Maserati enthusiasts from across the globe descended on the Scottish Highlands this weekend (20-23 September) for the landmark 40th edition of the annual Maserati International Rally.
Hosted in a different country each year, the Maserati International Rally (MIR) is an exclusive opportunity for fans and collectors of the House of Trident to meet, compete and showcase their special Maserati cars.
After being held in Germany last year, the Maserati Club UK organised this year’s event, based at the iconic Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder which features world famous golf courses, a luxury spa and Scotland’s only two-Michelin star restaurant.
A total of 120 stunning Maserati models took part, from 14 different countries, including 55 cars from the UK and five from as far away as Australia.
The driving element of the rally kicked off on Saturday and took in a hill climb course up the famous Rest and be Thankful road which divides Glen Kinglas from Glen Croe and, at its highest point of 245m above sea level, offers views of some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland.
The hill climb, organised in conjunction with the Caledonian Motor Club, was over a road built by General Wade in the 1750s to allow the English easier access to some of the wilder parts of the Scottish Highlands.
Among the cars taking part in this year’s MIR were a host of classics including the oldest vehicle taking part, a 1957 Maserati 3500GT, a Vignale Spider as well as a stunning Sebring.
Alongside these beautiful classics were more recent vehicles, including several Maserati GranTurismos and the latest Levante SUV. Overall, the collection of participating vehicles illustrated the strength of Maserati’s DNA, which could be seen clearly in modern day cars as well as the classics.
The coveted Peter Martin Trophy, awarded to the winner of the rally at the prize giving that closed out the event, was won by Armin and Beatriz Streuli and their Maserati Coupé while the winner of the Concours d’Elegance was named as Onno Hesselink’s Mistral Coupé.
Whilst the cars were the main focus of the Rally, there was ample time for participants to take in some of the cultural and scenic highlights of the unique territory with visits to Inveraray, Blair and Stirling Castles, a malt whisky distillery and even an opportunity to take part in a Scottish Cèilidh where the dress code was decidedly tartan.
Next year’s MIR will be hosted by the Maserati Club in Sweden.