Entries in Maserati (11)


Lost in a Reverie at the Museo Nicolis

Somewhere off the highway between Verona and Mantova, there is a museum that is a must for any car lover visiting the Veneto region of Italy. The Nicolis museum celebrates the legacy of collector Luciano Nicolis, who passed away a few years ago leaving behind an amazing and diverse collection of cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and machinery, as well as ephemera and even period clothing from the 20th century.

The Museo Nicolis is multiple floors of beautifully presented Lancias, Alfas, Maseratis and more, contextualized amid design objects and costumes that would have been used by their wealthy owners. Perhaps the crown jewels of the collection are the ex-Eva Peron Maserati A6 1500 coupe Pininfarina, and the Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8, which was used as a display model to sell these sumptuous cars in the States.For Lancisti, this is probably one of the finer collections you could hope to see of pre-1970 Lancias. The most special Lancia would be the Astura that is still run in the classic Mille Miglia by the children of Mr. Nicolis.

There are also plenty of obscure Etceterini, and interestign one-offs and customs to dazzle the eye. Another incredible object on display is the Vanderbilt Cup, on loan from the Alfa Romeo museum. Produced by Cartier, It may be the finest trophy I have ever laid eyes on. Just two names are engraved on its base: those of Bernd Rosemeyer and local Mantovan hero Tazio Nuvolari.Have a look through the full gallery of the museum HERE.


The Automobiliac Proposes Vol. # 7: Maserati Quattroporte

New photos have come out of the new generation Quattroporte today, and it's a step in the wrong direction.  I fear they took what I felt was a very special car --the last true Italian GT sedan-- and turned it into a mix of Mercedes and Hyundai styling dreck.  Now the Gen 1 Quattroporte always had a headlight cluster that I found unappealing, but the rest of the car was just sublime enough to forgive that one flaw.  With the new generation, the boring, conventional headlights really kill the design.  The rear end is even worse, basically using warmed over cues from the Gran Turismo that don't work well on a sleek sedan.  The Gen 1 rear end was one of the all-time cleanest, most timeless ass-ends ever.  Why did they mess with perfection?

As retaliation, please enjoy my own proposal for the headlight cluster I would like to see on the Quattroporte.  First, they reference the compelling "cat eye" shape of the original 1960's Quattroporte's lights.  Second, they tie in much more closely with the well executed, and crisp grill treatment going on.  I felt that this nicely creased form language should carry into the headlights and front fenders.  Right now there is a disconnect between the flush-mounted Hyundai lights and the super crisp grille and hood treatment.  Last, I decided to outline the headlight opening in an LED ring so that when the headlights are off, you just see a nice clean ring profile that accentuates the shape of the opening. I think you'll agree the resulting shape is far more exotic, more consistent, and more differentiated than what they actually did.

Click HERE for more photos of the new Quattroporte.  Try not to wince when you see the back end!


38 years on, the Khamsin is sexier than ever.

Marcello Gandini's Maserati Khamsin is, in my opinion, possibly the most beautiful car Italy produced in the 1970s.  Part of the reason I bought my Dino GT4 is that it shares many of the same themes in terms of surface treatment and design detailing, yet at a more attainable pricepoint and with better performance. Click the photos below to see the entire original sales catalogue in all its retro-fantastic glory.


Quattroporte on 32nd Street

Love it!

Photo credit: Motoring Con Brio


"Tribute" Replicas: Re-Living the past, Racing in the present

Lately, there seems to be a small spate of "tribute" replicas that seek to give the look and feel of vintage racing cars that are now so rare and costly they are only attainable for the super wealthy.  Although replicas have always been around, there is a new interest in replicating the historic "feel" of the original car rather than just parroting the looks (Like the infamous VW-based Bugatti T35 replicars of the 1970s, for example!) I think this is a great idea, because rather than try to fool people, it's about recreating a time period and a visceral driving experience that one can only dream of otherwise. Of course there are also some companies out there hand-making exact replicas of rare cars (like prewar Alfas and Bugattis, or Ferrari 250TRs) that are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, but these line-for-line copies can be incredibly expensive in and of themselves. I'm glad that there are enterprising people out there who are making an effort to live their dreams and share them with other likeminded enthusiasts at a somewhat attainable price of entry.  Below are 3 of my favorite "tribute" projects:

1) The F1-67 Project

F1-67 seeks to recreate a late 1960s F1 car using a Smallblock Chevy as the powerplant. It looks the part, but more importantly, it sounds the part!! Makes clever use of a spaceframe to cut costs and increase safety, but with fiberglass shell to give the look of an aluminum monocoque. Not sure if this project is still going on, but it was plenty cool!  More HERE

2) Tipo 250

This replica is meant to evoque the legendary Maserati 250F Grand Prix car.  Again, it doesn't perfectly copy the lines of the original, but the feel is there for sure. The BMW straight six powerplant, detailed and finished in a very 1950's style, gives it a very convincing sound as well.

More info HERE

3) NuArt Can Am Car

Can Am was a virtually unrestricted racing series of earth-pounding machinery that truly separated the men from the boys in the late 1960s and early 70s.  At the time, the cars were the fastest on Earth, putting even F1 cars to shame.  The NuArt Can Am car seeks to re-create those glory days, but with modern saftey structures and newer, safer technologies cloaked in a skin that is almost indistinguishable from a car of the era.  The car looks sensational, and a spec series is planned, under the name "Unlimited Racing Championship." I, for one, would definitely like to see such a series materialize, and it seems like there is actually adequate funding to get it off the ground.  Max Papis was the development driver, and helped to tune the NuArt (terrible name, by the way) to be thrilling but predictable for the less skilled driver (Historic Can Am cars had notoriously vicious handling that still can and does kill drivers in vintage racing today). More HERE