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Maserati A Brief History of Early Italian Excellence

Maserati is a symbol of Italian excellence. The company itself uses its own name to market their new SUV, stating that the Levante is “The Maserati of SUVs.” Understanding where the passionate attention to handcrafted perfection comes from gives us all a lesson in perfection. The Maserati brothers are an example of a family’s legacy of excellence.


In the beginning, Maserati was just a dream. An idea tossed around by a young man named Carlo Maserati. At the age of 17, in the early 1900s, Carlo Maserati designed his first engine working for Fiat as a test driver – a single cylinder motor that he put into a wooden body. To many, this is considered the birth of the Maserati that we have come to know today.

1903- Carlo is hired by Isotta Fraschini. He brings his 16-year-old younger brother Alfieri with him. Carlo leaves Isotta Franschini in 1908, yet his brother Alfieri stays. Carlo is off to found his own company, which he does in 1909. Unfortunately, Carlo falls ill and dies in 1910. The example that Carlo sets before his death is all Alfieri needs.

1913- Alfieri moves to Bologna and founds the Societa Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati, which is a car garage with a workshop attached. Five months later WWI breaks out and Alfieri enlists.

Mid 1914- The end of WWI meant back to business for Alfieri. Using an old bottle factory, he moved his spark plug operation, which he started during the war, and officially opened up shop.

1915- Maserati creates special spark plugs for airplane engines, keeping the brothers safely away from the battlefields.

1920- Mario Maserati, an artist, creates the trident logo with inspiration from a statue of Neptune in Bologna. The trident symbol is still used by Maserati today.

1922- Alfieri wins Maserati’s first race, the Susa-Moncenisio in Diatto by a total engine redesign.

1932- Alfieri dies from complications in surgery and younger brother, Bindo, is named Chairman. Brother Ernesto is now responsible for the technical development of Maserati.

The Tipo V5 is debuted and the Maserati brand grows.


1937- To avoid strong pressure from Nazi Germany-sponsored Mercedes, Maserati sells the company to Adolfo Orsi. The three remaining Maserati brothers assume management roles in both companies.

1939-1940- Orsi-Maserati wins in Indianapolis, the first Italians to do so.

1940-1945- Maserati produces spark plugs and batteries for WWII.

1946- The first Maserati GranTurismo is unveiled in Geneva.

1948- The A6 1500 model is unveiled at the Turin Motor Show and Maserati wins the Grand Prix in Nice. The three living Maserati brothers Ernesto, Ettore, and Bindo return to Bologna and open OSCA specifically for race car development.


Maserati was born in the racing world. Between 1954 and 1961 a string of top five finishes distinguishes the brand – precursors to the world championships dominated by Maserati between 2004-2010.

The GranTurismo was widely accepted at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007.

2013 presented the sixth series of the Maserati Quattroporte, which combines the spirit of a grand-touring sports car with a style like no other.

In 2014, the Alfieri concept car was unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show. It shows that Maserati has racing running through its blood and that Maserati’s sports legacy is far from over.