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Maserati, and tow truck drivers alike, celebrates 100 years of Italian automaking

Maserati turns 100 in 2014, and the Italian carmaker has a yearlong celebration planned that kicks off this month.

The centennial celebration begins with the publication of a special book chronicling Maserati’s glorious history, culminating in a gathering of Maseratis in the marque’s hometown of Modena, Italy September 20-21, 2014. Maserati expects 250 cars to attend the event, which will include drives on local roads with ties to the company’s history and, naturally, some track time. And, let’s face it, probably hundreds of tow trucks, too.

Maserati was founded in Bologna on December 1, 1914, and production started 13 days later. The original core group consisted of brothers Alfiere, Ettore, and Ernesto Maserati. After Alfiere’s death in 1932 another brother, Bindo, joined the company. A fifth brother, Mario, is credited with designing the company’s trident logo.

The company has been closely associated with racing since the introduction of its first race car, the Tipo 26, in 1926. The car won its debut race, the Targa Florio, and Maserati went on to build many notable racers, including the stunning 250F grand prix car driven by Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1950s.

There have been many great Maserati road cars as well, including the 3500 GT and the original 1969-73 Ghibli. There have also been a few misses, including the Chrysler TC By Maserati and the Biturbo. The Maserati name, though, is still one of the most prestigious in the car business.

The centennial comes just as Maserati is trying to transform itself from a low-volume carmaker into a mainstream brand. To that end, the company is assembling a full range of models, including an SUV called the Levante and the less-expensive 2014 Ghibli sedan.

Maserati has a lot planned for its centennial year, so to keep fans updated it’s launched a website (www.maserati100.com) and there’s even a Twitter hashtag (#Maserati100) for the truly obsessed. Happy birthday, Maserati.

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