Maserati has taken to SMMT’s Westminster headquarters to celebrate its centenary year. The display features Maserati’s current Ghibli and Quattroporte models as well as a 1963 Sebring Series 1.
Founded in 1914 by brothers Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ernesto and Ettore, Maserati became known for its race-prepared Isotta Fraschinis. By 1927, it had built its first racing car, which won the Italian constructor’s title at the hands of Ernesto.
This early victory set the precedent for decades of racing success. In the mid ‘50s Maserati dominated Formula One with the 250F, driven by the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss. Meanwhile, the innovative Birdcage sports cars saw success in endurance racing of the 1960s.
On the road, Maserati became known for its individual style, startling performance and outstanding luxury. Models such as the 3500GT brought a wealthy American and European clientele to Maserati, while the Merak and Bora in the 1970s were among the cream of the supercar crop.
Highlighting the manufacturer’s historical success, Maserati is showcasing a 1963 Sebring Series 1 in the SMMT showroom. Based on the Maserati 3500, the Sebring was aimed at the American market and named after Jean Behra and Juan Manuel Fangio’s victory at the 1957 Sebring 12 hour race in a Maserati 450S. The example on show is one of just three Series 1 cars still known to be on UK roads, and started life as a Maserati press demonstrator.
Maserati’s prominence as a luxury sports car manufacturer continues to this day, shown by the Ghibli and Quattroporte also on display. Heralding a new era for the manufacturer, the Ghibli is Maserati’s first premium E-segment car. A smaller, lighter and more affordable Maserati, the Ghibli has helped achieve significant registrations growth in 2014.
When the previous generation Quattroporte was launched in 2004, it marked a return to form for the Italian manufacturer, which had long been known for its four-door luxury saloons. The latest generation offers even greater levels of luxury, while boasting impressive weight savings and a new 3.0-litre diesel engine.