The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817

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Lot 245
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car
1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé

Sold for £ 219,900 (US$ 300,644) inc. premium
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car
1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé
Registration no. 41 GUC
Chassis no. AM101 01817
*Formerly the UK Maserati concessionaires' press car
*Tested by Autocar (27th September 1963 edition)
*Rare original right-hand drive model
*Series II 3.7-litre engine
*Latterly owned by Maserati UK's historic fleet
*Winner of 'Best in Show' Goodwood Revival 2016

Footnotes

  • Introduced in 1962, the Sebring was one of the final manifestations of the landmark 3500 GT, which had been the linchpin of Maserati's programme to establish itself as a manufacturer of road cars. 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 Sports Car 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 switching production from competition to road models.

    The Modena marque's new era began in 1957 with the launch of the Touring-bodied 3500 GT, its first road car built in significant numbers. 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 sportscar 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 'GTI' 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.

    A car possessing such impeccable antecedents not unnaturally attracted the attention of Italy's finest carrozzeria: Allemano, Bertone and Frua all created bodies for the 3500 GT chassis. Most coupés were the work of Touring, while all but one (a Frua-bodied example) of the much less common Spyder version were the work of Carrozzeria Vignale.

    Built on the short-wheelbase chassis of the Spyder and likewise styled by Vignale, the Sebring 2+2 coupé arrived in 1962. By now a five-speed gearbox, four-wheel disc brakes and fuel injection were standard equipment, with automatic transmission, air conditioning and a limited-slip differential available as options. With a price tag of £5,116 (tax paid in the UK) the Maserati was some 22% more expensive than the contemporary Aston Martin DB5, its closest rival. Introduced in 1965, the Sebring Series II came with a 3.7-litre 245bhp engine, while some cars left the factory with 4.0-litre units towards the end of production in 1966, by which time 591 Sebrings had been built, 242 of which were in the second series.

    One of the most elegant and understated Grand Touring cars of the 1960s, the Maserati Sebring offered here is a Series I model that has been fitted with the more powerful 3.7-litre engine. '41 GUC' was displayed at the 1963 Earls Court Motor Show and served as the UK Maserati concessionaires' press car, being tested by Autocar for its 23rd September 1963 edition (copy available). In more recent years, '41 GUC' has been owned by Maserati UK's historic fleet. In 2016, this Sebring was selected by Sir Stirling Moss for the Goodwood Revival's 'Best in Show' competition, which it won.

    The private vendor understands that the Sebring has never been fully restored, although in 2013/2014 it benefited from an extensive mechanical overhaul with marque specialist Bill McGrath Maserati at a cost in excess of £50,000. This included a full engine rebuild, the addition of electronic ignition, a full gearbox overhaul, new clutch, brake overhaul, and a new windscreen. In addition, the entire chassis was checked and any corrosion cut out and made good, a new bulkhead was fitted, and the electrics totally rewired. All receipts and a photographic record of the works undertaken are on file.
    Recent bills on file for servicing and an overhaul of the Lucas fuel injection system, carried out by Maserati competition specialists Steve Hart Racing, are documented also, and the car is described as in generally 'A1' condition, structurally, cosmetically and mechanically. Offered with MoT to November 2017 and a V5C registration document, this beautiful Sebring represents a wonderful opportunity for the Maserati collector to acquire an important piece of the marque's history in the UK, believed to be one of just eight surviving right-hand drive models.
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The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
The 1963 Earls Court Motor Show car ,1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring 'Series I' Coupé   Chassis no. AM101 01817
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