September 18th saw the start of the Maserati Centennial International Gathering, a key event in the celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Modena-based company. The first day of the official programme, involving over 200 Maseratis and over 500 Maserati collectors and clients from 30 countries across the world, was dedicated to the city of Modena.
Vintage and modern Maseratis began making their way into Modena in the early hours, lining up in Piazza Grande in the shadow of the Ghirlandina, the white stone bell tower that is the symbol of the Emilian city. Piazza Grande was also the venue for the meeting between Maserati CEO Harald Wester and the Mayor of Modena, Gian Carlo Muzzarelli, who officially welcomed the participants to the city.
Also participating at the event are around ninety journalists from the main international markets in which Maserati is present – from the US (biggest market in terms of unit sales) to China (second biggest market with the highest growth rate), the UK, Germany and Italy (the contenders for biggest European market), Australia and Japan. During the morning the international press visited the building, at no. 1 Via de’ Pepoli in Bologna, where Maserati opened for business for the first time on 1 December 1914.
After this, they met with the direct descendants of the founders of Maserati: Carlo and Alfieri Maserati, the sons of Ettore and Ernesto Maserati respectively, who in December 1914 set out on an adventure with their brother Alfieri which is still going strong a hundred years later and which we are celebrating today.
“Of the many automobile producers born in Italy in the last century, only a few have reached such a milestone and this fills me with joy”, declared Alfieri Maserati. “The name we bear symbolises brilliance, innovation and the desire to create the unique and novel features we find in today’s cars”.
“100 years have passed since the founding of the ‘Società Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati'”, recalled his cousin Carlo, “and I would like to express all my gratitude to those who have made Maserati’s accomplishments possible and have brought it to new horizons. The longevity of this success is also due to the harmonious relationships within the family and to the extraordinary technical skills that, for example, allowed us to construct a racing car in just six months”.
The first day of the Maserati Centennial International Gathering ended with a guided tour and dinner at the company’s historic factory in Viale Ciro Menotti, Modena. After a lengthy parade through the city’s streets, involving more than 200 classic and modern Maseratis and Modena’s entire population, Gathering participants enjoyed a guided tour of the complex that Maserati has occupied since it moved from Bologna to Modena in 1939, and where the Maserati GranTurismo, GranCabrio and Alfa Romeo 4 C are now produced.
These same production lines provided the striking location for a very unusual dinner during which guests were entertained by singers from the Luciano Pavarotti Foundation – Tenor Jenish Ysmanov, Soprano Jessica Cambio, Mezzo Soprano Martina Belli and Baritone Daniele Terenzi. The bond between Maserati and Luciano Pavarotti was always very strong on both sides – the great Tenor’s first Maserati was a bright blue Sebring, which he purchased in 1963 – and it still continues today thanks to his widow Nicoletta Mantovani, present at the dinner. In the afternoon, guests visited the “Maserati 100 – A Century of Pure Italian Luxury Sports Cars” exhibition at the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, near the Maserati headquarters and curated by Adolfo Orsi, grandson of the Adolfo Orsi who bought the Maserati business from its founder brothers in 1937.