Alejandro de Tomaso, a former race car driver, acquires bankrupt Maserati from French automaker Citroen on Aug. 8, 1975, just months after the famed Italian maker of exotic race and sports cars had declared bankruptcy on May 23, 1975.
After the 1973 oil embargo that sent gasoline prices soaring, undermining consumer demand for thirsty sports cars, Citroen collapsed and was taken over by Peugeot, which started to clean house.
Maserati's automotive roots go back to Dec. 1, 1914, when brothers Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati opened the Società Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati, a workshop in Bologna, Italy. Five months later Italy entered World War I and the brothers' technical and engineering ingenuity was tested. The company's first major product was the spark plug and during the war, Maserati supplied it for aircraft engines.
After the war, Alfieri Maserati drove race cars for other manufacturers and in the winter of 1926, Alfieri, Ernesto and Ettore completed their first car -- the Tipo 26 -- under the Maserati name. It featured the Trident logo inspired by Neptune.
Alfieri Maserati died in 1932 and a younger brother, Bindo, joined the company the same year.
On May 1, 1937, Adolfo Orsi, an entrepreneur and industrialist from Modena, Italy, bought Maserati from the brothers, providing cash to expand, though the brothers maintained ties to the company for about 10 years.
At the 1939 Indianapolis 500, Wilbur Shaw, behind the wheel of a Maserati 8CTF -- called the Boyle Special -- took the checkered flag with an average speed of 115.035 mph.
When World War II broke out, Maserati again concentrated on making spark plugs, as well as batteries for electric delivery vehicles. After the war, Maserati expanded its product line to include sports cars and gran turismo, or grand touring, cars.
In 1947, the Maserati A6 1500 debuted at the Geneva auto show. It was designed by Pininfarina and named after Alfieri Maserati and the number of cylinders in the engine. It was the first Maserati developed for daily use rather than racing.
The Orsi family, looking for more cash and technical resources, took on a new partner, Citroen, in the late 1960s, a period marked by new safety and emissions rules. The company was reorganized under the French carmaker. The Orsi family finally withdrew and Citroen sold the family's stake to Gepi, an Italian state-owned company directed by de Tomaso.
Chrysler, under chairman Lee Iacocca, a friend of de Tomaso's, acquired a 5 percent stake in Maserati in 1984 and later formed a joint venture to produce a car -- the Chrysler TC -- for export to the U.S. Chrysler later increased its stake in Maserati to 15.6 percent.
In May 1993, de Tomaso sold his 51 percent stake in Maserati to Fiat, which then became the sole owner.
Fiat sold its share of Maserati to Ferrari, Maserati's longtime archrival, in 1997. And in 1999, Ferrari took full control of Maserati, making the marque its luxury division. A new factory was built, and Ferrari is credited for bringing Maserati back from the brink of bankruptcy.
In 2002, Maserati reentered the U.S. Maserati split off from Ferrari and partnered with Alfa Romeo in 2005, creating the Maserati and Alfa Romeo group, under the Fiat Group, which is now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.