Maserati Parade

For the last sixty-six years, the Columbus Day Parade on New York City’s Fifth Avenue has commemorated the pioneering spirit of the famed 15th century Italian explorer, as well as myriad contributions made by Italian-Americans to our great nation.  So when organizers were faced with the challenge of choosing a vehicle to lead the gaggle of floats and marchers, what better choice could they have made than a fast little Italian with a trident?

Modena-based sports car manufacturer Maserati continued its pronounced 2005 return to the American market with a sponsorship of Monday’s Columbus Day Parade that included a host of breathtaking 2-seaters and gran turismos.  While examples of the company’s current model range took part in the procession, classic car aficionados were no doubt more preoccupied by the rare and historic vintage Maseratis that participated.  These included a 1929/1931 Zagato-bodied V4 Spyder that established a world landspeed record in 1929, as well as two of the marque’s greatest 1950s sports cars, an A6G54 GT Berlinetta bodied by Frua that won Best of Show at the 2003 Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance, and a 1956 300S that Sir Stirling Moss once drove to victory at the 1956 Venezuelan Grand Prix.

Financial newscaster Maria Bartiromo, best known as the “money honey” and co-host of CNBC’s Closing Bell, served as the parade’s Grand Marshall, and led the entourage in a 1970 Maserati Ghibli SS Spyder, one of only 25 built.  Maserati further drummed up publicity with a raffle conducted in conjunction with the Columbus Citizen’s Foundation, the principle organization behind the parade.  When not organizing parades, the New York-based non-profit provides financial aid for deserving students ranging from elementary school kids to graduate degree candidates.  The winner of the raffle will receive a 2011 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible that is currently on display in the city’s renowned Grand Central Terminal.