1955 Maserati L/160/T4 Turismo Lusso
1955 Maserati L/160/T4 Turismo Lusso
- Engine: 158cc 4-stroke single cylinder
- Transmission: 4 Speed Manual
- Year: 1955
- Frame #: 3335
- Engine #: 3335
- Registration: 141 UYH (UK)
- Exterior Colour: Red
- Interior colour and material:
VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY PLEASE.
- We purchased this rare Maserati motorcycle in Rome, Italy, in February 2014 and imported it into England in March 2014. Our intention was to keep it but then we acquired another example in Salerno, Italy, and decided to keep that one instead due to its wonderful history.
- According to the Automobile Club d'Italia Automobile Public Register report that we obtained, the Maserati was manufactured on January 18th 1955. It was first registered on April 27th 1955 in Ancona as AN-26353 when it was sold to a Signore Ubaldo di Giovanni Possenti.
- On September 21st 1959 the motorcycle was purchased by Signore Carlo Leonangeli who was a 23 year old mechanic from Matelica, in the Province of Macerata, near Ancona, Italy. It was then registered with the Macerata licence plate of MC-32617 (which it still displayed upon our purchase).
- There were no further entries on the register for the motorcycle until it was cancelled from the Public Register on August 8th 1988.
- We purchased the motorcycle from a dealer near Rome who had acquired it in around 2008 from a collector near Tolentino, in the Province of Macerata.
- 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.
- We gained UK registration for this Maserati in July 2014.
- This Maserati requires a complete (frame and mechanical) restoration. It is sold with some parts to aid the restoration such as new and correct handlebars (to replace the current incorrect items) and some other items such as a new and correct rear light. It is virtually complete with its original engine and desirable (as often missing) frame information plate. An excellent basis for a restoration.
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.