Lot 620: Maserati 3500GTI Coupé
By the end of the 1950s Maserati was facing a bleak future. Its parent company's financial difficulties forced a withdrawal from racing, and Maserati's survival strategy henceforth centred on establishing the company as a producer of road cars. The Modena 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 on Maserati's competition experience, employing a tubular chassis frame and an engine derived from the 350S sports car unit. Suspension was independent at the front by wishbones and coil springs, while at the back there was a conventional live axle/semi-elliptic arrangement. The twin-overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine developed around 220bhp initially, later examples producing 235bhp on Lucas mechanical fuel injection. Built initially with drum brakes and a four-speed gearbox, the 3500GT was gradually improved, gaining five speeds, front disc brakes and, finally, all-disc braking. By the time the 3500GT was discontinued in 1964, around 2,200 of all types had been made. The example offered here represents the pinnacle of the model's development, featuring the five-speed ZF gearbox, twin-plug ignition and Lucas mechanical fuel injection, hence the name change to '3500GTI', the first time the now common 'GTI' appellation had ever been used. Chassis number '2462' was sold new via the Dutch importer Naasland in Voolurg on 24th September 1962 and in the 1980s passed to a French resident in Var. The current vendor bought the Maserati in 2001 from a person living in Bordeaux, via a retailer based in Lyon. Since acquisition the engine has been fitted with Weber carburettors, replacing the Lucas fuel injection, and the car treated to a complete restoration. The latter commenced in 2004 and was completed in 2012, since when the car has scarcely been used. Refinished in its rare original livery of Maya Red with black Connolly leather interior, this beautiful Italian classic is described as in generally very good condition and offered with Maserati factory certificate, French Carte Grise and the original fuel injection system.
Grand Palais Sale|
Bonhams, Paris, France
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||€93150|
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