1961 Maserati 3500GT Spider  Chassis no. AM101.1319

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Lot 239
1961 Maserati 3500GT Spider
Chassis no. AM101.1319

Sold for € 104,250 (US$ 121,242) inc. premium
1961 Maserati 3500GT Spider
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Vignale

Chassis no. AM101.1319
Despite numerous racetrack successes that included Juan Manuel Fangio's fifth World Championship - at the wheel of a 250F - and runner-up spot in the World Sportscar Championship with the fabulous 450S, both in 1957, the marque's most successful season, Maserati was by that time facing a bleak future. Its parent company's financial difficulties forced a withdrawal from racing, and Maserati's survival strategy for the 1960s centred on establishing the company as a producer of road cars. The Modena marque's new era began in 1957 with the launch of the Touring-bodied 3500GT, its first road car built in significant numbers. A luxury 2+2, the 3500GT drew on Maserati's competition experience, employing a tubular chassis frame and an engine derived from the 350S sports car unit of 1956. The car's designer was 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. Built initially with drum brakes and a four-speed gearbox, the 3500GT was gradually improved, gaining five speeds, front disc brakes and, finally, all-disc braking.

A car possessing such impeccable antecedents not un-naturally attracted the attention of Italy's finest carrozzerie: Allemano, Bertone and Frua all created bodies for the 3500GT chassis. Most coupés were the work of Touring, while all but one (a Frua-bodied example) of the much less-common Spider version were the work of Carrozzeria Vignale. Introduced in 1959, Vignale's Maserati 3500GT Spider was the creation of Giovanni Michelotti, at that time the company's star designer. Built on a slightly shorter wheelbase - 250cm as opposed to 260cm - than the coupé and constructed of steel panels rather than the closed car's aluminium, the spider lasted in production until 1964, by which time just 245 cars had been made.

Built in July 1961 and sold new to Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA, this superb example of the rarest of 3500GT variants was specified with larger-than-standard carburettors and Marelli dynamo - fitted by Maserati's Los Angeles agent - disc front brakes and the five-speed manual gearbox. Originally finished in red with white leather upholstery, the car was acquired by the present owner in October 1999 and subsequently restored, the livery being changed to gunmetal grey with blue leather upholstery and hood in the process. Presented in very good condition throughout with excellent interior, it is offered with ASI homologation papers and gold plaque, Italian registration and list of restoration work carried out.

Fabriqué en 1961 et vendu neuf à Hollywood, aux Etats-Unis, ce superbe exemplaire de la version la plus rare de la 3500GT était doté de carburateurs plus larges que la normale et dynamo Marelli – installés par l'agent Maserati de Los Angeles – de freins à disque à l'avant et d'une boîte à cinq rapports. Peinte en rouge à l'origine avec intérieur en cuir blanc, la voiture a été acquise en octobre 1999 par le propriétaire actuel et restaurée par la suite, la peinture passant au gris métallisé et l'intérieur au cuir bleu. Présentée en très bon état général (excellent pour l'intérieur), elle est proposée avec ses documents d'homologation et sa plaque en or ASI, l’immatriculation italienne et la liste des restaurations entreprises.
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