His engineering career started in a bicycle factory in Affori, near Milan, where he developed a one-cylinder internal combustion engine for motorized bicycles. The engine went into production at Marquis Michele Carcano di Anzano del Parcos factory, using a leather strap as transmission. Carlo was engaged as a racer of these bicycles, winning the Brescia-Orzinouvi (1899), Brescia-Cremona-Mantua-Verona-Brescia and Padova-Bovolenta (1900).
Carcanos factory ended in 1901, and Carlo worked as test driver for Fiat (1901–1903), then as test driver and mechanic at Isotta Fraschini (1903) where he was joined by brother Alfieri Maserati. He moved to work on automobiles for Bianchi (motorcycles) (1907), where he raced the Coppa Florio (9th) and the Kaiserpreis, before becoming manager of the Junior car company (1908). At Junior, he hired his brother Ettore Maserati. Carlo died of tuberculosis (1910) and his brothers established Maserati in Bologna (1914).
- "Maserati Might: a 1898 motor cycle started the story of the Maserati brothers and the famous racing cars they built". Autocar. 127. Vol. (nbr 3728). 23 July 1967. pp. 12–15.
- 100 Years of Maserati Archived December 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine from maserati.org.au
- Motoring picture of Carcano and Carlo Maserati
- 1900 GP
- Diatto and the Maserati brothers