1953 Maserati 160/T4 Turismo
1953 Maserati 160/T4 Turismo
- Engine: 158cc 4-stroke single cylinder
- Transmission: 4 Speed Manual
- Year: 1953
- Frame #: 927
- Engine #: 927
- Registration: 265 UYH (UK)
- Exterior Colour: Green and black
- Interior colour and material:
- We purchased this Maserati motorcycle for our own collection in Salerno, Italy, in April 2014 and imported it into England the following month. It was sadly sold in December 2014 due to the purchase of another Maserati 160 motorcycle.
- The Automobile Club d'Italia Automobile Public Register report that we obtained states that the Maserati was manufactured on October 6th 1953. It does not state when its first owner Signore Paolo Pierto of Battipaglia (Salerno) purchased the Maserati, but it was acquired on June 18th 1954 by Signore Lucio di Cunzolo. It was registered at this time in the province of Salerno as SA-10497.
- Signore di Cunzolo owned the Moto Maserati agency in Battipaglia in partnership with a Signore Franesco Pesticcio. It is possible that Signore di Cunzolo had sold it to Signore Pierto when it was new.
- When the Maserati agency was closed some years later, Signore di Cunzolo retained a Maserati 250 and Signore Pesticcio retained this Maserati 160.
- Some time in the 1960's Signore Pesticcio gave the motorcycle to his son, who in turn gave it to his son some years later. It was this Gentleman who we purchased the Maserati from.
- Since the 1980's the motorcycle has been stored unused in the Gentleman's garage. He never had the desire to recommission it and get it running again as he preferred to ride his Harley Davidson.
- This is a very rare motorcycle being one of a few made between the years of 1953 to 1959.
- The engine (which is original to this motorcycle) was reported by the factory when new to produce 7.5bhp at 5,500rpm which allowed a top speed of about 100 kilometers per hour.
- Apart from the fuel tank which is believed to have been repainted in the 1980's, this Maserati is in totally original condition.
- In July 2014 Richard Boshier of Chiltern Moto Classics got the engine running after about thirty years of being silent and prepared the motorcycle for The Maserati Centenary parade lap at the Silverstone Classic on Sunday July 27th 2014.
- In July 2014 the Maserati was UK road registered with the plate 265-UYH.
Events we have exhibited and participated this Maserati at:
- The Silverstone Classic, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, July 27th 2014, The Maserati Centenary Display.
A brief history of Maserati motorcycles:
- The sight of a Maserati badge on an old motorcycle usually foxes even people most familiar to the exotic Italian marque.
- Wealthy industrialist Adolfo Orsi from Modena purchased the ailing Maserati company from its founding brothers in 1937 and by then Maserati was producing spark plugs and machine tools as well as racing cars. In 1939 Adolfo relocated Maserati to Modena and expanded the company to produce batteries and bulbs too, a diversification that proved very successful during the war years. The car and parts companies were separated in 1947 and Fabbrica Candele e Accumulatori Maserati (FCAM) was formed.
- After business difficulties in 1953 Adolfo decided to divide his remaining companies amongst his siblings. Adolfo retained the car manufacturing division and his sister Ida took control of FCAM.
- As in most countries after the war, car transport was for the wealthy few and motorcycle and scooter manufacturing companies sprung up all over the place. Ida Orsi wanted a piece of the action and to save money on development costs she purchased an existing company in 1953, Italmoto of Bologna. She relocated Italmoto and the production of its 160cc motorcycle to her own factory in Modena and simply replaced the Italmoto badge with a Maserati one. Ida then instructed the design department to come up with a whole new range of motorcycles, the first to be made being a successful 123cc two-stroke known as the L125 T2 which was launched in 1954.
- In 1956 a range of 50cc motorcycles were introduced, topped by the racing orientated 50/T2/SS. These were adored by the young sporty Italians and although popular, their price restricted sales and they therefore sold in limited numbers only. The SS featured a lightweight thin tube frame and semi-circle front spray guard (complete with Maserati badge at the front), plus rear mounted foot rests and cushions on the fuel tank to rest the riders chest upon, therefore reducing the riders wind resistance at speed. Performance for a 50cc was fantastic due to the little engine producing a heady 2.82hp at 6,700rpm (maximum revs being 7,300rpm) and it delivered the power to the road through a three-speed gearbox. The 49kg light weight aided a top speed of 70 to 75kph depending on the pilot’s pre-ride pasta consumption.
- Other motorcycles were offered alongside the 50cc and 125cc models such as 75cc, 160cc, 175cc, and 250cc variants.
- After 1957 the company experienced financial struggles and FCAM was finally closed in 1960. The Maserati trident would only then be seen on four wheeled vehicles, back where it all began.