Spyker Aeroblades aside, collaborations between car and bicycle manufacturers are rarely impressive. BMW, for example, have produced some appalling bicycles — which is a pity given that their 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 legendary Italian bicycle builder Montante and carriage works Maserati.
Created in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Indianapolis 500 of the Maserati 8CTF #1, the bike debuted at the Paris International Motor Show which took place from the 2nd to the 17th October 2010. A limited run of 200 bikes has been created, in commemoration of the number of laps completed at the Indy 500 by driver Wilbur Shaw in 1940. The car was named the Boyle Special after the US based sponsor who financed Maserati’s expeditions. Montante has applied numerous correlations between the car and the bike, including a replica of the Boyle Special logo on the top tube, the authentic 30’s 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 colour of the bike has been matched perfectly to the Maserati, a warm Cabernet Sauvignon, with a red leather trim as per the four-wheeler’s upholstery. Montante is a firm that has slipped under the English speaking bicycle radar, but their history extends back to the 1920’s and is one of Italy’s most beloved marques. Montante have their 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 was in 1939. Who else is sticking a front disc brake on a fixed geared bike? It might not necessarily be 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 just smart marketing venture, it’s downright necessary.
Hat tip to The Italian Cycling Journal. You can read the verdict from the Maserati Enthusiasts on their website, and you can order your own individually numbered Montante Maserati from the Cicli Montante website. It’ll only cost you around 3,000 euros. Small price to pay for an environmentally sound Maserati.