Pirelli and Maserati: a century-long partnership
A spirit of close co-operation has tied Pirelli and Maserati for a century. The roots of the technical partnership between the two companies date back to the first decades of the last century and to Pirelli’s “Stella Bianca” tyres, on which Giuseppe Campari’s eight-cylinder Maserati swept to victory in the 1933 French Grand Prix. This golden era lasted for more than 30 years with the successes of drivers Villoresi and Farina and, while the Pirelli Stelvio took over the ‘tyre of victories’ mantle from the Stella Bianca, from the 1953 Italian Grand Prix onwards, Juan Manuel Fangio’s star started to shine. The Argentinian Formula 1 driver was probably the greatest example of the partnership between Pirelli and Maserati: his 250F equipped with Pirelli tyres clocked up victories with impressive consistency, right up to his final World Championship in 1957 that matched the title he first claimed with Maserati in 1954. By 1961 the Maserati 3500 GT Spyder and Coupé were both equipped with the Cinturato S, which would go on to become the HS-High Speed in 1963, appearing on the Maserati 5000. The 205 VR 15 size that made its debut on the Maserati 5000, would then equip the manufacturer’s entire range throughout the 1960s, from the 4000 Coupé and Spyder all the way to the Sebring, Quattroporte and 4700 Mexico. As the 1970s approached, the Ghibli made its premier with the first Pirelli ‘Series 70′ low-profile tyres. This cornerstone Cinturato tyre carried the CN72 marking, also known as ‘the American’. At the beginning of the 2000s, Pirelli’s benchmark product started to be the PZero™. In 2002 the PZero™ tyre was chosen to support Maserati’s return to competition with the Trofeo Maserati, a championship for the powerful new Coupé and Spyder models, for which, ten years after, Pirelli is still sole tyre supplier. In 2003, the MC12 project was launched: a 12-cylinder supercar that went on to claim the FIA-Gt Championship by 2005. The cars were naturally equipped with Pirelli PZero™. The Quattroporte and Ghibli are the latest chapter of this century-long collaboration. The most recent Maserati models are once more equipped with Pirelli tyres, but unlike their predecessors, the tyres are now custom-made and can be identified by ‘MGT’ markings on the sidewalls, a hallmark of their perfect match with the needs and characteristics of the Italian car manufacturer.