Maserati Car Reviews and Road Tests

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Maserati

There were no less than five Maserati brothers involved in the racing of both cars and motorcycles. Alfieri, Bindo, Ettore, Ernesto and Mario made up the Maserati dynasty, tragically sixth brother Carlo died in 1910 and there was even a seventh brother that died at birth. In 1926 the five brothers built their first 1.5 litre racer, and soon after Alfieri had a class win in the Targa Florio.

Technically speaking, there was a Maserati car manufactured in 1925 for Turin manufacturer Diatto, this being manufactured as a Grand Prix car, however this was sleeved down to produce the first 1.5 litre Maserati. At first the brothers concentrated on the exclusive manufacture of racing cars, however in 1932 Alfieri was tragically killed in a racing accident. Mario left the business to become an artist, leaving three to carry on, however by 1937 the company was struggling and industrialist Adolfo Orsi gained a controlling interest.

The remaining brothers would sign a ten year consultancy agreement, however on its expiry they left the company to form OSCA sports cars. Orsi and his son Omer were forced to find somebody extremely talented to fill the void left by the departure of the Maserati brothers, and a genius they did find, in one Gioacchino Colombo (who had already gained experience at both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo).

He would oversee production of masterful race cars such as the 250F, which Juan Fangio piloted to victory in the 1957 Driver’s Championship. That same year the company released their first real road car, the 3500GT coupé. By 1966 the road-going line-up had swelled in number, to now include the Quattro Porte saloon, Mexico V8 coupe and Ghibli. These were all more traditional front engined cars, and Maserati being the company that they were (and still are) needed a mid-engined iteration to take the fight up to Ferrari – and thus begat the wonderful Bora V8 of 1971.

In 1971 the Orsi family sold their interest to Citroen, who wanted access to the technology of high performance engines to enhance the engineering on their upcoming SM coupe. In fact, the SM was quite a car, affording the best of French road-going design with one of the sweetest V6 engines under the hood, courtesy of Maserati. Citroën bailed in 1975, allowing Alejandro DeTomaso (with some financial backing from the Italian government) to take control, however it was always a struggle for survival for the company. Nevertheless some fantastic sheet metal left the company, such as the Kyalami coupe, Khamsin 2+2 and V6 engined Merak. In 1993 the company was taken over by Fiat.

Also see: Maserati Heritage
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Maserati 450S V8  

Maserati 450S V8

1956
The Maserati 450S V8 was a spectacularly fast contender for major sports car championship honours when it arrived on the scene at the end of 1956, but a number of trifling failures and misjudgements prevented it from showwing its full potential in a great many races during 1957. More>>
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Maserati Ghibli  

Maserati Ghibli

1967 - 1973
The Ghibli was seen as Maserati's answer to the Ferrari 275 GTB and the Lamborghini 350 GT. It was not as technically advanced as these two, but was a very attractive vehicle with its long lean shape. It was capable of reaching 241 km/h with its 4.7 V8 motor despite having a body made of steel. Later engines were 4.9 litre V8's which increased the top speed achievable to 265 km/h. It was smooth and relied on torque rather than power. More>>
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Maserati Bora/Merak  

Maserati Bora/Merak

1971 - 1980
When Lamborghini started producing the Miura, it was only a matter of time manufacturers like Maserati followed suit. The result was the 1971 Bora. Styled by Italdesign it was elegant but perhaps lacking a little animal beauty possessed by the Ghibli and Miura. It was incredibly fast, with its 4.7-litre V8 engine it could top 281 km/h. More>>
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Maserati Khamsin  

Maserati Khamsin

1974 - 1976
It was named after an Egyptian wind it was crafted in steel with its glazed rear panel being a standout. Air-conditioning was standard in these cars and they also boasted an adjustable steering column and hydraulic seats. More>>
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Maserati Kyalami

Maserati Kyalami

1975 - 1982
This Frua-styled two-by-two Kyalami hatchback coupe was originally designed for the 1976 Turin motor show. It combined all the traditional virtues of cars bearing the famous trident symbol – luxury, exclusiveness, and unquestionable power. Named after South Africa's Formula 1 circuit, the Kyalami was actually rushed into production after Alessandro de Tomaso took control of Maserati, and would remain in manufacture until 1982. More>>
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