1966 Maserati Mistral
Year of manufacture1966
Chassis numberAM109 S 067
Engine numberAM109 S 067
Number of seats2
1966 Maserati Mistral 3.5-Litre Spyder
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Frua
Registration no. HUJ 310D
Chassis no. AM109 S 067
Engine no. AM109 S 067
'We do not suppose there are many cars whose names conjure up an aura of exotic glamour to the same extent as that of Maserati. Even now, many years after the company has withdrawn from any form of competition, past glories linger on.' - Sporting Motorist.
Maserati's survival strategy for the 1960s centred on establishing the company - which hitherto had mainly concentrated on its Grand Prix and sports car racing activities - as a producer of road cars. The Modena marque's new era began in 1957 with the launch at the Geneva Salon of the Touring-bodied 3500GT. A luxury '2+2', the 3500GT drew heavily on Maserati's competition experience, employing a tubular chassis frame and an engine derived from the 350S sports car unit of 1956. Suspension was independent at the front by wishbones and coil springs, while at the back there was a conventional live axle/semi-elliptic arrangement. The 3500GT's designer was none other than Giulio Alfieri, creator of the immortal Tipo 60/61 'Birdcage' sports-racer and the man responsible for developing the 250F into a World Championship winner. The twin-overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine was a close relative of that used in the 250F and developed around 220bhp initially, later examples producing 235bhp on Lucas mechanical fuel injection. Built initially with drum brakes and four-speed transmission, the 3500GT was progressively updated, gaining five speeds, front disc brakes and, finally, all-disc braking.
Last of these classic six-cylinder Maseratis, the Pietro Frua-styled Mistral commenced production in 1963. The 3.7-litre version of the Bolognese manufacturer's long-stroke engine was fitted to most cars, other options being the 3.5-litre or, from 1966, the 4.0-litre unit. A handsome two-seater on a shortened, square-tube chassis, the Mistral was built in coupé and spyder versions, the former's opening rear window hatch making it an unusually practical car. A five-speed gearbox, disc brakes and fuel injection were standard equipment; automatic transmission, air conditioning and a limited-slip differential the options. Production ceased in 1970, by which time a total of approximately 828 coupés and 125 spyders had been built.
Believed to be one of the 1966 Turin Motor Show cars, this right-hand drive Mistral Spyder was originally sold by the UK Maserati concessionaire to its first owner, Mr Elias Houry, a London-based banker. It subsequently passed through the hands of four registered keepers, including two well known exotic car dealers, Anthony Rees Thorley and Charles Harris, before ending up in the possession of Thomas Walduck, a well known collector, in 1974. Marque specialists Corley Motors purchased the Maserati from Mr Walduck circa 1993 and extensively restored the car, which passed via dealer Neil Crabb to its next private owner, Sir John Roger, in July 1998.
Sit John appears to have used the Maserati sparingly during his ownership, accompanying bills for maintenance work and expired MoT certificates showing the odometer reading increasing from 75,618 in 1999 to 77,450 in 2005, a total of only 1,832 miles in six years. Purchased by dealer Brain Classic at a UK auction in July 2005, 'HUJ 310D' was sold to its current owner the following month.
The mileage at time of acquisition was 77,451, to which the vendor has added some 11,000 miles, making the current total 88,494. The accompanying and most substantial service history dates back to the car's time at Corley Motors and continues with bills and MoT certificates relating to its time in Sir John Rogers' ownership. Needless to say, all bills and MoT certificates accumulated by the current owner are in the file also, making for a most impressively documented history. The latter testifies to the vendor's fastidious 'no expense spared' approach to maintenance, with the bulk of the work undertaken being shared between renowned marque specialist Bill McGrath and Classic Restorations of Alyth, Perthshire. In total, some £80,000 has been spent over the course of the last ten years, the most recent significant expenditure relating to a major bodywork restoration and repaint carried out by Vale Cottage Motors in December 2012 at a cost of £40,000. The car will be offered for sale fresh from a service by Bill McGrath Maserati.
Of the relative handful of Mistral Spyders built in right-hand drive configuration, 'HUJ 310D' is believed to be one of only two known to still exist but is the only one fitted with a detachable factory hardtop. Refinished in its original 'Red Arcoveggio' with magnolia hide interior, this beautiful car represents a unique opportunity to acquire one of these delightful, rare, hand-built Spyders possessing impeccable provenance.