Maserati has produced successful racing cars and desirable sports cars for over 80 years. In 1926, Alfieri Maserati and his brothers built their first complete car, the Tipo 26. Before and after World War II, legendary racing drivers such as Tazio Nuvolari and Juan Manual Fangio drove Maserati single-seaters to European victories. In the U.S., Wilbur Shaw scored back-to-back wins at Indianapolis in 1939 and 1940 while driving a Maserati 8CTF. In the early 1950s, the A6GCS sports car proved itself to be a winner, and in 1957, the great Fangio won his fifth and final Formula One World Championship in the Maserati 250F. Maserati then began building competition cars for private entrants, including the race-winning Tipo 61, popularly dubbed the 'Birdcage' Maserati because of its complex tubular frame. In the late 1950s, Maserati focused on building cars in larger numbers, starting with the handsome, aluminum-bodied 3500 GT. In the 1970s, Maserati produced a series of mid-engine GT cars, including the Bora, Merak, Khamsin, and Mistral, all named for desert winds. Between 1993 and 2005, Maserati was acquired by Fiat, then Ferrari, then by Fiat again. The company still makes fast and elegant tourers, including the Quattroporte and the Granturismo, and remains one of the great Italian makers of exotic cars.

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