1966 Maserati Mistral
Year of manufacture1966
Chassis numberAM109/A1 724
1966 Maserati Mistral 4000 Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Frua
Chassis no. AM109/A1 724
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 3500 GT. A luxury aluminium-bodied '2+2', the 3500 GT 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 3500 GT'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 3500 GT was progressively updated, gaining five speeds, front disc brakes and, finally, all-disc braking.
Last of the classic six-cylinder Maseratis, the Pietro Frua-styled Mistral commenced production in 1963. The 3.7-litre version of the famous long-stroke engine was fitted to most cars, other options being the 3.5-litre or, from 1966, the 4.0-litre unit, all of which came with Lucas fuel injection. A handsome two-seater on a shortened, square-tube chassis, the aluminium-bodied Mistral was built in coupé and spyder versions, the former's opening rear window hatch making it unusually practical for a sports 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 828 coupés and 123 spyders had been built.
A desirable five-speed manual transmission model, this particular Mistral 4-litre was produced on 9th May 1966 and left the factory bound for Verona, Italy. The original colour scheme was Argento Auteuil (silver) with blue leather interior. This Mistral was purchased by the current owner in 1982 from a German gentleman, Hans Haemer, who is believed to be the second owner. Mr Haemer had changed the colour to the current dark blue metallic, finding it more appropriate. The original light blue interior is still present and has a delightful patina. The Maserati was completely restored in the 1990s and, as one would expect of an older restoration, the paintwork is now showing some slight signs of age. We are advised by the vendor that the original matching-numbers engine was completely overhauled recently; new fuel injectors were fitted to the original Lucas fuel injection system, which is said to work very well, though the fuel pump and injection pump were not overhauled. The original ZF five-speed gearbox likewise is said to work very well. Adjustable shock absorbers have been fitted to greater ride comfort, and the Mistral comes complete with its Borrani spare wheel.
A real driver's car, ideal for classic tours or holiday driving, this exotic Mistral 4000 is offered with sundry parts invoices and Netherlands registration papers.