26 June 2014
Last updated at 00:16
Italian luxury car manufacturer Maserati is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Six brothers - Carlo, Bindo, Alfieri, Mario, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati - were involved in establishing the family business, which aimed to build successful racing cars.
The company was set up in Bologna. In 1920 Mario Maserati, who was an artist, designed the company's logo - a trident, which he based on the one on the Fountain of Neptune in the central square of Bologna.
Maserati cars are set to feature at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, which begins on Thursday. The company set its first world speed record in 1929 when Baconin Borzacchini achieved an average speed of 246km/h (153mph) in his Maserati V4 in the Cremona flying 10km event.
In 1937 the family sold Maserati to Adolfo Orsi, who moved production to Modena. The remaining brothers stayed on for another 10 years in engineering roles. Before leaving the business, they designed the A6 in 1946, the first Maserati model designed for daily use. It was in honour of Alfieri Maserati, who died in 1932.
The launch of Formula One in 1950 saw much competition between Maserati and Ferrari. Maserati was not too successful initially but Argentine driver Juan Manuel Fangio won the world championship for the team in 1954 (shared with Mercedes) and 1957.
The 420M Eldorado, now on display at the Umberto Panini Museum in Modena, was built specifically for the 500 Miglia di Monza in 1958, when Stirling Moss raced for Maserati. The Eldorado was the first racing car in Europe to be sponsored completely by a company from outside the automotive world.
To compete in the World Sportscar Championship, the A6GCS/53 was developed with an engine generating 170bhp. An additional four A6GCS/53 Berlinettas (one of which is seen here) were designed by Pininfarina, made to order for the businessman Guglielmo Dei who had bought the chassis from Maserati.
The Merak Turbo was part of the Merak line introduced in the 1970s, essentially as a junior version of the Bora. The Merak went out of production in 1983.
Maserati's ownership changed hands several times before rival Ferrari bought a 50% stake in the company from Fiat Auto in 1997 and then took 100% control in 1999 (though Ferrari itself comes under the Fiat Group umbrella). Ferrari invested in building a new factory at Modena.
Like other car manufacturers, Maserati's sales were hit in the recession, but last year sales more than doubled to 15,400 vehicles, and it is targeting sales of 75,000 by 2018.
Though most models are manufactured in a second factory in Turin, the Modena plant employs 700 staff and produces the GranTurismo and the GranCabrio, as well as the Alfa Romeo 4C. The factory produces 19 Maseratis and 12 Alfa Romeos a day.
The eight-cylinder Ghibli was launched in 1967 with Maserati originally planning to produce 100 cars. But the model's success saw this immediately increased to 400.
The starting price for a Ghibli Diesel today is £48,835, plus any personalisation costs. "We don't want to lose the exclusivity of the brand," says Maserati's head of Europe, Giulio Pastore.
But analysts say that the expansion of its line-up, with models such as the Maserati Alfieri (pictured) and the company's first SUV, the Levante, indicate that it is trying to make its brand more accessible to a wider audience. (Pictures courtesy of Maserati and Helen Soteriou.)