1960 Maserati 50/T2/SS
1960 Maserati 50/T2/SS
- Engine: 50cc 2-stroke single cylinder
- Transmission: 3 Speed manual
- Year: 1960
- Frame #: SS4409
- Engine #: SSS7656
- Registration: 7102 MP
- Mileage: 3,800
- Exterior colour: Silver and red
- Interior colour and material:
VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY PLEASE.
- This very rare and beautiful Maserati motorcycle has apparently had only six owners from new. The fifth owner was kind enough to document the ownership and history of the motorcycle just before they sold it in 2007 after twenty six years of it sharing garage space with their Maserati road cars.
- According to the original buff registration document on file, the Maserati was first registered in England on February 2nd 1961 with the licence number 7102-MP. The first owner is shown as J. Austin & Sons Limited of 139-153 High Street, Harlesden, London NW10. It is expected that this company was a car and motorcycle dealer.
- As Maserati motorcycles ceased to be manufactured in 1960, this 50 SS must be one of the very last examples to be made.
- The second owner was a Colin Jux who resided in Rucklidge Avenue, a road that runs parallel to the High Street in Harlesden. Unfortunately Mr Jux failed to register the change of ownership with the local taxation office so no date was recorded for when he acquired the motorcycle.
- The same occurred when the Maserati was acquired by a Kathleen Thirkettle. Miss Thirkettle’s family owned North End Garage which was situated on the A12 near the village of Darsham, in Suffolk.
- The forth owner, a D. Southall from Martlesham, Suffolk, sadly failed to make any notes of their ownership of the motorcycle. When the fifth owner acquired the motorcycle from the forth owners widow in around 1981, he was told that the Maserati had been on display in a museum for about ten years, and during this time some restorative works had been carried out on it.
- Italian law dictated that 50cc motorcycles of this age required pedals as they were licensed as bicycles, and indeed, the majority of 50 SS motorcycles that we have seen have either had their pedals attached, or simply removed. It is thought that during the 1970’s restorative works, this 50 SS had its pedals removed and the holes in the side of the engine casings expertly welded closed.
- Having remained almost untouched in the corner of the fifth owner’s garage during his ownership, he decided to exhibit it on his TetraBOOST company stand at the 2007 Race Retro show at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. To prepare the motorcycle for its public outing, the red items of the motorcycle were repainted, a new wiring loom was installed, the seat was recovered with lovely navy blue leather, and some chrome parts were re-plated. In addition to these works, the engine and gearbox were inspected for wear (they were not totally stripped). With the lack of wear found to the engine and such items as the foot rests, and that the motorcycle was only licensed for the first two years of its life, it is expected that the speedometer reading of 3,849 miles is the total distance that the Maserati has covered since new.
- The motorcycle was sold shortly after the Race Retro show to a Gentleman who displayed it alongside a very early 1953 Maserati 160. The Maserati remained in his enormous motorcycle collection for nearly seven years until we acquired it.
- This a very rare opportunity to purchase a very rare motorcycle, one that is in excellent condition (with the exception of a few small scratches on the frame). It would make a fabulous addition to a Maserati car collection, especially in the marques centenary year.
A brief history of Maserati motorcycles:
- The sight of a Maserati badge on a classic motorcycle often surprises people, even those 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, resulting in Adolfo retaining the car manufacturing division and his sister Ida taking control of FCAM.
- Even FIAT cars were financially out of reach for most people after the war so motorcycles and scooters became extremely popular as relatively cheap modes of transport. Many companies diversified or were founded to produce two wheeled motorised transport and Ida Orsi wanted to be involved in this swiftly developing market, so to save money on development costs she purchased an existing company in 1953, Italmoto of Bologna. After relocating Italmoto and the production of its 160cc motorcycle to her own factory in Modena, she simply had the Italmoto badges replaced with Maserati ones and launched the model as the L160/T4. The four-stroke engine produced 7.5hp and had a four-speed gearbox.
- Ida then instructed the design department to come up with a whole new range of motorcycles, the first of which was launched in 1954. The new machine was a 4.8hp 123cc two-stroke (with a three-speed gearbox) known as the L125/T2 which became a successful model for the company.
- At the 1955 Milan Motorcycle Fair Maserati displayed not only their two-stroke 125 and four-stroke 160 machines, but also 175 (175/T4/S) and 250cc (250/T4/GT) motorcycles, both of which had four-stroke engines boasting twin-spark plug ignition, plus four-speed gearboxes. The 125 and 160 were now also available in Turismo Lusso specification.
- In 1956 a range of two-stroke 50cc motorcycles were introduced which featured several different styles of frames suitable for men (50/T2/U and 50/T2/S), women (50/T2/D), and racing (50/T2/SS). All models had a three-speed gearbox and performance for a 50cc was fantastic, especially on the SS whose little 49.6cc engine produced 2.82hp at 6,700rpm (maximum revs being 7,300rpm). A weight of only 49kg resulted in a top speed of 70 to 75kph. Less sporting but a lot more practical however, was the 50/T2/MT which was a three-wheeled pick-up style machine featuring a 2hp engine and three-speed gearbox.
- 1956 also saw the launch of the L/125/TV (Turismo Veloce) which sported a higher state of tune (6hp) than the regular 125 but importantly had a 4-speed gearbox, the gears of which were notoriously fragile due to the factory squeezing a fourth gear within the standard three-speed engine casings.
- Having learnt some lessons with the TV’s transmission, the 125/GT/Super (GTS) was launched in 1957 featuring a 7hp two-stroke engine but with a more robust four-speed gearbox within newly designed engine side covers.
- The L/75/T2 model was also launched in 1957 and was very similar in design to the 50/T2/U, but featured a 74cc 4.5hp two-stroke engine and a three-speed gearbox.
- Unfortunately, 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.
- Despite being sensibly priced in their day Maserati motorcycles sold in very small numbers compared to their competitors resulting in all models being extremely rare, with some being rarer than others. Today, the 125 T2 and Turismo Lusso variants are the most common with the 160 not far behind. The 125 TV and GTS models appear extremely rarely and all 50cc and 75cc models are very rare. It is believed that despite adverts appearing at the time launching the 175 model it never progressed from prototype stage and as far as the 250 is concerned, only about twenty are thought to have ever been made.