1981 Maserati Merak
Year of manufacture1981
Mileage68 000 mi / 109 436 km
"Maserati followed up its first mid-engined supercar, the Bora, with the similar Merak. Launched in 1972, the latter was intended as competition for Ferrari's top-selling Dino 246 and used a stretched, 3.0 litre, 190bhp version of the four-cam V6 that had debuted in the Citroën SM. The French firm owned Maserati at the time, so the Merak made use of the SM's transmission, power-operated, all-disc braking and more controversially, Citroën's quirky instrumentation, though this applied to lefthand drive cars only, righthand drive examples using the more conventional fascia of the Bora. The chassis, all-independent suspension and impeccable handling remained basically as the V8 engined Bora's, though the Merak offered the convenience of a plus two seating in the rear and superior all-round vision thanks to its distinctive rear 'flying buttresses'.
Competition from Ferrari's new Dino V8 prompted the introduction of a more powerful version, the Merak SS with 220bhp engine and revised interior for 1975. Widely recognised as one of the finest, if not the finest, of contemporary V6s, the Merak SS engine proved smooth, powerful and capable of delivering its power over a surprisingly wide range for such a high performance engine. Like any true thoroughbred, the Merak possessed handling commensurate with its breathtaking acceleration and 150mph maximum speed, which for the period was outstanding. 'Performance and handling are the raison d'être of a mid-engined sports car, and the Merak's astounding cornering power is a match for its straight-line punch,' observed Motor magazine.
This car, chassis 653, is an SS model, lighter and more powerful than preceding Meraks. The SS is fitted with bigger carburettors, has a higher compression ratio and improved trim including the Bora dashboard. This example is a Tipo AM122/A factory righthand drive car, manufactured in February 1982 and thought to be one of about 300 made. Featured in Classic & Sportscar magazine, this car was owned by a fastidious individual who adopted a cost no object approach to his Maserati. As such, this Merak has been through the workshops of Italian car specialist DTR (with parts from Bill McGrath Maserati specialists) where it has received a concours standard repaint, retrim and fully rebuilt engine, amongst other works.
The impressive history file records around £75,000 has been spent on this car in the last few years, which has brought it up to the exceptional standard it presents here today, with the restoration reflecting high quality workmanship respecting originality. The Maserati Classiche certification accompanying the car confirms that it is in the original colour scheme and fitted with its original engine (matching numbers).
The Giugiaro designed body presents spectacularly with excellent panel fitment (not a given with this model) and correct gaps throughout. Repainted in 2016, the glass like paint finish, in the original classic Maserati red 'Rosso Fuoco' is fantastic and is without blemish. All the glass is lovely on this car, along with very nice exterior trim and lenses. The refinished Campagnolo magnesium wheels are unmarked and the overall presentation of this Merak will satisfy the most discerning person.
Only 1000 miles ago, this Merak benefitted from an extensive engine rebuild with new pistons, liners, chains, valves, main and big end bearing shells and a full lighten and balance of the crankshaft. The clutch assembly, including hydraulics have been replaced, the Weber carburettors rebuilt and a stainless sports exhaust system fitted, together with a new LHM tank. The engine bay is very correct in presentation and all components have been expertly refinished, including vapour blasting the engine block and heads and gold passivating of many engine fittings. It was recently fitted with correct Michelin XWX tyres all round and is sold with a fresh MoT test certificate. The car’s interior is simply gorgeous. Re-trimmed to original specifications, the black leather seats, carpets and door cards have been redone, with the dashboard being trimmed in the right 'mouse hair' material. The wheels have been repainted and new tyres fitted and a new stainless steel exhaust has also been fitted. The car is presented with a Becker Monza radio/tape player and everything works including the clock, you can enjoy this leather lined cocoon in comfort with cold, re-gassed air conditioning.
This beautifully presented example of a classic Maserati is ready for shows, events or simple enjoyment as the great sports car it was intended to be. A matching numbers Merak in ultimate SS guise, in the best colour scheme, this must surely be amongst one of the very best examples out there."