It’s the middle of November, but a warm sun lights up the colours of the autumn foliage and the magnificent Cordova red of the Maserati Merak which today, after much thrilling anticipation, I can finally admire. The Italian scenery today is an ode to the season, and I like being able to contribute to this refined palette with the brown of my Bespoke gloves, the British green of my backpack and the duffle bag that I have brought with me.
Class of 1975, 6 cylinder engine, twin carburettors and a design line that takes you back to the era of the Maserati bora, when – under the guidance of Ingegner Alfieri for the mechanics and Giorgietto Giugiaro for the design of the bodywork – the Merak was born.
The tail with its characteristic arcs and the flat bonnet, the dertails of the interiors reminders of the years when the Maserati brand belonged to Citroen: and it was precisely this French car manufacturer to produce this vehicle, with the primary aim of providing a worthy rival for the Ferrari Dino GT4 and the Lamborghini Urraco.
Inside the passenger compartment, the dashboard, the instruments and the steering wheel are those of the SM and contribute, together with the superior quality of the materials, to recreating a less sporty environment in comparison with its “rivals”, with a greater gear comfort.
The location for this day could be nowhere else but in Bologna, the city where the mythical Maserati was born. Coming to welcome us is our friend Alessandro , who has a “family” tie with the Merak, given that this car is part of his father’s collection.
While the 190cv engine of the car is really being enjoyed to the full in the famous hills of Bologna, Alessandro tells us that the Merak was a present that his father wanted to give himself for his 50th birthday and from that moment on it became part of both of their lives. Listening to his stories makes me reflect and appreciate the way passions have a way of being passed down from generation to generation.
This is exactly the case of Nelly, a friend and contemporary artist who, in her artwork, recounts the mythical races of her great grandfather, who was a Maserati driver in the 1930s, The motoring of that era and the exploits of her forefather are the themes which inspire her collections, it doesn’t surprise me that she immediately fell in love with the concept which inspires our square cashmere scarf – The Portrait.
Leafing through her family photo album, you might come across photos which show Ernesto Maserati, Amedeo Ruggeri and other distinctive personalities in the motor racing world of that era. There is also no lack of snaps taken with Enzo Ferrari and the reportage in black and white of the Monza Gran Prix.
It was from direct inspiration by a photo of Ernesto Maserati parked in front of his historical garage that the picture “To Be Ernesto” came to be, which Nelly Ruggeri illustrates for us with all the fascinating anecdotes of that time.
When you meet people like these, who seem to have inherited their passion for cars as if it were written in their DNA, together with events from their family history which link them directly to a car or to a brand like Maserati , you get the confirmation that no, we are not just talking about cars, of simple engines and little else.
For many of us, this is like a journey which retraces the history of our predecessors, which has shaped with its ancestors, our vision of things, fine-tuning our interest to the point where it becomes almost natural to be compelled by the beauty of a car such as the Merak, which for once doesn’t carry the name of a wind but rather a star: the brightest star of the Great Bear constellation, that shines under the trident of Maserati.
Andrea Mazzuca, Founder
Photo credits: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman © 2017
Car: courtesy of Alessandro Torregiani
Very nice shots !! Great choice this Merak!!