In the late 1990s, Maserati, in desperate conditions, was entrusted to the care of Ferrari, to be nursed back to health and relaunched. This “treatment” led to the birth of the 3200GT, the Spider, and the wonderful Quattroporte. But what the Trident brand really needed was to get back on the racetrack, and shine! After all, this was a marque that had previously enjoyed World Championship success with the magnificent 250 F driven by Fangio, and was also the only Italian brand to have won the 500 Miles of Indianapolis.
At Maranello, there was a Ferrari. The Enzo Ferrari no less! Why not take that car as the starting point, in top secret of course, for getting Maserati back on track? This is what happened, and it led to the creation, all very hush-hush, of a workshop – a sort of Maserati facility within Ferrari! – and the development there of a truly magnificent car. This car’s breathtaking style was born of the cooperation of three prominent figures: engineer Giampaolo Dallara, who studied the model in the wind tunnel, refining its lines; designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, who penned its original long nose (subsequently shortened following its 2004 track debut at Imola, in order to comply with the maximum length permitted by FIA GT championship rules); and Frank Stephenson, then head of design at Ferrari, who defined several key aspects, such as the air outlets and rear function, lights included.
The car went on to dominate the FIA GT championship for six long years. In 2006, the “Corsa” version was produced in fifteen units for a track program aimed at a racing clientele. In view of its performance, its achievements, the richness of its genetic heritage, and its creators, the success of this car on the collector market should come as a surprise to no one.