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Maserati

Maserati 300 S Sports Car

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Maserati 300 S
 
Maserati is an Italian manufacturer of racing cars and sports cars, established in December 1 1914 in Bologna.[1] 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 is a luxury car manufacturer competing directly with Aston Martin and Jaguar, and sometimes with large German mass-producers, including Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
 

New 2007 Maserati Granturismo Coupe

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History

Comment "I HAVE A MAS! IT IS WITH-OUT A DOUBT A GREAT CAR. I DRIVE IT MORE THEN I DO MY OTHER CARS', LAMBO, FERR, POR& HUMM. ALL I CAN SAY IS I LOVE IT! BUY ONE; YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!?!"

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The 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's trident emblem, based on one of Bologna's civic symbols: the statue of Neptune in one of the city's main squares. Alfieri Maserati died in 1932 but three other brothers, Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races.

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Orsi ownership

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,[1] 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.

Maserati Birdcage Sports Car

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Maserati "Birdcage"

The 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 town car 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.

The famous Argentinean 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.

After 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 aluminium 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 Coupť (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.

 

CitroŽn ownership

In 1968 came a great changeópurchase by CitroŽn. Adolfo Orsi remained the nominal president, but Maserati changed a great deal. New models were launched, and built in much greater numbers than before. CitroŽn borrowed Maserati expertise and engines for the CitroŽn SM and other vehicles, and Maseratis also incorporated CitroŽn technology, particularly in hydraulics.

New models included the Maserati Bora, the first mass-produced mid-engine Maserati, in 1971, and the Maserati Merak and Maserati Khamsin soon afterwards; the Maserati Quattroporte II, which shared some parts with CitroŽn SM, never came into production. The 1973 oil crisis, however, put the brakes on this ambitious expansionósuddenly, the demand for fuel-thirsty sports cars shrank. CitroŽn went bankrupt in 1974 and on May 23, 1975, the new controlling group PSA Peugeot CitroŽn declared that Maserati also was in liquidation. Propped up by Italian government funds, the company stayed alive, if barely.

1959 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe Car

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1959 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe

De Tomaso

1975 saw the company back on its feet with Alessandro de Tomaso,[4] 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 CitroŽn and install him as its head. New models were introduced in 1976, including the Maserati Kyalami and the Maserati Quattroporte III.

The 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.The Maserati Biturbo has been declined in a large number of models, all sharing key components among which a short two door coupe Maserati Karif and a cabriolet, the Spyder, designed by Zagato. The last version of the Maserati Biturbo was called Maserati Racing. It has been a transitional model in which several features to be found on the Ghibli II and the Shamal were tested. Two new coupes, the Maserati Shamal and Maserati Ghibli II, were released in 1990 and 1992, respectively.

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The company also worked loosely 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 that took much too long to introduce on the US market.

There were also two further very challenging projects:

  • the Chubasco a V8 mid-engine sports car, unfortunately due to lack of funding remained a dream.
  • the Maserati Barchetta a small open top mid engine sports car, designed by Synthesis design [1](Carlo Gaino) ; unfortunately very few cars were produced.

Fiat ownership

1993 saw the company acquired by Fiat. Substantial investments were made in Maserati, and it has since undergone something of a renaissance.

Maserati Sebring Car

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Maserati Sebring

In 1999 a new chapter began in Maserati's history when the company launched the 3200 GT, the only "Fiat Maserati". This two-door coupť is powered by a 3.2 L twin-turbocharged V8 which produces 370 hp (276 kW); the car does 0Ė60 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 Coupť (hardtop) and Spyder (convertible model).

Ferrari

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).[1] In 1999 Ferrari took full control, making Maserati its luxury division. A new factory was built, replacing the existing 1940s-vintage facility. Ferrari is credited for bringing Maserati back into business, after many lacklustre years of Maserati teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

More recently, Maserati discussed 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. This discussion has since been abandoned since Volkswagen owns two of Ferrari's direct rivals, Lamborghini and Bugatti.

Meanwhile two new models have been shown to the public: the MC12 road supersports and successful GT racer with an Enzo FerrariĖderived chassis and engine. And the Quattroporte, a high luxury saloon with the 4.2l V8 engine. Maserati is nowadays back in the business, very successfully selling on a global basis. In 2001 year Ferrari has decided to throw away all the old instruments and installed high-tech devices in the Modena's( Northern Italy) factory. In 2001 Maserati's factory became one of the most advanced in the world

Today

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 marquees, 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. In the second quarter of 2007 Maserati made profit for the first time in the 17 years under the Fiat Group ownership.[2]

Maserati Quattroporte Car

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Maserati Quattroporte

Current Models

Present production includes:

  • Coupť a two-plus-two coupť.
  • Spyder two-seater roadster version of the Coupť.
  • Quattroporte (Italian for four-door), a sporting-luxury four-door sedan.
  • GranTurismo is the new four seat coupť.

Since early 2002 Maseratis are once again being sold in the United States market, which has quickly become for Maserati the largest market worldwide. 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 have been sold for about US$750,000 each.

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Comments, Questions & Answers

I HAVE A MAS! IT IS WITH-OUT A DOUBT A GREAT CAR. I DRIVE IT MORE THEN I DO MY OTHER CARS', LAMBO, FERR, POR& HUMM. ALL I CAN SAY IS I LOVE IT! BUY ONE; YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!?!

 

Maserati 200SI 1957

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1957 Maserati 200SI

 

 

Text and images from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia. under the GNU Free Documentation License  - Disclaimers  Please verify all information from other sources  as no liability can be accepted for the accuracy of this page.Published by Y2U.co.uk

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