This is a 1967 Maserati Quattroporte that was carefully modified by the coachbuilder Grazia from Bologna into a firefighting pick up truck of sorts, for use at Italy’s Formula 1 circuits.
The project to build this unusual Maserati firefighting pick-up was commissioned by fire extinguisher company CEA, ostensibly due to the fact that its 260 bhp 4.7 liter V8 could get to the scene of an accident far more quickly than the slow and cumbersome fire trucks of the era – and when fire is concerned, every second counts.
Fast Facts – The Maserati Quattroporte CEA F1 “Fire Truck”
- The Maserati Quattroporte was developed as a high-performance luxury sedan, an unusual idea in Italy in the early 1960s. Its name, “Quattroporte,” translates to “four doors” in Italian, a straightforward designation for Maserati’s foray into the luxury sedan market. It would prove successful, and it has so far been produced over six generations.
- The first generation Quattroporte was designed by Pietro Frua, and it debuted at the Turin Motor Show in 1963 on the Maserati stand next to the Mistral . A four-door production car was a bold move for Maserati, then known primarily for its racing pedigree and sports/GT cars.
- The first-generation Quattroporte was initially equipped with a 4.1 liter V8 engine producing 260 bhp. It was a genuine blend of luxury and performance, with a top speed of approximately 230 km/h (143 mph) – making it one of the fastest sedans of its time.
- The vehicle you see here is one of the five original examples of the 1967 Quattroporte CEA F1 Fire Truck that was built by coachbuilder Grazia from Bologna, Italy. It now benefits from a full restoration and it’s coming up for auction in early February with a price guide starting at $164,200 USD.
The Maserati Quattroporte: A History Speedrun
The Maserati Quattroporte was developed to offer wealthy Italian, American, and European buyers a high-performance GT car that had four-doors and seating for five, with ample trunk space for luggage. GT cars, or grand tourers, typically have two-doors and two seats, though some offer a 2+2 seating layout with a pair of smaller rear seats.
It’s long been said that things always sound better in Italian, and the Maserati Quattroporte certainly lends support to the theory – the elegant-sounding model name “Quattroporte” simply means “four-door” in Italian.
When the Quattroporte was first unveiled to the world at the Turin Motor Show in 1963 it was a surprise for many, as Maserati had made a name for themselves building sporting GT cars and race cars. Now here they were releasing a luxurious four-door sedan, but this car was anything but average – it was powered by a 4.1 liter 260 bhp V8 that was derived from the engine used in the Maserati 450S sports racing car.
The Quattroporte was a relatively advanced car by the standards of 1963, it used a steel unibody structure with a front subframe independent front suspension on coil springs, and a De Dion tube rear end also on coils. Girling disc brakes were used front and back, anti-roll bars were fitted, and a limited slip differential was an optional extra.
The front-mounted 90º V8 was an impressive work of engineering, it featured quad cams (two per bank), aluminum alloy heads and an aluminum alloy block, four valves per cylinder, hemispherical combination chambers, and a liquid-cooled aluminum inlet manifold topped by four downdraft twin-choke Weber carburetors.
This engine powered the car on to a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph), making it one of the fastest sedans on earth at the time of its release. In 1968 a version of the Quattroporte would be released with an optional 4.7 liter version of the V8 producing 286 bhp, giving the car a top speed of 255 km/h (158 mph).
The first generation Quattroporte would remain in production from 1963 to 1969 when it was replaced with the Quattroporte II in the mid-1970s, though this car never achieved the acclaim of its forebear. The sixth generation of the Quattroporte is now in production, and it’s proven to be one of the Italian automaker’s most enduring model lines.
The Maserati Quattroporte F1 Fire Truck Shown Here
This vehicle is one of just five of its kind ever made, as noted up in the introduction, they were all built in series by Italian coachbuilder Grazia in Bologna to a specification laid out by Italian fire extinguisher company CEA.
The idea was to create emergency fire response for use at Italy’s premier racing circuits, for use during Formula 1 and other motorsport events. The longer wheelbase of the Quattroporte made it the ideal platform, as the rear could be modified into a pick-up with a water tank, an electric water pump and a water cannon, and some additional fire extinguishers.
The front end of the car was left largely unchanged, with two seats and all the luxuries it left the factory with – including the air conditioning system. The Quattroporte’s 260 bhp V8 meant that this was a genuinely fast little fire truck, able to far outpace the lumbering diesel trucks typically used on circuits at the time.
This car and its four siblings were used extensively during Italian races right the way through until the late 1970s. After they were retired from use they were bought by a person from Modena before later being acquired by French enthusiast Guido Bartolomeo, who saved them from being scrapped.
The current owner, now seller, of this car bought it in 2011 and commissioned a full restoration back to as-new condition. Or at least back to the condition it would have been in when it left coachbuilder Grazia’s workshop in 1967.
The car is now due to roll across the auction block with Artcurial in early February with a price guide of $163,200 – $272,000 USD. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Artcurial + Maserati
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