Alfieri Maserati (1887—1932) was born in Voghera (Lombardy), Italy in 1887, and was one of seven brothers — Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ernesto, Ettore and Mario — who, with the exception of Mario, were all involved with bicycle, motorcycle and/or automobile manufacturing in some way. Brother Mario is believed to have designed the company's trident logo, based on one the Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune) statue in the Piazza Nettuno in Bologna.
Around 1903, Alfieri and Bindo Maserati began working for the Milan automobile manufacturer Isotta-Fraschini, and in 1905 Alfieri moved over to the bicycle manufacturer F.I.V. Edoardo Bianchi S.p.A. in Milan. In 1912, Alfieri and Ettore went back to Isotta-Fraschini for the next two years.
Maserati - The Marque
The first iteration of Maserati, Societa Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati, was born in 1914. In 1919, Alfieri Maserati founded Fabbrica Candele Accumulatori Maserati S.p.A., beginning as a manufacturer of spark plugs and accumulators in Bologna. During the early 1920s, Alfieri, Bindo and Ernesto built Grand Prix cars for Diatto in Turin. Diatto suspended production of their race cars in 1926, and the Maserati marque (Officine Alfieri Maserati S.p.A.) was officially born the same year. One of the first Maserati Grand Prix cars won the 1926 Targa Florio, driven by Alfieri Maserati.
At the age of 42, Alfieri Maserati died in 1932 from complications related to a crash during a race at Messina. Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore kept the firm alive until 1937, when the brothers sold their interests in the company to an Italian industrialist named Adolfo Orsi from Modena. Adolfo's son Omar was made managing director of the company in 1937, and the Maserati headquarters was relocated to Modena in 1940. The remaining three Maserati Brothers were retained by the new company's engineering team under ten-year contracts which terminated in 1947. Adolfo's brother Marcello ran the company's foundry division.
After the war, Maserati S.p.A. (Maserati Automobili) returned to building cars under the leadership of Adolfo. Under the direction of Adolfo's sister Ida Orsi, Fabbrica Candele Accumulatori Maserati purchased Italmoto in 1953, becoming Maserati S.A. of Modena. Italmoto was a Bologna-based motorcycle manufacturer that produced two-stroke 125cc and four-stroke 160cc motorcycles. After Italmoto's purchase, motorcycle production was moved to Modena.
1954 Maserati 160 Sport
Although Maserati motorcycles (Maserati S.A.) was not directly affiliated with Maserati's automobile division (Maserati Automobili), they were allowed to use the company's now-familiar trident emblem.
1956 Maserati 125 L/2T
Maserati's first in-house motorcycles were the Tipo 125/T2, based on the DKW design, and the Tipo 160/T4 based on the Italmoto 160 tourer. Maserati mopeds were offered in 50cc and 75cc versions, the Tipo 50/T2/U Turismo - the 'U' designation was for men (umino) - or the 50/T2/D Turismo for women (donne).
1957 Maserati 125 GTS
Maserati motorcycles were produced in 125cc, 160cc, 175cc and 250cc models with two-stroke and four-stroke engine configurations. Sport models included the GTS, T2/S and T2/SS. Four-stroke touring models included the Tipo 250/T4 Gran-Turismo Lusso and Tipo L/160/T4 Turismo Lusso.
At the height of production, the company's motorcycles were sold throughout Europe, North America and South Africa. Maserati's foray into motorcycle manufacturing was short-lived, and motorcycle production was discontinued in 1960, due to stiff competition from other Italian producers of light-weight motorcycles and scooters. Adolfo Orsi sold his interests in Maserati Automobili to Citroen in 1968.
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Officine Alfieri Maserati S.p.A.
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