1961 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Vignale
The Maserati story is a fascinating one. It is the story of a family with daring, courageous and forward thinking ideas. The story starts with Rodolfo Maserati, a railway engineer who was employed by the Italian monarchy and the father of seven sons who all had a passion for engine design and racing cars. The Maserati brothers all became involved in the automotive industry in some way or another, however, it was on the 1st of December 1914 that Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati officially opened Alfieri Maserati Workshop in Bologna, Italy.
Maserati chose the trident logo to adorn its cars. Its design was based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore. The colours chosen for the logo were also the colours of Bologna, red and blue.
The business was focused on repairing, servicing and preparing cars, however, the world war cut business short and it wasn’t until 1926 that Maserati built its first car, the Tipo 26.
It was all about motorsport back then and in 1937 the Orsi family acquired ownership of Maserati which was in desperate need of financial backing to be able to survive. During the Orsi years Maserati grew from a boutique but very successful race car builder to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hand built sports and GT cars. Orsi sold to Citroen in 1969 and subsequent owners of Maserati included the Italian State, De Tomaso, Fiat, Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler.
Maserati built its first road car in 1946 even though times were tough in post War northern Italy. The car was the Maserati A6 – where ‘A’ was for Alfieri and ‘6’ for the number of cylinders. The initial reception of the car was positive and a ‘production’ Maserati A6/1500 was then shown at the 1947 Geneva Motor Show.
This was a significant milestone in the Maserati legend and subsequent models included the A6G/2000, 3500 series cars, 5000GT, Mistral. Quattroporte, Mexico, Sebring and Ghibli. Maserati also continued to build very successful race cars that dominated tracks around the world including the 250F, 300S, 150S, 450S and the Birdcage.
Perhaps the most important Maserati ‘GT car’ was the 3500 GT, which was first shown at the 1957 Geneva Motor Show in March of that year. The first production 3500GT’s left the factory in late 1957. Designed by Carrozzeria Touring, the Maserati 3500 GT featured ‘superleggera’ construction with an all aluminium body. The car was powered by a detuned version of Maserati’s V6 engine found in the race cars, with wet sump lubrication. The engines were initially fitted with triple Weber carburettors and later fuel injection, though many customers ordered their later cars with carburettors. Maserati got the formula right and the car was a great success. From 1957 through until 1964 almost 2,000 cars were built, the majority of which were the ‘standard’ cars bodied by Touring. A small number were bodied by specialist coachbuilders such as Allemano, Boneschi, Frua and Bertone.
At the 1958 Turin Motor Show a Maserati 3500 GT Convertible, bodied by Touring, was first shown. Interestingly, that car never entered production and Maserati opted for the Carrozzeria Vignale (designed by Michelotti) Maserati 3500 GT Convertible, which was first shown at the 1959 Paris Motor Show. The Convertible did not feature Touring’s ‘superleggera’ construction, rather a steel body with an aluminium bonnet, boot lid and optional hard top. The Convertible was built on a wheelbase that was 10cm shorter than the Coupe. The Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Vignale is one of the most beautiful cars ever built and there are certainly similarities with Ferrari’s 250 GT Cabriolet by Pinin Farina and 250 GT California Spyder. Only 242 Maserati 3500 GT Spyders by Vignale were built from 1959 through until 1964.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to confirm the sale of a 1961 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Vignale.
- Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Vignale
- 14,603 km