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From Enrico in the UK


Recently I was informed by Philippe in Belgium of three very interesting books, with even more interesting subject matters, written by Dott. Mario Seproni, a native of Penne in the Abruzzi.



by Dott. Mario Semproni

Published by Arte Grafiche Cantagallo, Penne 2014

In "Maserati 100 Anni Magnifici", Dott. Semproni, a native of Penne, in the province of Pescara, pays tribute to Maserati in celebration of its magnificent 100 years. It may seem strange, but the Maserati myth has a deep connection with Penne, in particular through its connection with Marchese Diego De Sterlich. Founded in Bologna on 1 December 1914 by Alfieri Maserati and two of his brothers, Ettore and Ernesto, it was the noble Diego de Sterlich who was one of the most prominent supporters of the birth of the Maserati marque. A family friend and passionate about motor cars, the Marchese Volante, as he became known through his motor racing achievements, played a key role in the early days of the House of the Trident.

Produced in a softback portrait format (21cm x 21cm) with 60 pages and many historic illustrations.

Text in Italian

Text in Italian

primo Re della Montagna

by Dott. Mario Semproni

Published by Arte Grafiche Cantagallo, Penne 2012

Dott. Semproni recounts his quest to discover and identify how many Maseratis were owned by the Marchese de Sterlich, and his exploits behind the wheel of his Maseratis, A nobleman who through his passion for motorsport became an accomplished racing driver, with numerous race victories driving Bugattis, Alfa Romeos, Diattos and his beloved Maseratis.

An excellent read produced in a softback portrait format (21cm x 21cm) with 39 pages filled with many historic illustrations.



by Dott. Mario Semproni

Published by Arte Grafiche Cantagallo, Penne 2010 (2nd Edition)

The history of the "Coppa di Natale" a 12.5Km hillclimb raced from Loreto Aprutino to Penne in Dott. Semproni's own province of Abruzzo, which includes an account of the first race that took place on the 27th December 1925 and won by the Marchese de Sterlich driving a Diatto.

Produced as a limited edition of only 500 copies, in softback portrait format (21cm x 21cm) with 96 pages and numerous illustrations.

Text in Italian

Understandably the books were written in Italian, but Dott. Semproni has very kindly given me permission to publish my translation of three chapters which I am sure you, as I did, will find most interesting.

I must add that although I manage quite well when I am in Italy and am very acomplished when it comes to ordering a meal, however never having studied the language am not fluent, but with the aid of the Google translator, Maurizio in Italy and Roger in the UK, have done my best. I trust you will enjoy reading about one of the more interesting characters in the history of Maserati !!!


Diego de Sterlich Aliprandi

Diego de Sterlich was born in Castellammare (Te) on the 13th August 1898. The automobile had just been invented. In 1854 the internal combustion engine had been patented by Barsanti and Matteucci. Enrico Bernardi, in 1884, had made a tricycle driven by a 4-stroke, over-head valve, petrol powered engine. Two years later, in 1886, the Benz tricycle had seen the light of day. 1894 saw the staging of the Paris-Rouen race, "the mother of all motor racing competition." A year after the birth of Diego de Sterlich, Giovanni Agnelli, together with other partners, would form FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica italiana Automobili Torino.

An oil painting of Marchese Diego de Sterlich by Maestro Ernanio Di Boscio
In 1977 the work was donated to the Società Operaia di Mutuo Soccorso by Guido de Sterlich

The demand for cars was becoming more widespread. There were very few in circulation, and those that were, were slow, noisy, and some thought them unnecessary and even dangerous. They were often considered a whim for the spoiled rich. In this category was Marchese Diego de Sterlich, the last descendent of one of the most noble families of Abruzzo, with a heritage so immense, that he himself knew little of it. In this regard, one can recall an incident in which, after causing damage to a farm with his car, he compensated the farmer, only to discover later that he was the landowner.

The origins of his family dated back to Norman times, when the "de Sterlich" family, of German origin, arrived in Abruzzo and were granted the Marchesato of Cermignano (Te). Subsequently, a bond of kinship was made with the Aliprandi barons, originally from Milan. They reached Penne in the XVI century with Margerita of Austria, the natural daughter of the Emperor Charles V. Giovanni Aliprandi, was treasurer to Margarita, and established himself in the palace that today houses the lstituto Tecnico Commerciale. The building dates back to the first half of the fourteenth century and on its imposing front doors there still stands the crowned eagle, emblem of the Aliprandi.

At little more than twenty years of age Diego de Sterlich was immediately fascinated by engines and speed, themes so dear to Futurist political movement who a few years earlier, together with Marinetti, published their manifesto. Entry into the world of racing took place in 1923, the second year of the Fascist era. The car of choice could only be a blue Bugatti, luxurious and reserved solely for the wealthy few. Successes were not long in coming.

