The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto were all involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century. Alfieri, Bindo and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. In 1926, Diatto suspended the production of race cars, leading to the creation of the first Maserati and the founding of the Maserati marque. One of the first Maseratis, driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio. Maserati began making race cars with 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinders (two straight-eights mounted parallel to one another).
The trident logo of the Maserati car company is based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore. In 1920 one of the Maserati brothers, artist Mario, used this symbol in the logo at the suggestion of family friend Marquis Diego de Sterlich. It was considered particularly appropriate for the sports car company due to fact that Neptune represents strength and vigour; additionally the statue is a characteristic symbol of the company’s original home city.
Alfieri Maserati died in 1932, but three other brothers, Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races.
n 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to the Adolfo Orsi family, who in 1940 relocated the company headquarters to their home town of Modena, where it remains to this day. The brothers continued in engineering roles with the company. Racing successes continued, even against the giants of German racing, Auto Union and Mercedes. In back-to-back wins in 1939 and 1940, a Maserati 8CTF won the Indianapolis 500, the only Italian manufacturer ever to do so.
The war then intervened, Maserati abandoning cars to produce components for the Italian war effort. During this time, Maserati worked in fierce competition to construct a V16 town car for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche of Volkswagen built one for Adolf Hitler. This failed, and the plans were scrapped. Once peace was restored, Maserati returned to making cars; the Maserati A6 series did well in the post-war racing scene. (Photo jjnikonpix – Nikon D300 18-200 VR) Static display at Franschoek Motor Museum South Africa