1959 Maserati 50/T2/SS
1959 Maserati 50/T2/SS
- Engine: 49.6cc 2-stroke single cylinder
- Transmission: 3 Speed Manual
- Year: 1959
- Frame #: SS2759
- Engine #: SS7376
- Registration: 905 YUK
- Exterior Colour: Silver and blue
- Interior colour and material:
VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY PLEASE.
- The history of this very rare motorcycle is not exactly clear, but we were informed by a former owner (Signor Alessandro Natali of Bologna) that it was sold new in 1959 by Moto Maserati dealer Signor Guido Borri of Modena . Apparently a young Gentleman from a wealthy family in Bologna had acquired it who enjoyed the motorcycle until the late 1960's. In the early 1970's another owner traded the motorcycle to Signor Borri against the purchase of a Maserati 125cc motorcycle.
- Signor Borri sold the Maserati 50 to a Signor Mario Zuffa of Bologna, who in in the late 1970's sold it to a Signor Galliani of Bologna. Signor Galliani was a dealer of bicycles and motorcycles and carried out a restoration of the Maserati.
- After many years of ownership, Signor Galliani sold the Maserati in 1997 to Signor Alessandro Natali of Bologna, the President of the Maserati Motorcycle Historical Register. After nearly four years Signor Natali entered the motorcycle into the Bonhams & Brooks auction at Stafford in England on July 8th 2001. The motorcycle failed to sell and was then entered into the Bonhams & Brooks auction at The Historic Festival at Silverstone on August 25th 2001 where a new owner was found.
- From the warmth of Emilia Romagna in Italy the Maserati joined a huge and prominent car collection in Yorkshire consisting mainly of rare examples of Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Ferrari road and race cars. The Maserati was for static display only and was not operated during it's time in Yorkshire. In July 2003 a red example of a Maserati 50/T2/SS was purchased to keep it company, not that it was bored with its 250F, 4CLT, 6CM and A6GCS Maserati neighbours, to name just a few. The focus of the collection soon changed due to the owner decided to sell the vehicles within his collection that were connected with racing, and we purchased the motorcycle in June 2011. After a few years of enjoyment we sold it in January 2014.
- Factory records stated a 49.635cc engine with 2.82hp at 6,700rpm (max revs 7,300rpm) allowing a top speed of 70-75kph. Weight approximately 49kg. Compression 12.0:1.
- Registered with the DVLA in the UK for road use in January 2012.
- The condition of this wonderful motorcycle is excellent for an older restoration, with just a few minor scratches to report on the top of the right hand suspension fork.
Events this Maserati Motorcycle has been exhibited at:
- Goodwood Road Racing Club Annual Vehicle Display, Goodwood House, West Sussex, August 7th 2011.
- Auto Italia Magazine Italian Car Day, Brooklands, Surrey, May 5th 2012.
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.