1959 Maserati 3500GT
Year of manufacture1959
$220,000 - $260,000
- Sympathetically restored in the late 2000s
- Retains its original engine; desirable early carbureted example
- Includes Maserati Classiche documentation
- Superleggera coachwork in a striking color combination
- Maserati’s ultimate road car of the 1950s
- Please note this lot will need to be collected from Emeryville, CA
By the late 1950s, Maserati faced financial difficulties that prompted the development of a series-produced grand touring model. The inline six-cylinder motor of the dependable 350 S sports racer was reworked with wet-sump lubrication, and the camshaft profile was modified for road drivability.
At the 1957 Geneva Salon Maserati introduced the resulting road car, the 3500 GT. With an advanced chassis clothed in breathtaking new aluminum coachwork by Carrozzeria Touring, the 3500 GT was an instant success, and its popularity led to a renaissance in sales. Just under 2,000 examples were built through 1964, and the model remains esteemed by enthusiasts of all stripes for its historical importance, aesthetic beauty, and stout performance.
This benchmark example benefits from long-term storage in a California garage followed by a more recent photo-documented restoration to factory specifications. The result is one of the most handsome examples of a 3500 GT offered in some time. As demonstrated by a manufacturer’s certificate of origin and a factory build sheet, chassis no. 530 completed assembly in July 1959. Specified as a European example with instruments in kilometers, the 3500 GT was finished in distinctive Azzurro Grigio Verde (blue gray-green). Following delivery to Milan, the car was subsequently exported to the United States, where it was acquired during the 1970s by two brothers residing in California.
One of the brothers, Mark Fletcher, recalled discovering the car for sale in 1979 with an asking price of $3,500. Just 17 years old at the time, he thought his luck was too good to be true and assumed the price was a typo. It was not. He was able to convince his older brother to buy the car. Originally planning to preserve it, the Maserati was parked with the intention of returning it to the road. Circumstances eventually prolonged this period of storage to last for more than 30 years. In 2009, the Maserati finally emerged from storage and the decision was made to commence a proper refurbishment to a level Mr. Fletcher thought the car always deserved. Brian Moore Restoration was commissioned to refinish the coachwork in the striking and attractive blue that it wears today.
The four-speed gearbox was shipped to ZF in Germany for a proper overhaul, while the original 3.5-liter DOHC inline six had been rebuilt prior to the car’s extended period of storage. Mechanical systems were rebuilt as needed, including the brakes and suspension. The car was fitted with new Koni shock absorbers, a stainless-steel exhaust system, a period-correct Autovox radio, and upgraded insulation. Cosmetic considerations were rounded out with a re-trimming of the interior with fresh beige leather and Wilton carpets, though original items were left unrestored when possible, including the quilted trunk liner.
The marque bearing the familiar trident logo offered up the 3500 GT as its ultimate roadgoing model during Italy’s la dolce vita era. This carefully restored example is as sweet as they come, ideal for concours presentation and touring events, offering a beautiful example of one of Maserati’s most celebrated models.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/0120.