1969 Maserati Mexico
Year of manufacture1969
Chassis numberAM 112/1 378
Engine numberSee Text
1969 Maserati Mexico 4700
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Vignale
Chassis no. AM 112/1 378
Engine no. See Text
Named later in honour of Cooper-Maserati's victory in the 1966 Mexican Grand Prix, when John Surtees triumphed in the final round of that year's Formula 1 World Championship, the Mexico debuted at the 1966 Turin Motor Show. The new V8-engined sports car boasted elegant yet understated coachwork by Carrozzeria Vignale, Maserati's preferred coachbuilder at this time, and was intended for customers who wanted a luxurious four-seater but preferred something more sporting than the larger Quattroporte saloon.
Maserati's long-established four-cam V8 engine was employed in 4.7-litre form for the newcomer. Designed for competition, this robust unit had first been seen in the 450S sports-racer back in 1957 and made its road-car debut in that most celebrated of Maseratis: the 5000 GT. Progressively civilised for road use, the V8 arrived in 'production' form in the first Quattroporte of 1963 and would be the backbone power plant of the Maserati range throughout the 1960s and '70s. As installed in the Mexico, the 4.7-litre version produced 290bhp, which was good enough for a top speed of around 225km/h (140mph) though several sources quote speeds of around 240km/h (150mph). A more economical 4.2-litre (4200) version was available also, which despite having 'only' 260bhp on tap, was only a few kilometres per hour slower. Apart from its live rear axle, the Mexico's underpinnings were similar to the contemporary Quattroporte saloon's, featuring double wishbone independent front suspension, disc brakes all round, a ZF five-speed gearbox as standard and optional automatic transmission.
A subtle piece of styling - photographs do not do it justice - the Mexico afforded space for four adults and their luggage, while the well-equipped interior featured comfortable seating and an elegant dashboard with enough instruments and switches to make an airline pilot feel at home. On the road, the Mexico accomplished the difficult trick of offering both secure handling and a supple ride. Production ceased in 1973 after 480 cars had been built, 305 of which had the 4.2-litre engine. These are numbers that make the contemporary Ghibli (1,274 built) seem mass produced by comparison.
This Mexico was delivered new to first owner Mr J Ostersetzer in Switzerland. The current vendor purchased the Maserati in January 2011 from dealer Hans Bezemer of Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands. At that time it was stated that the car had been completely restored in Italy in the late 1990s, and completely restored again in 2003-2005. The latter restoration was said to have been undertaken by Geert Jan Peeters of Kampen, Netherlands, while the engine rebuild was attributed to Giuseppe Gandini in Modena, Italy. The original engine was replaced for another 4.7 litre unit from another car, and the original automatic gearbox has been replaced with a more desirable manual gearbox. Stored since acquisition, the car will require re-commissioning before further use.
Please note that this vehicle is not offered with any original registration documents, bidders should satisfy themselves as to registration requirements in their own jurisdiction. Please contact the department for further information.
Please note that if this vehicle remains within Belgium the reduced rate of Import VAT at 6% will be charged on the hammer price. Please note that if you purchase as an EU Company, the VAT amount will be calculated based on your registered country's rate. Import rates to other EU Countries may vary and an administration fee will be charged to prepare the necessary customs clearances with the Bonhams Customs Agents. If you have any questions regarding customs clearance, please contact the Bonhams Motorcar Department or our recommended shippers.