1953 Maserati Tipo 160/T4 Sport
Frame no. 546
Engine no. 546
Contrary to popular belief, Maserati motorcycles were not manufactured at the eponymous car-maker's Modena factory but by another subsidiary of the Orsi Group parent company, Fabbrica Candele e Accumulatori Maserati (FCAM), which manufactured spark plugs and other automotive electrical components. Demand for two-wheeled transportation was booming in post-WW2 Italy, prompting FCAM to purchase Italmoto, a small independent manufacturer in Bologna, in 1953. Production was transferred to FCAM's factory in Modena and the company reconstituted as Maserati Candele, Accumulatori e Moto, producing one of Italmoto's existing designs, a 158cc overhead-valve four-stroke single, while new Maserati-designed models were developed. Renamed the Tipo 160/T4, the 158cc single remained in the Maserati line-up until motorcycle production ceased in 1959. Presented in original, un-restored condition, the machine offered here is one of the first series of 50, which were produced with the engine and frame plate still marked 'Italmoto'. Previously forming part of the Professor Fritz Ehn Collection, it was purchased by the current vendor at Bonhams' sale of the Ehn Collection at the RAF Museum, Hendon in June 2008 (Lot 219). The machine has been kept in storage as part of the vendor's extensive private collection but has not been used since acquisition. Re-commissioning and the customary safety checks will be required before further use. There are no documents with this Lot.
- This motorcycle was purchased by the current vendor at Bonhams' Paris Sale in February 2011, and not as stated in the catalogue.