Like most Italian car makers, Maserati was also a family business, born out of pure passion for cars and driving. The Maserati brothers who joined forces to build the company, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Eltore, Ernesto and Mario, were all in some way connected with racing and cars.
On December 1, 1914, Maserati was established in the town of Bologna, Italy and shortly after it began building different racing cars. 3 of the Maserati brothers built racing cars for Diatto but when in 1926 production was suspended, they decided to make on their own models. Apparently, they knew a thing or two about how to put a car together for a race because one of their first creations won the Targa Florio race that same year.
Maserati cars quickly became more powerful, upgrading their engines from 4 cylinders to 6, then 8 and eventually 16 (two 8 cylinders engines mounted in parallel). The trident logo is believed to have been created by Mario, regarded as the artist in the family.
When Alfieri Maserati died 1932, the other brothers kept the company going and continued to build cars and race them. Five years later, in 1937, they sold their shares of the company to the Adolfo Orsi family but kept thier jobs in the company. One of the more important changes that occurred under Orsi management was the relocation of the company in Modena, Italy, where it still can be found to this day.
By now, Maserati cars were showing their mettle on the racing circuit, holding up to the likes of Mercedes, culminating with a win in 1939 of the Indianapolis 500 and again the next year. Their efforts were interrupted by the war, during which time the most notable endeavor was a plan to build V16 town car for Benito Mussolini faster than Porsche could build one for Hitler.
After the war, production resumed with the A6 series which was again destined for the racing circuit. The next step was to assemble a team that would build cars to rival Ferrari and Alfa Romeo on the circuit. In order to achieve this, new engines and chassis were required. It would be this team that will eventually come up with one of the most successful cars: the Maserati A6GCM.
With Juan-Miguel Fangio and other drivers at the wheel, Maserati managed to win the world championship in 1957 in the Maserati 250F. After that year, the company retired from racing after the Guidizzolo accident, but it still continued to build cars for racing customers. Instead, they turned their attention toward street cars.