The Maserati 50 T2 SS, nicknamed “The Toad”, has the same trident brand of world-known legendary cars, but was not produced by the famous Modena-based carmaker. Its history is tied, instead, to a relatively simple corporate chain of events that has often created misunderstandings.
It so happened that the company Alfieri Maserati founded in Bologna in 1914 was taken over by Modena-born industrialist Adolfo Orsi, in 1937.
Ten years later, in 1947, Orsi founded a new independent company, Fabbrica Candele Accumulatori Maserati (which we mentioned in a previous article). In 1953, amidst corporate restructuring, Fabbrica Candele was entrusted to Adolfo’s sister, Ida Orsi.
The logo simply never changed: the trident therefore was also used to brand spark plugs and car batteries.
Around the same time, Fabbrica Candele Accumulatori Maserati’s directors decided to invest in manufacturing motorcycles and acquired Bologna-based Italmoto. A few years later, in 1956 to be exact, the 50 T2 SS was launched: a “Maserati on two wheels” by birthright, although production-wise completely unrelated to the luxury cars of the same name.
The unique motorcycle, “dressed” like a racing motorbike, was nicknamed “Toad” by Lina Borri, wife of Bolognese dealer Guido Borri, who also customized the vehicle with a transfer meant to recall the amphibian.