Maserati celebrates 100 years

Maserati celebrates 100 years

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A century of pure Italian luxury sports cars retraces the 100-year history of the Maserati through an exhibition featuring some of the brands most significant road and racing cars

The Maserati exhibition encapsulates the two spirits of the company: the initial “sports” vocation that characterised the period from the early 1920s until the end of the 1950s, followed by a shift in focus to road-going models, a period that testified to the company’s coming-of-age as a car manufacturer.

The move away from sports racing cars to road vehicles was typified by Maserati announcing new dealerships in Australia and New Zealand.

The brand’s Aussie dealer network is in expansion mode. Existing dealerships are extending their facilities and increasing resources for a big sales push, and the network is growing too, with Zagame Automotive, behind a new dealership in Melbourne and McCarroll’s opening a new Maserati showroom in North Sydney, according to motoring.com.au.

There are plans afoot for a new dealer in south-east Queensland, to take advantage of the local arrival of the Levante SUV in 2016. There’s a stand-alone dealer in Adelaide, effective from late last year, and the land of the long white cloud is not immune either, with an Auckland dealer opening its doors this year.

Staffing levels have doubled at the wholesaler too, with what a Maserati spokesman describes as a “massive training program for technical staff” in progress.

Among the highlights of the exhibition are cars like the Tipo 26, the first car to sport the Maserati marque; and the V4 Sport Zagato, which set the world speed record in 1929 driven by Baconin Borzacchini.

The inauguration was attended by the chief executive officer of Maserati, Harald Wester, and the chairman of Ferrari, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.

They were joined by the cousins Carlo and Alfieri Maserati, sons, respectively, of Ettore and Ernesto Maserati, the two brothers who in 1914, together with Alfieri Maserati, founded the company that still bears their name today.

The guest of honour at the inauguration was Sir Stirling Moss, the 1950s Maserati racing driver who took incredible victories for the Trident marque. The curator of the exhibition is Adolfo Orsi jr., grandson and son of Adolfo and Omer Orsi, owners of Maserati between 1937 and 1967.

At the inauguration, Wester says: “the Centennial of Maserati could not have come at a better moment in our history. This exhibition, which retraces our first century of history, is truly one of a kind: never before have all these models which have shaped our history been gathered together under one roof.”

Staged in the Enzo Ferrari Museum, a stone’s throw from the Maserati headquarters in Viale Ciro Menotti, the exhibition will run until January 2015, it will be considered the biggest Maserati exhibition of its kind ever staged worldwide.

21 Maserati’s will be on permanent display for the duration of the exhibition and a total of approximately 30 will be admired over the course of the six-month run.

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