In 1923, under the "patronage" of Baron Giacomo Acerbo, the Rome-Castellammare Adriatico regularity race was organized. Driving a Bianchi, Diego de Sterlich took first place. The following year saw the first staging of the Coppa Acerbo, a race dedicated to the memory of young Tito Acerbo, Giacomo's brother, who fell heroically shortly before the end of the Great War. Concurrently in Teramo, de Sterlich helped establish the Automobile Club d'Abruzzo and contributed to the establishment of the Monza Autodrome, and as a founder member, received membership number 100. In the meantime he moved on to drive Diatto cars, at that time considered a prestigious marque. During the competitions in which he participated, he formed a close friendship with the Maserati brothers, particularly Alfieri. From this meeting began one of the most fruitful collaborations that could be expected in the automotive field. In fact in 1926, thanks to the Marchese de Sterlich's substantial economic contribution, we saw the birth of the Maserati Tipo 26, the forerunner of many models in the years that followed, which to this day have, have claimed successes in competition and broadened the imagination of generations of motoring enthusiasts.

Thus was born the Maserati myth, distinguished by the symbol of the trident held by Neptune’s sculpture in Bologna, that one can still admire today. The sporting successes of the Marchese de Sterlich only increased and his participation was sought after at major road and track races. These were happy times as we approached the end of the twenties. Diego de Sterlich continued to gain sporting successes at the wheel of Maseratis on which he lavished generous financial backing, excessive even for his substantial assets. In 1930 he captured his final success in the Coppa Ascoli driving an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750. It was to be his swan song.

There then began a period of difficulty for him and many who had been close during the good days, now turned their backs on him. On the 3rd March 1932 his fraternal friend Alfieri Maserati died in Bologna, following the aftermath of a serious racing accident that occurred at Messina. On March 5, the day of the funeral, the coffin was escorted by six drivers: de Sterlich, Minoja, Campari, Nazzaro, Borzacchini and Nuvolari. In 1935 he fulfilled one last gesture of great generosity by donating the palace that his ancestors had lived in since the sixteenth century to the City of Penne, making the proviso that the school housed within be dedicated to the memory of his late father Adolfo de Sterlich.

This commitment was not met however, as the council preferred to name it the lstituto Tecnico Commerciale as a national tribute to Guglielmo Marconi. Incomprehensible was the second proviso with which the Marchese reserved the property of the electrical plant to himself. The years that followed were difficult. Many still remember when the Marchese de Sterlich, having travelled to Penne town hall obtained a grant, arrived in Piazza Luca da Penna, and distributed what little money he had amongst those greeting him with outstretched hands. As he advanced in years he liked to be called "poet and herbalist" and many confirmed his passion to mix potions from herbs that friends and acquaintances collected for him.

He died in Teramo on 30th August 1976, the resident of a nursing home. After his death the municipal council of Penne named a street after him. To commemorate one who during his life had been called "King of the Mountains" for his almost unique capacity to drive powerful race cars to victory on steep ascents and the most famous winding roads of Italy, for the city of Penne it seemed only natural to name a hillclimb after him. The Salita Ringa was chosen, an event that years ago he had raced many times with his powerful cars. On the day of the inauguration representatives of Maserati were present to acknowledge this bond and debt of gratitude. Even today, the Marchese de Sterlich is commemorated annually by the local Societa Operaia di Mutuo Soccorso (Workers' Mutual Aid Society), which bears his name, and have dedicated the "Concorso Pagella d'Oro" as an award of scholarships to the most deserving students. Not much, but at least an occasion to celebrate a character whose memory would otherwise appear to be increasingly diminished with the inexorable passage of time.


Diego de Sterlich and the Maseratis

One cannot deny that betwen Alfieri and Diego de Sterlich there has always been a feeling of empathy, to the point that even at critical times for the Casa del Tridente the nobleman from the Abruzzi never held back from supporting a friend in difficulty. The friendship between the two was so strong that one can assume that it was de Sterlich who suggested to adopt, as a logo for the marque, the trident held by Neptune on the fountain, designed by Giambologna, in the Piazza Maggiore of Bologna. The initial idea was then drawn up by Mario Maserati, the only one of the brothers not to be spellbound by a passion for engines.

Vermicino-Rocca di Papa, 2nd October 1927
From left to right: Luigi Parenti, Carlo Tonini, Count Gallenga, Alfieri Maserati, Diego de Sterlich and Pietro Bortolini
Pietro Bortolini was a Maserati mechanic who assisted the Marchese de Sterlich

On that sad March 5th 1932, the day of Alfieri's funeral in Bologna, Diego de Sterlich would lead a band of drivers the calibre of Nuvolari, Borzacchini, Campari, Minoja and Nazzaro, who escorted the coffin on its final journey. Even though the two characters are no longer with us, Alfieri Maserati and Diego de Sterlich have entered motoring legend. A motoring world derived from passion, enthusiasm and sincere friendship, a world so diverse from that of today which relies so heavily on sponsors' names prominently displayed on cars, maddening electronics, and pit strategy. Oh, how much we miss the likes of Alfieri and Diego !


