The 100th anniversary of the founding of Maserati is being celebrated in grand style with a sweeping display of the historic marque’s most-significant automobiles at the spectacular Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena, Italy.
Dubbed “the greatest exhibition of Maserati cars ever staged anywhere in the world,” the show traces the history of Maserati through its collection of 21 cars that will be displayed throughout the six-month exhibit, plus about 10 others that will be rotated through because of outside appearances at other Maserati centenary events around the world.
The unique exhibit, named “Maserati 100: A Century of Pure Italian Luxury Sports Cars,” includes a colorful video show that uses 19 projectors to enable visitors to relive significant moments in Maserati’s history and meet the people who shaped it. The Maserati exhibition will run through January 2015.
“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,” said Maserati CEO Harald Wester at the dedication of the show.
The Maserati exhibition displays the two sides of the company: the initial “sports” vocation from the early 1920s until the end of the 1950s, followed by a shift to road-going models that heralded the company’s coming-of-age as a car manufacturer.
Among the featured cars are the Tipo 26, a racer unveiled in 1926 as the first car to sport the Maserati Trident badge; the V4 Sport Zagato, which set the world speed record in 1929 driven by Baconin Borzacchini and was re-bodied in 1934 by Zagato; and the legendary Maserati 250F, winner of the Formula 1 World Championship with Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954 and in 1957, the year when the Argentine ace triumphed after a fantastic comeback in the epic German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring circuit.
Racing great Sir Stirling Moss, who was guest of honor at the inauguration of the exhibit, drove this race car to some of his greatest successes. Moss drove many Maseratis to victory over his career, including another highlight of the exhibition, the Tipo 60 “Birdcage” sports racer that was famous for its ingenious lightweight chassis built from slender tubes.
Maserati’s first road car, the 1947 A6 1500 that was produced in limited numbers with a Pinin Farina body around a racing engine, shows the company’s start in sports touring cars. Ten years later, Maserati produced its signature 3500 GT, also on display.
The new Enzo Ferrari Museum, located near the Maserati headquarters in Viale Ciro Menotti, is dedicated to the birthplace and boyhood home of the founder and head of Ferrari and includes historic Ferraris and Alfa Romeo racing cars. Part of the exhibition is located in the large restored workshop where Enzo Ferrari’s father worked beginning in the last part of the 19th Century.
As well as being an exhibition of engineering and technology, the Maserati centennial display focuses on the especially important Italian automotive qualities of style and design. The cars on display are beautiful and evocative, and contain the DNA of any number of Italian design houses.
“For exclusive cars like Maseratis, style, together with speed and power, has always been a key element of success,” said Lorenzo Ramaciotti, head of the Maserati Style Center. “Maserati’s use of Italian designers who enjoyed the utmost freedom means that now, through the models on display, we can read a veritable anthology of designers at the height of their creative prowess.
“From Pininfarina, Touring and Frua to Bertone, Ghia, Giugiaro, Vignale and Zagato, all have contributed to the aesthetic heritage of Maserati with memorable models.”