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Maserati celebrates its centennial


Maseratis parade toward Piazza San Carlo | Maserati photos
Maseratis parade through Piazza San Carlo | Maserati photos

On a straight stretch of roadway near Cremona, Italy, Baconin Borzacchini set Maserati’s first world speed record, driving a 16-cylinder Maserati V4 to an average of 246 kilometers an hour (nearly 154 miles per hour) to set a Flying 10K record that stood for the following eight years. That was on September 28, 1929 — and the road was covered with gravel, not pavement.

This September, more than 200 Maseratis were back at Cremona, where that road — now paved — remains open to traffic. They were there as part of the Maserati Centennial International Gathering.

The cars also were at the nearby and historic San Martino del Lago racing circuit, which is very close to the site of Borzacchini’s record run, on the second of a three-day gala celebration that had begun in Modena and concluded in Turin (Torino).

The route took the 200 participating cars through Cremona, across its Piazza del Comune and past the Torrazzo, the tallest brick bell tower in Europe, before joining the motorway to Torino.

At Torino, thousands of Maserati car owners, enthusiasts and company employees participated in Concours d’Elegance that included Best of Show honors being awarded to a Maserati Mexico 4200 Prototype Frua. The judges also gave a special award to a Maserati A6 GCS/53.

The final day had begun with a tour of Maserati’s newest factory, the Avy in Grugliasco, where the Ghibli and Quattroporte models are built.

At the gala dinner that concluded the centennial celebration, Fiat Chrysler Group chief executive and Maserati chairman Sergio Marchionne declared that, “Maserati will never be a giant. It will never be the biggest producer of automobiles in the world, but it will be, simply, the best.”


Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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