The Birth of Maserati

In the early 1920s the destinies of Diego de Sterlich, Alfieri Maserati and Diatto crossed one another’s paths linking them inextricably, and bringing about, during the course of a few years, the birth of one of the most prestigious of car marques, Maserati.

Between 1924 and 1925 Alfieri Maserati was commissioned by Ing. Coda, Technical Director at Diatto, to oversee the development of an eight-cylinder engine with a cubic capacity limited to two litres. Alfieri designed and built a 1995 cc engine. The engine, an eight-cylinder made of aluminium, utilised two Memini carburettors and a Roots supercharger. Mounted on the chassis of a Diatto 20 Sport, it was tested on the circuit at Monza. Among the test drivers was Marchese Diego de Sterlich, who commissioned a chassis from Diatto to be bodied by Carrozzeria Schieppati of Milan. Meanwhile Diatto had complained of considerable economic hardship, due to non-payment by the Italian government for military supplies.

In June of 1925 Alfieri Maserati consigned a second eight-cylinder engine had built to Diatto. Having collaborated with the Turin carmaker without receiving any monetary compensation, he kept the prototype in lieu of payment. Alfieri ended the relationship with Diatto, seeking an agreement with Bugatti through an intermediary, driver Franz Conelli. Diego de Sterlich made available the body made by Schieppati, on which was mounted a twin-block eight-cylinder engine with fixed heads. The car was shown to Ettore Bugatti in Milan. The agreement however was not concluded. The Marquis de Sterlich once again intervened by buying ten Diatto model Tipo 30 chassis. These chassis, together with a substantial economic contribution, were delivered to Alfieri Maserati.

Meanwhile the international motorsports governing body introduced a formula with engine capacity limited to maximum of 1500 cc. Alfieri reduced the displacement of the designed engine to one and a half litres, keeping the remainder unchanged from the specifications of the engine made for Diatto. The first Maserati was born in 1926 and for this reason was identified by the name "Tipo 26". It participated that same year in the Targa Florio, driven by the same Alfieri, taking victory in its class.

Between 1926 and 1932 eleven "Tipo 26" cars were produced, each one differing technically, dictated by the results obtained in competition. In 1927, Diego de Sterlich purchased the car stamped chassis number 14, which in the same year passed on to Baroness Maria Antonietta Avanzo. Two years later it was once again in the Marchese’s possession. The following year at its presentation the Maserati engine was given an increase in displacement, to the limit of two litres. Thus was born the "Tipo 26 B". Once again, its racing baptism took place in the Targa Florio on April 24th 1927. The car, with the chassis number 15, passed into the hands of the Marchese de Sterlich for the princely sum of 200,000 Liras. Of the six Tipo 26 Bs built, Diego de Sterlich also purchased chassis number 33, which on the 14th April 1929 lined up on the starting grid for the inaugural Monaco Grand Prix, with the license number PE 974.


My sincere thanks to Dott. Mario Semproni for his kindness in allowing me to publish this translation of his text.

From Richard in the UK

"Hello Enrico,

I hope you are well.

I came across two cars for sale in Greece recently which have unusual interiors and thought they may be of interest to you.

I spotted the Ghibli for sale and noticed that it had a blue Alcantara interior, I assumed that this must be a re-trim but then I came across a Quattroporte IV which also had Alcantara seats (they don't seem to quite match the door panels and dashboard though).

It seems to be too much of a coincidence that two different cars would have received a complete retrim in Alcantara and I wondered if you had ever come across this before or if you were aware that this material was offered as an alternative to leather for some markets ? I had certainly never come across it before.

Very best wishes,











I doubt that those cars left the factory with the Alcantara interiors. They were probably re-upholstered at a later date.

Owners do the strangest things at times. Having said that, whoever carried out this work did a good job.

From Enrico in the UK

"Ciao Maseratisti,

Thought you'd like to see my granddaughter Esta in her GranCabrio.





From Hisato in Japan

"Dear Enrico,

I came back to Japan last week to join the Biturbo Touring organized by Maserati Club of Japan.

The weekend was a 2-day holiday so that traffic jams were concerning but the weather was nice and we avoided the traffic jams by good planning.

Two teams, one from Tokyo and another from Nagoya, drove to Gotenba near Mt. Fuji where we enjoyed a lovely Italian lunch together with a pleasant veiw of our Maseratis on the garden lawn.

