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Maserati: A Hundred Years Against All Odds – film review

Maserati fans rejoice – a film about your beloved marque has been released on numerous streaming platforms to watch while you’re spending time inside.

The film, Maserati: A Hundred Years Against All Odds, takes you on a journey through the storied brand’s history – from the inception of Officine Alfieri Maserati SA in 1914 by brothers Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati, through its pre- and post-war successes and downfalls, right up to the launch of the aptly named Alfieri concept car.

I’ll make this honest observation upfront – it is a quite stale, chronological account of Maserati's history made possible by voiceover, stitching together historic footage and pieces to camera.

It isn’t as exciting, nor as emotional as the recent McLaren documentary, meaning your less-invested viewing partner may fall asleep, as mine did.

However, if you nerd out on engines, specific historic race cars, and you enjoy odd tidbits from legends such as the late Sir Stirling Moss, then you’ll enjoy the film. It is quite long at an hour-and-a-half, so make sure you have adequate food and drink supplies ready to go.

Maserati does have a wonderful, tumultuous past that could only be of a brand from Italy.

Five times nearly bankrupt, ping-ponging between owners including Alejandro de Tomaso and Citroen, while setting many world records in the process, is just the start.

It makes you understand there were enthusiasts out here willing to save a legendary car brand. Those with money, who did not want to see it go the way Iso Automobiles went.

I’m sure that every person who once owned a stake in Maserati bled hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process. Even its current CEO mentions in the film that he only saw the first year of profitability for the mighty Trident a few years ago.

Someone who was also once keen to spend a bit of cash on the brand was Henry Ford II. I never knew that he reached out to buy Maserati after owning a Ghibli himself. Apparently, he was so enamoured with his car, that he wanted to add the brand and its engineers to his stable.

It’s these little cool facts that give the story so much merit, despite it being recounted in a rather boring fashion. Aside from that, hearing Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason’s thoughts on classic Italian metal is always worth a listen, as is the opinion of John Surtees, for that matter.

However, it’s a line that Stirling touts about his privately-owned and raced 250F, that left me inspired.

“(The Maserati 250F) has the nicest balance of any F1 car I’ve ever driven.” he recalls, as he smiles.

That glowing recommendation puts the 250F into a new category of love for me. It must’ve been special.

As special as the folk behind it, and as special as the engineers who created the wonderful Maserati A6 straight-six engine. That chassis went on to produce eight wins from eight poles, if you’re interested to know.

Another car that already has special place in my heart, and gets a mention, is the Citroen SM. As some of you may be aware, the French brand owned Maserati for a period of time, before selling it to Peugeot, ironically.

There is some great footage of a big old blue SM storming through dirt races and rallies, looking so suave and incredible.

If you don’t know what this car is, it’s basically a huge French, luxurious, land barge, with styling to weaken the knees, and a Maserati V6 with a manual transmission, powering the front wheels.

Best car, ever.

Going off on a different tangent here, but it's worth mentioning that the planned FCA and PSA merger will see Peugeot, Citroen and Maserati once again be part of the same family. The world works in strange ways.

Back on topic. The film is worth a watch for the historic footage alone. The producers have cobbled together great assets from Maserati’s archives. I just wish they let the=ose scenes do more of the talking.

I could continue to spoil things by making mention of O.S.C.A Maserati, which I also didn’t know about, but I’ll leave those findings up to you to discover.

If you love old Formula 1, race cars, and a good story, you might find it worth your time. Just prepare for the barrage of monotonal voiceover.

Are there any other automotive pieces of cinema that you think the team at CarAdvice should revisit and share with our audience? Drop your recommendations in the comments section below.

The film, Maserati: A Hundred Years Against All Odds, is available now on streaming platforms and DVD. You can watch the trailer here.

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