1963 Maserati SebringSeries 1
Year of manufacture1963
Electric windowsYesClimate controlYes
Exterior brand colourBlu Sera
Number of doors2
Number of seats4
• 1963 Maserati Sebring
• Presented in its original colour combination
• Specified with factory air-conditioning
• Two owners from new until 2011
• Fastidiously maintained in recent years by McGrath Maserati
This matching-numbers Maserati Sebring was built at the Modena factory on 13 September 1963 and first registered on 23 October, and it has still had only four owners from new.
Its original custodian was René Borgerhoff Mulder, who was based in Wassenaar – a small town just north of The Hague in The Netherlands. Borgerhoff Mulder was a wartime pilot who was reputedly a friend of Prince Bernhard, and competed in the Tulip Rally and Monte Carlo Rally on a number of occasions. He would regularly act as co-driver on such events for Hans Maasland, whose family owned the Maserati dealership in Voorburg from where Borgerhoff Mulder bought this Sebring.
The documents from Maserati Classiche state that chassis number 01937 was originally finished in Blue Sera with red interior and had the five-speed ZF manual gearbox. It was also specified with the sought-after air-conditioning and Borrani wire wheels.
Borgerhoff Mulder kept the Maserati until 1987, when it was sold to a Mr Stradmeier, who was a dentist and also based in Wassenaar. During his ownership, the car was restored by the Maasland dealership – a process that included a bare-metal respray and engine rebuild – and when he passed away it was inherited by his children. It changed hands again in 2011 but still didn’t move far, its next owner being based in Leiden, only a few kilometres up the road from Wassenaar.
In 2016, the Sebring was sold to a UK-based enthusiast who had previously owned a number of Maseratis as well as a Ferrari 330 GTC. During his time with the car, it has been maintained regardless of cost by renowned specialist McGrath Maserati. Invoices totalling more than £40,000 from this period include a top-end rebuild of the engine.
More recent expenditure includes an overhaul of the fuel system and air-conditioning, plus a new clutch and starter motor. The six-cylinder engine has been converted to run on triple Weber carburettors but the original Lucas fuel-injection system comes with the car should a future owner wish to have it refitted.
Presented in its original colour combination, this Maserati Sebring has been fastidiously maintained and is offered for sale with a Maserati Classiche Certificate and a copy of the original delivery note, plus a wealth of invoices and receipts. As one of only 348 Series 1 cars, it is a rare and distinctive choice of Italian Grand Tourer.
Maserati had achieved great motorsport success during the 1950s, but had built production road cars in only very small numbers until the 1957 introduction of the 3500GT. This stylish new model drew on Maserati’s racing experience but would be produced in far greater quantities than previous road cars.
Originally launched as a 2+2 coupé, the 3500GT featured bodywork by Touring that was mounted on a tubular chassis. Beneath the bonnet was a 3485cc straight-six that was closely related to the marque’s competition engines and featured twin overhead camshafts, twin-plug ignition and a trio of twin-choke Webers.
Upgrades applied during the model’s production run included a five-speed gearbox in place of the previous four-speeder and all-round disc brakes, while the 3500GTI gained a Lucas fuel-injection system that would also be used on the Sebring.
First seen in prototype form at the 1962 Geneva Motor Show, the Sebring was based on the short-wheelbase chassis of the 3500 Vignale Spyder. Suspension was independent at the front via wishbones and coil springs, with a live axle and semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear. Steering was by recirculating ball, and options included a Borg-Warner automatic gearbox, air-conditioning and a limited-slip differential.
At more than £5000 in 1963, the expensive and exclusive Sebring occupied a rarefied spot at the top end of the 1960s GT market, with its few rivals including the Ferrari 330 GT and Aston Martin DB5. Autocar recorded a top speed of almost 140mph when it tested a Sebring and said: ‘Undoubtedly the jewel in this car is its splendid engine, which is virtually beyond criticism.’
A facelifted Series II Sebring was introduced in 1965, when the engine was enlarged to 3.7 litres. A 4-litre variant producing just over 250bhp was also offered, but sales began to fall away after the announcement of the V8-powered Ghibli and production ended in 1968.