The great years of Maserati, which started as a manufacturer of racing cars, came in the nineteen‐fifties.
The Argentine driver, Juan Manuel Fangio won the World Driver's Championship in 1957 in a Maserati.
The company was founded in 1914 by the brothers Alfieri and Ettore Maserati, who were joined in 1919 by a third brother, Ernesto. At first they built cars for other racing companies but in 1926 entered the circuit under their own name and the trade symbols of Neptune and Trident.
They soon had numerous successes on European racing circuits. In 1939 and 1940 Tony Shaw drove Maserati cars to victory in the Indianapolis 500‐mile race.
But already the company had faced its first major cash crisis. In 1937 it was bought by the Modena industrialist, Adolfo Orso.
He decided in 1958 to withdraw from the circuit after the Maserati team's cars had been destroyed by a mysterious fire before the Venezuelan Grand Prix.
But the withdrawal from racing and a concentration on the production of highpriced touring cars produced its own kind of a crisis. By the fall of 1968, Mr. Orso was negotiating a take‐over by the French Citroen company.
Citroen pumped money into Maserati, modernizing the plant and increasing the work force. The decision to produced the Citroen SM with a Maserati engine was a decided help for the Modena factory.
But Citroen itself has recently had problems, and industry sources in Modena said Maserati's severe cash crisis had been widely known for some time.>