Additional photos of this 1958 Maserati 50/T2/SS are available here for your perusal.
Originally founded in 1914 by five brothers (Carlo, Ettore, Alfieri, Bindo, and Ernesto) in Italy, Maserati was purchased by Adolfo Orsi in 1937. After Orsi’s death in the early ’50s, the business was divided into three different outfits: a foundry known as “Fonder di Modena”, “Fabric Candele e Accumulatori Maserati” (FCAM), which produced automotive spark plugs, batteries, and lightbulbs, and the Maserati everyone knows today, “Maserati Automobil”. FCAM was inherited by Adolfo’s sister, Ida, and she astutely saw the growing demand for economical transportation offerings in post-war Italy. With that in mind, “Maserati” got into the small displacement motorcycle and moped market – it just wasn’t the automotive division, like riders typically assume.
Due to the family connection, the two-wheelers were still allowed to use the Maserati name and the trident logo, which is derived from the “Fountain of Neptune” statue from 1565 in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore. This was tremendously helpful in export markets as the cars were famous for their style and performance, so consumers were expecting more of the same from motorcycles and mopeds with the same branding.
Italian laws limited minors to 50cc mopeds (with pedals) and Maserati went out of its way to aesthetically mimic larger displacement machines by utilizing megaphone exhausts, race number plates, wraparound front fenders, and other styling features that attracted a younger demographic. One of the most obvious examples of this was the T2/SS, the top of the line of Maserati’s 50cc models.
The 50c range was introduced in 1956 with three frames – one specifically designed for men (50/T2/U), one for women (50/T2/S), and one for racing (50/T2/SS). All three models shared a 2.8 horsepower 49cc engine and a three-speed transmission with twist shift.
A dry weight of under 110 pounds meant that the bike was capable of 40 mph+ despite the diminutive engine, and the SS looked like it could double that speed thanks to the inspired styling.
This SS is VIN: SS2405, Engine #: SS7353.
The odometer shows 1,649 miles.
The seller is the second owner – he acquired it five years ago from the original family and has not covered any miles with it. Impressively, the sale includes the original sales invoice, registration, and insurance paperwork.
The seller notes that it still has the original tires, tubes, and seat. It runs well and starts easily – “it can even be started by hand as seen in the walk around video(at the top of the listing).”
Cosmetically, the seller states that “it presents very well as can be seen in the pictures for a bike that is 63 years old. I kept it as a display in my warehouse and it looked absolutely great as it is, attracting a lot of attention.”
Mechanically, “it starts and runs well and does not need appear to need anything with the exception of the rear wheel, which could need to be trued up.”
Currently located in Johannesburg, South Africa, this Maserati is offered on a clean South African title.
Have any Maserati motorcycle stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the comments!
Iconic’s White Glove process for an auction winner that requires shipping out of South Africa:
We release money to the seller once it’s dropped at our transport company. From there we get the necessary clearances and in this case, we’ll include it in one of our containers as we currently have approximately 40 bikes in South Africa that are ready to ship (which drastically amortizes your cost). We handle Customs and receipt into the port of Los Angeles. We can also help with the USA title process.
As Adam says, “we pretty much do it all. It does take a little time but typically but it’s worth the wait as the examples we’ve seen so far from this particular Seller are all quite excellent!”