The Maserati Centennial Gathering 2014 was staged September 18-20 in Italy, starting in Modena and ending in Turin. The three days saw a succession of exhibitions, parades, a regularity race, a track test, a visit to the two Maserati factories and a Concours d’Elegance. Cars and collectors from all over the world were in attendance to retrace the brand’s history and celebrate 100 years of the company.
The first day of the Maserati Centennial International Gathering, 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.
The first day 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 the majority of Modena’s 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 4C are now produced.
Following the first day in Modena, the Maserati Centennial Gathering 2014 saw the second day commence with the start of the regularity competition and transfer of more than 200 Maseratis taking part to the historic San Martino del Lago circuit near Cremona.
The circuit is just a short distance from the straight stretch of road on which Baconin Borzacchini set the first world record in Maserati’s history on 28 September 1929, at the wheel of the 16-cylinder Maserati V4 – 246 kilometres an hour for the Flying 10 Kilometres, a record that stood for eight years.
The 200 Maseratis drove along this historic straight, still open to traffic today (it was only a gravel road at the time of Borzacchini’s record) on their way to Cremona. Their route took them right through the city, across Piazza del Comune and by the Torrazzo, Europe’s tallest brick-built bell tower, on their way to join the motorway towards Turin.
The city of Cremona offered a special welcome to the international press covering the Gathering, with a guided tour of the brand new, high-tech Museo del Violino, a performance on one of the finest, best known instruments made by Antonio Stradivarius, the “greatest of violin makers”, and a lunch in the medieval Palazzo Comunale.
The Stradivarius played – “The Cremonese 1715” – the same piece that accompanied the debut of the fifth series of the Quattroporte in the setting of Pebble Beach in California eleven years ago, an homage to Sergio Pininfarina, who let slip that he had drawn inspiration from the forms of Stradivarius’ violins when designing the lines of the Quattroporte. Apart from Borzacchini and Pininfarina, the inclusion of Cremona is also an homage to Gino Rancati, the Cremona-born journalist who, in the early Sixties, suggested to Adolfo and Omer Orsi the idea of what was to become the Quattroporte – the world’s fastest saloon.
The second day of the Maserati Centennial International Gathering ended with a Gala dinner hosted by Maserati CEO Harald Wester at the Reggia di Venaria Reale, the royal palace on the outskirts of Turin built by Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy in 1675. Together with Maserati collectors, clients and guests, the dinner was also attended by Fiat Chrsyler Group Chairman John Elkann and Fiat Chrysler Group CEO and Maserati Chairman Sergio Marchionne, who 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”.
The third and final day of the Centennial Gathering was focused around Turin, with the final section of the regularity competition and the climb to the majestic Basilica of Superga, the historic 300 year old church that towers over the city.
Participants then toured Maserati’s newest factory, the Avv. Giovanni Agnelli plant in Grugliasco, where the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte are built. They then drove their cars to the heart of Turin to line the areas surrounding the Piazza San Carlo in the heart of the city for the Concours d’Elegance finale.
Piazza San Carlo was packed with thousands of owners, media, fans and employees when the Best of Show was awarded to a Maserati Mexico 4200 Prototype Frua, with the Maserati A6 GCS/53 from the Panini collection also receiving a special award from the judges. A Spider 90th Anniversary Camobiocorsa won the Regularity Race. Lorenzo Ramaciotti, head of the Style Centre of Fiat Chrysler Group and of Maserati headed the judging panel.
Maserati Centennial Gathering 2014 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture)