On May 25, Giulio Alfieri, one of the giants of 20th century motorsport, strode through the scrutineering paddock of the 2000 Mille Miglia Storica in Brescia, Italy, hardly looking right or left. Which is odd because three postwar Maseratis were in the enclosure at the time and, of course, Alfieri designed the Trident’s cars from 1953 to 1975. In fact, 22 Maseratis took part in this year’s event – the lion’s share Alfieri’s offspring.
Alfieri refers to himself as a person seldom overcome by emotion. “I worked for Maserati. I was in charge of design and production. I had to produce, and I produced. That’s all there was to it,” he said.
Later, the man behind such outstanding cars as the Maserati 250F and A6GCS admitted to being a little moved at seeing so many of his creations looking immaculate and ready to take on Brescia’s famous 1000 miles yet another time. But he confided that he lived with a problem of another kind.
“Do you know what I am thinking of now and what will forever be on my mind?” he asked. “I think with great pain, which has never left me, of those drivers who lost their lives in cars like these, Marimon, Valenzano… certainly drivers risk death in motor racing, but did those young men make mistakes or were their fatal accidents the fault of these cars? I do not know now, and I will never know. That is the anguish which has never left me, even after all this time”
“Perhaps the technology of the day comes out of it absolved, but the moral question remains. I am unable to free myself of that.”