Leaving Spyker Aeroblades aside, collaborations between car and bicycle manufacturers are rarely impressive. BMW, for example, has produced some appalling bicycles — which is a pity given that its design department is held in such high regard.
Occasionally, when the stars are aligned, a hook-up produces a real gem. Like this project between the (now-defunct) Italian bicycle builder Montante and the venerable luxury vehicle manufacturer Maserati. This Maserati bicycle only cost around 3,000 euros — a small price to pay for an environmentally sound Maserati.
Created to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Maserati 8CTF #1 Indianapolis 500 victory, this bike debuted at the Paris International Motor Show in 2010.
A limited run of 200 Maserati bicycles was created — the same number as the laps completed at the Indy 500 by driver Wilbur Shaw in 1940.
The Maserati race car was named the Boyle Special, after the US-based sponsor who financed Maserati’s expeditions. Montante applied numerous correlations between the car and the bike, including a replica of the Boyle Special logo on the top tube, an authentic 30s script on the down tube, embossed tridents on the hubs, and the same enameled badge on the head tube that appeared on the Maserati’s bonnet.
The color of the bike has been matched perfectly to the vintage Maserati — a warm Cabernet Sauvignon — with red leather trim as per the four-wheeler’s upholstery.
And Montante? It’s a firm that largely slipped under the English-speaking bicycle radar, but its history extends back to the 1920s, and it was one of Italy’s most beloved marques.
On this machine Montante has its brand emblazoned on most of the components, but I’m wondering how many of them are re-branded from other manufacturers.
Nonetheless, it is a spectacular bike, as innovative today as the Maserati 8CTF (below) was in 1939. Who else is sticking a front disc brake on a fixed-geared bike? It’s not necessarily the smartest thing to do, but at least they’re putting it out there.
BMW, Porsche and Peugeot could take a leaf out of Montante’s book and produce an equally drool-worthy machine. In today’s ecologically critical environment, it’s not just a smart marketing venture, it’s downright necessary.
Hat tip to The Italian Cycling Journal.