MASERATI, the trident brand and the bikes!


MASERATI 125 T2

The prestigious transalpine brand MASERATI has a history that is not limited to the automotive industry, for a short period, motorcycles were produced that proudly bore the trident brand. In 1937 the Orsi family of Modena acquired the small company that bore its name from the Maserati brothers (Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore) of Bologna. Already at that time, the company produced cars but also spark plugs and batteries. In 1939 the industrial operation was transferred to Modena, where the group included companies linked to transport, navigation, mining, etc., being led by Adolfo Orsi, it had an operational base. The new facilities made it possible to create an autonomous production unit for spark plugs, batteries and, later, light bulbs. In 1947 the limited company “Fabbrica Candele e Accumulatori Maserati” was created, from there this company became autonomous while sharing the already valuable MASERATI corporate image. In the 1950s, the group's various activities were divided between the Orsi brothers, Adolfo took care of the automobiles, Marcello with the foundry and Ida with “Fabbrica Candele e Accumulatori Maserati”.


The bikes MASERATI


In the post-war period, individual transport was booming in Italy and the lack of money meant that mopeds and motorcycles took a significant share of this market. In 1953, Ida decided to enter this business, as she had no experience of it, she bought a small company, ITALMOTO of Bologna, which was rightly recognized for its know-how. The industrial operation was transferred to Modena and the first model produced was the ITALMOTO 160 T4 re-named MASERATI 160 T4. Undoubtedly, the German reliability and aesthetics pleased the designers of this brand whose second model was a 125cc, the L/T2, whose engine was clearly inspired by the DKW. The immediate commercial success led the company to allocate more resources to this activity, the entry into crisis of the spark plugs and batteries business, further justified the reinforcement and entry into the large 50cc market with the T2/U models (version male) and T2/D (female version) with different frames according to the target user. Subsequently, two 125cc 4T models (T2/TV and T2/GTS) and two 50cc sport models (T2/S and T2/SS) entered production. The T2/SS became the fashionable 50cc in Italy in the 50's, youngsters loved its sporty look with the racing look frame, port numbers and fake exhaust pipe! Curiously, one of the most important dealerships had a negative reaction in the first contact with the model: “What is this ugly frog?”. This fact earned the nickname “the toad” for this model and the dealership in question redeemed itself by creating a sticker with a frog that was pasted on the holders as an advertisement. Taking advantage of the success of this model, MASERATI promoted, together with the dealer network, several races that have become legendary, Milan-Taranto and many others!


MASERATI 50 T2 SS ("The toad)

The brand achieved its most important sporting achievement in the 1957 Vuelta a Italia, where it entered nine 125cc GTS motorcycles in the Formula 3 class.


Images of sports participation, from left to right: Giuliano Trebbi, Guido Borri and Squadra Borri

However, new models were introduced: 250/T4, 75cc 2T and 125/LE. Commercially, 1957 was its heyday, at that time it was selling in Italy and the rest of Europe, South America and North Africa. In 1958 it went into crisis, customers stopped ordering and paying and, in 1960, it closed down. The list of produced series models is as follows: . 125/T2 – 1953-1956 – 1 cylinder 2T/123.00 cc – 4.80 hp – 3 speeds . 160/T4 – 1953-1959 – 1 cylinder 4T/158.00 cc – 7.50 HP – 4 speeds . 125/TV – 1956-1959 – 1 cylinder 2T/123.00 cc – 6.00 HP – 4 speeds . 160/T4/TL – 1955 – 1 cylinder 4T/158.00 cc – 7.50 HP – 4 speeds . 125/T2/TL – 1955 – 1 cylinder 2T/123.00 cc – 4.80 HP – 3 speeds . 175/T4/S – 1956-1957 – 1 cylinder 4T/174.20 cc – 15.00 HP – 4 speeds . 250/T4/GT – 1955-1960 – 1 cylinder 4T/246.50 cc – 12.50 hp – 4 speeds . 125/GTS – 1957-1960 – 1 cylinder 2T/123.00 cc – 7.25 hp – 4 speeds . 50/T2/U – 1956-1960 – 1 cylinder 2T/49.63 cc – 2.40 hp – 3 speeds . 50/T2/D – 1956-1960 - 1 cylinder 2T/49.63 cc – 2.00 HP – 3 speeds . 50/T2/S – 1956-1960 - 1 cylinder 2T/49.63 cc – 3.00 HP – 3 speeds . 50/T2/SS - 1956-1960 - 1 cylinder 2T/49.63 cc - 3.00 hp - 3 speeds . L75/T2 – 1958-1960 – 1 cylinder 2T/74.00 cc – 4.50 hp – 3 speeds . 125/LE – 1959-1960 – 1 cylinder 2T/123.00 cc – 5.30 hp – 3 speeds . 50/T2/MT – 1958-1960 - 1 cylinder 2T/49.63 cc – 2.00 HP – 3 speeds


ADV



MASERATI 125 GT Super (1956)



ADV


MASERATI 160 Turismo Lusso T4 Type L (1956)

MASERATI 125 T2



Fontes:

https://www.classicdriver.com/en/bike/maserati-motorcycles/1956/206273

https://silodrome.com/maserati-motorcycle

http://www.maserati-alfieri.co.uk/alfieri35.htm

https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/hmn/2006/11/1954-1959-Maserati-Tipo-125-GT-Super/1369478.html

https://www.nationalmcmuseum.org/2018/06/22/1956-maserati-160-turismo-lusso-t4-type-l/

https://rmsothebys.com/lf11/london/lots/1953-maserati-125-motorcycle/851177

https://www.redlinerestorations.net/maserati-motorcycle

http://www.italianways.com/the-maserati-50-t2-ss-the-two-wheeled-toad/

https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2014/03/04/italian-automaker-history

https://www.mecum.com/lots/LV0118-327673/1954-maserati-175/

http://www.maseratibikes.it/Maserati-eng/maserati_home_eng.htm