Brothers, brothers, brothers, the world is full of famous ones. There were the Marx brothers who made “talkies” all the rage. There were the Kennedy brothers whose lives were all but unfulfilled. Our very own town of Ashland has an eatery named after the male kindred. I never had the pleasure of having a brother by blood but have many friends who I consider brothers. I feel very blessed to have two sons who forever will be brothers and are certainly famous in my small world. Another set of brothers that rocked the European race car world were the Italian brothers Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto. Their passion for building Grand Prix race cars during the turn of the 20th century became famous by putting their last name on the front of a race car. That name was Maserati.
Like many famous European car builders, the Maserati brothers started their automotive careers building cars for someone else. The company was Diatto and the Maserati’s built race cars for them until 1926 when Diatto quit the race car business. The brothers already proven they are talented at what they do continued building race cars only this time it had their name on it. With Brother Alfieri at the wheel the first race car adorned with the Maserati name won a prestigious endurance race known as the Targa Florio. That put their name in the history books and on the automotive map. By the mid-thirties Maserati struggled to keep the accounting books in the black so the remaining brothers sold their shares to the Aldofo Orsi family, whose riches were obtained in the scrap metal business. With new owners and the brothers hired on as engineers the Maserati brand continued its racing success including the first Indy 500 winner with an Italian manufacture. Those glory days lasted till the late fifties when Maserati quit the race car business and started building road going cars. Then in the late sixties Maserati had financial woes once again and the company was sold to the French car manufacturer Citroën. The horror, a French manufacturer building an Italian car that is automotive sacrilege! Well, Citroën got busy stealing the Italian firm’s engine designs whilst running their own company into the ground. Fortunately, the Italian Government bailed out Maserati when Citroën went bankrupt which allowed De Tomaso to take control. He then sold it to Fiat who later sold it to Maserati’s longtime rival Ferrari who finally sold it to Alfa Romeo in 2005.
The good news is the Italian car is now built by Italians. It is just amazing how the Italians have successfully married art and automotive. Their sports cars and motorcycles are seductive, timeless, and mechanically brilliant. This 2002 Maserati Coupe spied here is no exception. Built during Fiat’s reign, it is all Italian and absolutely gorgeous. Powered by a 390 horse power v8 gives it plenty of grunt and guarantees its four passengers the Italian sports car experience. If Joe Walsh “…lost his license…” while driving a Maserati then experienced drivers need only to apply.