The Nagoya team arrived at Gotenba early and enjoyed a drive along winding roads to Hakone and had breakfast at Cafe Julia, a cafe famous amongst car enthusiasts.

I talked about the plans for this year, and we will have ABITTERIA Touring to Nagano in May, Nagoya Touring by Maserati Club of Japan in June, Maserati Trofeo in October and Maserati Day at sometime (tbd), for which I will come back to Japan.

Some of my friends are planning to go to Italy in September again. I just booked my flight ticket of May.

Best regards,



"Cat on a hot tin roof" by Maserati Shamal

The Nagoya team at Cafe Julia

The drive to Gotenba near Mt. Fuji

Buon appetito !!

Spaghetti al ragu

The mouthwatering dolce

No Maserati meal would be correct...

...without a little, perhaps even a lot, of Maserati chat !!

Maseratis cover the garden lawn






And now the drive back home !
From Newspress in the UK

For 2015 Maserati reconfirms its presence on the world’s most prestigious polo playing fields together with La Martina, official supplier of the Maserati Teams.

27th March 2015 - Saturday 23 May, in a spectacular polo arena directly on the beach of Sylt Island, Germany, will see the beginning of the “Julius Baer Beach Polo World Cup Sylt” the first of the four international polo tournaments that make up the "Maserati Polo Tour", organised by Maserati in partnership with La Martina, official supplier to the world’s most prestigious polo events.

This reconfirms the successful partnership between Maserati and La Martina that already has successful initiatives such as the co-branded capsule collections. This year Maserati’s presence in the polo world which first began in 2012, will be further reinforced as the Modenese car manufacturer will be main sponsor of some of the best polo events in its most strategic markets, from China to Europe and the USA.

On occasion of the 2015 Tour, La Martina and Maserati will launch a new capsule collection designed by La Martina for Maserati inspired by the concept of the "Polo Player Kit".

Immediately after its German inauguration, the Maserati Polo Tour will continue in the UK with the celebrated “Maserati Jerudong Park Trophy”, which supports the charities of HRH The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry and will take place on 24 May in one of the oldest and most prestigious English polo clubs, the "Cirencester Park Polo Club", inaugurated in 1894.

From 3 to 6 September Maserati will then compete with its team in the “USPA Maserati Silver Cup” at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, California, one of the oldest tournaments in North America, ranked in the top four USA polo tournaments. The last tournament will be hosted in October in China at “Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club, China”, with the “Maserati Metropolitan Polo Classic 2015”.

The competition and its rankings, supported by specialist publication Pololine, can be followed in the section of dedicated to the Maserati Polo Tour through the link

It will contain all the photos, extras and updates leg by leg, for a 'live' experience of all the thrills of the “Maserati Polo Tour”.

"Maserati Polo Tour" 2015 Programme

23-24 May: “Julius Baer Beach Polo World Cup Sylt”, Hörnum, Sylt, Germany

24 May: “Maserati Jerudong Park Trophy”, Cirencester Park Polo Club, Cirencester, United Kingdom

3-6 September: “USPA Maserati Silver Cup”, Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, Santa Barbara, California, USA

October 2015: “Maserati Metropolitan Polo Classic 2015”, Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club - Tianjin, China


Maserati Metropolitan Polo Classic, Tianjin 2014

Maserati Jerudong Park Polo Trophy, Cirencester 2014

Thanks to: La Martina, World Polo Tour and Pololine.

Maserati at Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club 2014

Maserati at Hörnum Polo Club, Sylt 2014
Text and photos courtesy of Maserati
From Nick in the UK

Hi All,

Well finally got the Ghibli Cup on the track with Rich and as they say "a thoroughly good time was had by all !"

Need to find some good track pads and track tyres to keep up with Rich's car but still does a good job as it's 100% stock in the suspension department. (it's got more grunt down the straights though I'm pleased to say ;-))

Here are three videos I shot, please like and share !

Ghibli Cup at Castle Combe 1:

Ghibli Cup at Castle Combe 2:

Ghibli Cup at Castle Combe 3:


S T O L E N !!!

"Dear Enrico,

Perhaps you are so kind and publish the following on your website.

My 3500 GT Vignale Spyder was stolen from an undergrounhd garage in Cologne, Germany on the night of the 3rd to 4th March 2015.

Here the information on the car:

MASERATI 3500 GT Spyder Vignale

Number Plate: K – JD 58 H (German Registration)

Built: 1961

Chassis No: AM 101*1171*

Internal Engine No: 822

Vignale Coachwork No: 31

colour: Light green/silver with red leather upholstery

I am the owner of the car since 2002. I think it´s really impossible to sell the car in the western world. Perhaps the car arrives in a state/region without rights.

If anybody has any information on the car please contact me at











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