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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1962 Maserati 3500 GT - Classic Car For Sale (Click Here)


Maserati 3500 GT

In the mid 50s the head of Maserati, Omer Orsi, gave Ing Giulio Alfieri, Maseratis chief engineer, the task of designing a fast reliable road going Granturismo that could be produced in larger numbers. Maserati had until then produced road cars in very low numbers, mainly in response to orders from individual customers. It was this strategy that was to change Maseratis fortunes. This decision was to become even more relevent when in 1958, after having captured the Formula 1 World Championship and, but for some bad luck, almost capturing the World Sportscar Championship, Maserati entered some dark days financially.

Alfieris plan was a simple, but effective one and was influenced by the need to make production as economical as possible whilst ensuring quality and reliability. To achieve this Alfieri modified the competition six cylinder engine from the Tipo 350S sports racer for road use and incorporated some major components from leading European manufactures. From Germany the ZF (Zahnradfabrik of Friedrichshafen) gearbox, and from England the clutch assembly by Borg and Beck, the rear differential by Salisbury and front and rear suspension components from Alford Alder.

The 3500GT was first presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1957. Two prototypes were displayed on the Maserati stand: one by Allemano, the then traditional designer for the 'Casa del Tridente' and the other the work of Carrozzeria Touring of Milan.

Touring had designed a very elegant 2+2 coupe and it was this design that Omer Orsi chose for the series production. The 3500GTs twin overhead camshaft six cylinder engine fed by three twin choke 42 DCOE Weber carburettors had a cubic capacity of 3,485 with a compression ratio of 8.5 to, 1 developing some 220 bhp at 5,500 rpm (reduced slightly from the prototype's figures of 226 bhp at 5,500 rpm). The chassis frame was a multi-tubular structure of high-duty steel giving the car a total dry weight of 1300 KGs. Braking was by hydraulically operated 12-inch drum brakes. The front suspension was by coil-springs and wishbones with a torsion anti-roll bar and rear suspension by semi-elliptical leaf-springs and live rear axle.

Between late 1957 and early 1958 the 3500GT entered production. The production 3500GTs differed slightly from the prototype with alterations to the headlamps and indicators, a re-designed radiator grille, minor alterations to the dashboard and other smaller details. The overall design of the 3500GT remained largely unchanged until early 1961 during which time numerous minor modifications were made, many of which were optional. In 1959 optional front disc brakes were available (standard equipment in 1960), a limited slip differential (standard equipment in 1960) and Borrani knock-on wire wheels.

In 1960, Carrozzeria Vignale introduced a 3500 Spyder on a shortened chassis, a design strongly influenced by the coupe of Touring. In 1961 the major change was the introduction of the 3500GTI, fitted with a Lucas direct fuel injection system with power increased to 235bhp. In 1962 with the 3500GT beginning to look dated some alterations were made to improve its looks with the removal of the side and bonnet air vents.
The 3500GT was more entitled to be named a 'sports car' than a 'Granturismo'. Powered by an engine evolved from the Tipo 250F Formula 1 car and based on the successful Tipo 350S sports racer, the 3500GT had a maximum speed of around 230 KM/h combined with excellent acceleration.

However when it came to appearances, there was nothing sports racer about this car with its combination of elegant coachwork and luxurious interior, it simply oozed class.

The 3500GT is important in that it was Maserati's first production car to be built in substantial numbers with 2226 cars, coupes and spyders, built in various guises over a period of eight years. During this period the some of Italy's top Carrozziere Vignale, Allemano, Frua, Bertone, Boneschi and Moretti designed bodies on the 3500's chassis but none achieved the classic lines of the Touring design.

The 1961 fuel-injected version of 3500GT, the 3500GTI, received some minor exterior cosmetic changes: a lower roofline, longer nose, shallower front radiator grille, revised front rectangular-shaped indicators replaced the small round ones, the front foglights were removed, redesigned rear light clusters and rear quarterlights were added to the doors. The letter 'I' was added to the 'Maserati 3500 GT' chrome script above the rear number plate and a Trident badge was added with the word 'Iniezione' written on it.

This particular 3500GTI was imported in 1996 from Italy to The Netherlands. The car has been with two Dutch owners since. The car has completed the 2007 Tulpenrally and was fully serviced at respected specialist Italauto (Kees van Stokkum, Achterveld, The Netherlands). The car is fitted with Webers (so no problems with the Lucas Injection system). Invoices from the period 2005-2007 of 25.000,00 EUR in total with the car. The car is a real driver, not a concours winner. It's a real driver. Alluminium coachwork is in good overall condition. Chassis looks very good! Technics are as described, done by Italauto and very good. Interior looks very original and comes with some patina and isn't damaged at all.

Good priced for todays market.

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