The Maserati brothers
All of the Maseratis were involved in the engineering, design, and construction of cars, except for Mario, who was a painter and artist. However Mario's contribution to the Maserati company was just as important and lasting as his engineer brothers: he created the company trademark, the Trident, inspired by the statue of Neptune in the square of the same name in their home city of Bologna.
The first of the brothers to become involved with engines was Carlo, who worked in a bicycle factory in Affori, near Milan. He designed a single-cylinder engine for a velocipede, which was later manufactured by the Marquis Carcano di Anzano del Parco. Carlo Maserati also raced on Carcano bikes equipped with the engine he had designed, winning a few races and setting a speed record of 50 km/h (31 mph) in 1900.
Carlo moved to Fiat in 1901 when Carcano closed down and then, in 1903, to Isotta Fraschini, where he worked as a mechanic and test driver. Thanks to his influence, Isotta also employed his brother Alfieri, despite the fact that he was only 16 at the time. Carlo had a brilliant but ultimately short career, dying when he was just 29, by which time he had worked and raced for Bianchi, become General Manager of Junior, and started up his own workshop with his brother Ettore to manufacture both low and high voltage electrical transformers for cars.
Alfieri soon emerged as Carlo's spiritual heir, with the same extrovert personality and skills as a technician and driver. In 1908 Isotta entrusted a car to him which he brought home in 14th place in the Grand Prix for Voiturettes in Dieppe, despite his carburettor breaking. In the meantime, Bindo and Ettore had also joined Isotta Fraschini, where Alfieri had started out as a mechanic and progressed to driving. In 1912, after having represented the company in Argentina, the USA and Great Britain with his brother Ettore, Alfieri was put in charge of Isotta’s customer service structure in Bologna.
The wide-ranging experience he had built up during his career convinced Alfieri that he was ready to explore the possibility of going into business in his own right to exploit his talents and creativity to the fullest extent. In 1914 he rented office space in Via dé Pepoli, in Bologna’s old town centre and this went on to become the first headquarters of the Società Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati.