950s, producing
a number of stunning victories including winning the
world championship in 1957 in the Maserati 250F. Other
racing projects in the 50s were the Maserati 200S,
Maserati 300S, Maserati 350S, Maserati 450S, followed
in 1961 by the famous Maserati Birdcage. Maserati
had retired from factory racing participation due
to the Guidizzolo accident (1957), though it built
racing cars to be raced by others after that date.
1957, Maserati became more and more focussed on road
cars, and chief engineer Giulio Alfieri built the
6-cylinder Maserati 3500 2+2 coupe featuring an aluminum
body over Carrozzeria Touring's superleggera structure,
a design also used for the small-volume V8-powered
Maserati 5000. Next came the Maserati Sebring bodied
by Vignale and launched in 1962, the Maserati Mistral
Coupé (1963) and the Spider (1964), both designed
by Pietro Frua, and their first four-door, the Maserati
Quattroporte (1963), also designed by Pietro Frua.
The two-seater Maserati Ghibli coupe was launched
in 1967, followed by a convertible in 1969.
In 1968 came a great change - purchase by Citroën.
Adolfo Orsi remained the nominal president, but Maserati
changed a great deal. New models were launched, and
built in much greater numbers than hitherto. Citroën
borrowed Maserati expertise and engines for the Citroën
SM and other vehicles, and Maseratis incorporated
Citroën technology also, particularly in hydraulics.
models included the Maserati Bora, the first mass-produced
mid-engined Maserati, in 1971, and the Maserati Merak
and Maserati Khamsin soon afterwards, Maserati Quattroporte
II which shared some parts with Citroën SM never
came into production. The 1970s oil crises, however,
put the brakes on this ambitious expansion - suddenly,
the demand for fuel-thirsty sports cars shrank. Citroën
went bankrupt in 1974 and on May 23, 1975, the new
controlling group PSA Peugeot Citroën declared
that Maserati also was in liquidation. Propped up
by Italian government funds, the company stayed alive,
1975 saw the company back on its feet with Alessandro
de Tomaso, an Argentinian former racing driver, the
new managing director. De Tomaso had arranged for
the Benelli motorcycle company, which he controlled,
to buy Maserati from Citroën and install him
as its head. New models were introduced in 1976, including
the Maserati Kyalami and the Maserati Quattroporte
1980s saw the company largely abandoning the mid-engined
sports car in favour of squarish, front-engined, rear-drive
coupes, cheaper than before but with aggressive performance,
like the Maserati Biturbo. Two new coupes, the Maserati
Shamal and Maserati Ghibli II, were released in 1990
and 1992, respectively.
company also worked closely with Chrysler, now headed
by de Tomaso's friend Lee Iacocca. Chrysler purchased
part of Maserati and the two jointly produced a car,
the Chrysler TC by Maserati.
was also two further very challenging projects: the
Chubasco - a V8 midengine supercar - unfortunately
due to lack of funding stillborn. The Barchetta made
it to a racing model, 16 units produced plus 2 prototypes.
It featured a midengine V6 biturbo engine 2 L, a central
frame and a very light plastic body spyder, accelerating
the car to about 180 mph. The racing series Grantrofeo
Barchetta was held 1992 and 1993. The development
of a road version was stopped at a late stage and
today some cars hold a road title in Europe. The cental-frame
concept was survived on the De Tomaso Guara but the
frame of DeTomaso Guarà resulted around 13
cm. shorter because it was engined by a longer 8V.
1993 saw the company acquired by Fiat. Substantial
investments were made in Maserati, and it has since
undergone something of a renaissance.
1999 a new chapter began in Maserati's history when
the company launched the 3200 GT, the only "Fiat
Maserati". This two-door coupé is powered
by a 3.2 L twin-turbocharged V8 which produces 370
hp (276 kW); the car does 0-60 mph in less than 5
seconds. Its top speed is an amazing 285 km/h (177
mph). With the addition of a Ferrari-designed and
-built V-8 and automated manual transmission for the
2002 model year, this car continues to be produced
today as the Coupé (hardtop) and Spyder (convertible
In 1997, Fiat sold a 50% share in the company to Maserati's
long-time arch-rival Ferrari (though this was, and
is, itself controlled by Fiat). In 1999 Ferrari took
full control, making Maserati its luxury division.
A new factory was built, replacing the existing 1940s-vintage
recently, Maserati has signed an agreement with Volkswagen
for the German company to share its Audi division's
Quattro all-wheel-drive technology (originally meant
for the still-born Maserati Kubang sport-utility vehicle
concept) for Maserati's current Quattroporte platform.
The agreement has been made on the condition that
there will be no corporate espionage or reverse engineering,
since Volkswagen owns two of Ferrari's direct rivals,
Lamborghini and Bugatti.
two new models have been shown to the public: the
MC12 road supersports and successful GT racer with
an Enzo Ferrari derived chassis and engine. And the
Quattroporte, a high luxury saloon with the 4l V8
engine. Maserati is nowadays back in the business,
very successfully selling on a global basis.
In 2005, as a consequence of the termination of the
agreement between Fiat and General Motors under which
GM may have been obliged to buy Fiat's car division,
Maserati was separated from Ferrari and brought back
under Fiat's full control. Fiat plans to create a
sports and luxury division from Maserati and another
of its marques, Alfa Romeo. GM had to pay Fiat around
$2,000,000,000. Maserati sold 2,006 cars in the United
States for all of 2005.
See List of Maserati vehicles for a complete historical
A Maserati MC12
A Maserati QuattroportePresent production includes:
a two-plus-two coupé.
Spyder two-seater roadster version of the Coupé.
Quattroporte (Italian for four-door), a sporting-luxury
Maseratis are once again being sold in the lucrative
United States market, and the company has also re-entered
the racing arena with their Trofeo and, in December
2003, the Maserati MC12 (formerly known as the MCC),
which took part in select GT races in 2004. The MC12
is based on the Enzo Ferrari supercar; 50 street-legal
homologation models will be sold for about US$750,000
Quattroporte was donated to the President of Italy.
the television series Desperate Housewives, Eva Longoria's
character Gabrielle Solis drove a black Spyder throughout
the first season, and at the beginning of the second
season. It was later replaced by a maroon Aston Martin
DB9 Volante, as an anniversary present to herself.
the television series Entourage, Eric receives a silver
Quatrroporte from his friend Vince Chase in Season
Day 6 of the television series 24, McCarthy drives
a silver Quatrroporte.
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