1956 Maserati L/125/T2 Turismo Lusso
1956 Maserati L/125/T2 Turismo Lusso
- Engine: 123cc 2-stroke single cylinder
- Transmission: 3 Speed Manual
- Year: 1956
- Frame #: A6070
- Engine #: A5906
- Registration: 784 UYM
- Exterior Colour: Red
- Interior colour and material:
VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY PLEASE.
** This motorcycle was entered into and sold at the H&H Classics auction at The Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, held on October 13th 2015. www.handh.co.uk **
- I purchased this rare and recently restored Maserati motorcycle in a village beside the historic Alfa Romeo test track at Balocco, between Milano and Torino.
- I had tried to acquire it a few months before when it was being sold by a relative of a long-term owner who had recently passed away, but someone else beat me to it by just a few minutes! However, that purchaser soon completed the motorcycle’s restoration and then sold it to me.
- I have a duplicate registration book for this Maserati that was issued on June 13th 1961 in the province of Vercelli, which is between Milan and Turin and not far from where we bought the motorcycle. The book states that the Maserati had been first registered on August 9th 1956 and at the time of the issue of the duplicate book, the owner was a Signore Leo Ferrari of Crescentino and the Maserati was licenced with the plate VC 40477. It is interesting that a Mr Ferrari owned a Maserati, but I do not know whether he purchased the Maserati new or not.
- Signore Ferrari was to retain the motorcycle until his passing away in 2013 or 2014.
- I have obtained UK road registration for this motorcycle.
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.