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MODENA'S MASTERS

The eternally famous Trident of Modena have produced a number of incredible machines over the years, but which ones really stood out?

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Let light on 'lusso'.

1914

The Italian word for luxury is lusso, but it might as well be Maserati.

The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto, founded the company with a passion for engineering and racing.

Carlo, the eldest of the Maserati brothers, laid the foundations for the marque at the turn of the century, designing single-cylinder engines in his spare time while working as a test driver for Fiat and Isotta Fraschini.

The early years of Maserati were focused on developing racing cars, and the company quickly gained a reputation for producing powerful and innovative machines.

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At the start, the brothers would build cars based on leftover parts and test them at Mugello, but the rough track would mercilessly damage the test run. However they did learn one thing. The cars had to be built from scratch.

The Golden Era.

The titans of the Racing World.

The Trident shone it’s brightest in the 1950's. New regulations in Formula One meant the Championship was up for grabs in an all-out free for all, and Maserati did not waste a single second.

In 1954, its legendary driver Juan Manuel Fangio won the Argentine and Belgian Grands Prix for Maserati before defecting to Mercedes-Benz mid-series. By 1956, Fangio had signed to Ferrari, intensifying the Modena brand’s rivalry with Maserati. Fangio won the series for Ferrari, but returned to Maserati the following year to drive a bright red 250F to victory.

Following the success in motorsports, Maserati developed the 3500GT.

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A prototype 3500 GT known as “the White Dame” debuted in 1957 and caught the attention of Iran’s outrageously wealthy emperor. He challenged Maserati engineer Giulio Alfieri to build him something even more opulent, resulting in the 5000 GT, or “the Shah of Persia”. An eight-cylinder racing engine in a 3500 GT chassis.

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The Bona Fide Maserati.

The Bora, powered by Maserati's tried-and-true 90° V8, was a bona fide supercar that could reach up to 170 mph. It was the first Maserati with a mid-mounted engine.

 

The Bora was named after a brisk breeze that blows in from the Adriatic Sea's eastern coast, and its design was entrusted to Giorgetto Giugiaro and his recently established Italdesign company. Officine Padane manufactured the chassis in Modena.

The 1960s were a challenging time for Maserati, as the company struggled to compete with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. However, Maserati bounced back in the 1970s with the introduction of the Bora, a mid-engine supercar that was praised for its handling and performance.

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The new millennium.

After being acquired by Fiat, the brand underwent some minor revamps, a through push for the luxury sedans became the new face of Maserati.

 

The Quattroporte was one of them, a four-door brute which was arguably a Ferrari in sedan form.

Then of course came the birth of Maserati’s most iconic coupe, the Maserati GranTurismo. A two door sports car that embodies everything an Italian sportscar is supposed to be, sleek, stylish, and soulful.

Then there was the MC12.

The road-going MC12 was created to homologate a racing variant that went on to compete (and win) in the FIA GT Championship, marking Maserati’s return to racing after a long absence of 37 years. That explains the MC12’s race car appearance, although Maserati used the fighter jet-bodied Enzo Ferrari as foundation.

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Just like how they started - for the first time in over 20 years, Maserati has built a car from the ground up, the Maserati MC20 is a machine unlike anything else. Including an twin-turbo V6 called the ‘Nettuno’, it generates over 630 horses, and over 539 lb-ft worth of torque. All this turns this superlight 1,500 kg supercar into a speeding rocket ship straight out of Modena. The MC20's signature butterfly doors are a perfect example of the tasteful excess that can only come from Italy. In the best conceivable way, they scream luxury and overengineering while still being works of art.

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