To be OFFERED AT AUCTION at Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale event, April 1-3, 2016.
Chassis No. AM1012638
Estimate: $200,000 - $240,000 US
The Maserati 3500 GT was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1957 and produced through 1964. It was tasked with rescuing the company, which at that time was facing significant financial difficulties that forced its withdrawal from racing after incredible successes; that most recently accomplished by the 1957 world championship-winning Maserati Tipo 250F Formula 1 racecar in the hands of now five-time world champion driver Juan Manuel Fangio. Unfortunately the official Manufacturer’s Championship was still one year away.
Maserati hoped to capitalize on the successes of their six-cylinder 250F GP car, which many consider to be the best built, most balanced and best driving of the front-engined GP cars, and its 300S sports-racing sibling. The engine in the 3500 GT is a derivative of this proven powerplant.
The original brief for the car was to produce a fast GT that would be both exciting to drive and comfortable and practical for daily use. As the car was bodied by Touring and built in Milan using their Superleggera light-alloy process, these aims were achieved. These stunning-looking coupes were a hit with celebrities, and notable owners of this car included Prince Rainier III of Monaco and actors Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson, and Anthony Quinn. In total, over 2,200 examples of the handsome 2+2 pillarless coupe were built, including the GTi models, such as this. At the time, it was the largest production run for any Maserati.
Between 1961 and 1964, those cars produced were equipped with a ZF five-speed manual transmission, which replaced the four-speed used earlier. The GTi model arrived in 1962, with the “i” signifying the use of Lucas fuel injection. Development and refinement continued on the Maserati 3500GT throughout its production lifespan.
The Maserati 3500 GTi runs with a 3.5-liter DOHC six-cylinder engine with 235 horsepower and the ZF five-speed manual transmission. It is presented in a most tidy manner and the paint color is carried into the cockpit with dash and upper door detailing. The dash pad is black, as is the passenger grab bar; the seats and door panels are finished in a saddle tone. Jaeger instrumentation monitors the cars systems (the amp gauge is Lucas) and the Maserati also features a period AM/FM radio, power windows, front disc with rear drum brakes, wood-rimmed steering wheel and factory wheels with center caps.
The Maserati 3500 GTi cost around $13,000 when new, then a healthy sum. Car & Driver offered their opinion in the January 1963 issue by stating: “Since Maserati concentrated production on Grand Touring cars, the six-cylinder 3500 GT and V-8 500 GT have gained a reputation – which rivals that of the Ferrari Superamerica – as the most powerful, comfortable, silent, fast and safe road cars in the world." 1963 Maserati 3500 GTi Coupe