People ask me a lot, and my crystal ball is still running an older operating system, but here goes.
Even if you’re not in the market for one, you probably realize that vintage 12 cylinder Ferraris are hot. If you are just starting to consider one as an investment, you may have missed the big run-up.
So start thinking SIX…, cylinders, that is. To be precise, a twin-overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine that was a close relative of that used in the fabulous World Champion 250F racing machine.
No matter what, there’s a cache about Maserati that even the mid-80’s Biturbo can’t dampen, and if you are looking for something from Modena not wearing the black prancing horse, consider one of these.
The Maserati brothers, Alferie, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto were all involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century, building 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinders (two straight-eights mounted parallel to one another).
But by the late 50’s, Maserati’s balance sheet was being used to line waste baskets. In severe financial difficulties, the company was forced to withdraw from racing, and, like Ferrari, turned to production road cars as a strategy to get back in the black.
The marque’s new era began in 1957 with the launch of the Touring-bodied 3500GT, its first road car built in significant numbers. A luxury ‘2+2’, the 3500GT drew heavily on Maserati’s competition experience, employing a tubular chassis frame, aluminum body, and an engine derived from the 350S competition sports car unit of 1956.
The 3500 designer was none other than Giulio Alfieri, creator of the immortal Tipo 60/61 Birdcage sports-racer.
Producing around 220bhp initially on carburettors, later examples producing 235bhp on Lucas mechanical fuel injection. Built initially with drum brakes and four-speed transmission, the 3500GT was progressively updated, gaining discs and a better chassis.
Next came the:
- Vignale-bodied Sebring in 1962
- Mistral Coupé in 1963 and Spider in 1964
- The company’s first four-door, the Quattroporte.
- Ghibli coupé was launched in 1967
I’ve driven some vintage Maseratis and have a few insured. These cars are absolute jewels and with the prices of contemporary Astons, Ferraris, Mercedes and Porsches now stratospheric, I predict today’s vintage Maserati prices are going to look cheap in 24 months.
Don’t make me the guy that says, “I told you so!”
See you on down the road,