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Is now the time to buy a Maserati Merak SS?

The Maserati Merak is one of those wedgy sports cars that – with its sharp lines and crisp edges – reminds us of the best of the 1970s. At Goodwood on 21 March, Bonhams will be offering one of the youngest specimens for sale – and it could well reach a record price...

Like its contemporaries, the Ferrari 308 GT4 ‘Dino’ and Lamborghini Urraco, the Maserati Merak has remained a bit of an underdog in the collectors’ market, while nevertheless being one of the strongest design statements of the 1970s. If you find one for sale on the European market, it usually goes for less than 50,000 euros. Even in period, the Merak’s comparatively small three-litre V6, the same as used on its sister car, the Citroën SM, left it in the shadow of more powerful sports cars of that era. Even within its own family, the meatier Maserati Bora – with its 4.7-litre V8 – left the Merak with little chance to shine. The fact that the brothers, bar the engines, shared almost all technical components, did little to sway the critics. Today, a Maserati Bora costs about five times as much.

But the dark ages of the Merak could soon be over. At a sale by Auctionata, in Berlin recently, a Merak in less than perfect condition doubled its estimate of 16,000 euros.

24 years in the same hands

The 1982 Maserati Merak SS shown here is one of the last produced, and one of only 300 built in right-hand drive. SS stands for ‘Super Sport’ and describes the most powerful version – with 220HP. The Merak, with its Giallo Fly paintwork, lingered for 24 years with the same owner and is well known on the Maserati Club scene, where it has won awards in a number of events. It comes up for sale on 21 March at the Bonhams Goodwood Members' Meeting sale. The estimate is a mere 35,000 to 45,000 pounds sterling. How much longer can the Giugiaro-designed wedge remain at a price like that?

Photos: Bonhams