1971 Maserati Indy
The Maserati story is a fascinating one. The Maserati brothers were all 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 Bolgna, Italy. The business was focussed 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.
Maserati chose the trident logo to adorn its cars. Its design was based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore.
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’s first road car, the A6/1500 was shown at the 1947 Geneva Motor Show.
Subsequent models included the A6G/2000, 3500 series cars, 5000GT, Sebring, and Mistral. Maserati also continued to build very successful race cars that dominated tracks around the world including the 250F, 300S, 150S, 450S and the Birdcage.
The late sixties was arguably one of the greatest times for sports car manufacturers and particularly those based in Italy. Whilst Lamborghini had its sensational mid engine Miura as its flagship, Ferrari had its 275 series cars / then later the 365 GTB/4 Daytona and Maserati had its Ghibli. Whilst these were indeed magnificent cars it was interestingly Lamborghini’s front engined V12 four seat Espada and Ferrari’s 330 GT 2+2 & 365 GT 2+2 that were sold in great numbers offering sports car performance with the capability to seat four adults in relative comfort. Maserati had its understated but very elegant Mexico and its unique four door Quattroporte, however, it wasn’t until the introduction of the Indy that it had a genuine competitor for the Espada and 365 GT 2+2.
The Maserati Indy, which was designed by Vignale and named to commemorate Maserati’s success at the Indianapolis 500, was first shown at the 1968 Turin Motor Show. The car was officially launched at the 1969 Geneva Motor Show and the first cars rolled off the production line shortly thereafter. The Indy was a great success for Maserati with just over 1,100 cars built over seven years of production which ended in 1975. The Indy was offered initially with its 4.2 litre quad cam V8 and later with the 4.7 litre and 4.9 litre engines also. The car was available with either manual or automatic transmission.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1971 Maserati Indy. According to the Maserati Classiche documentation on file this particular car is a rare Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example that was originally finished in gold with a white leather interior. The car was collected from the Maserati factory in Italy by its first owner, a Mr Percy Arena, from Sydney in NSW on the 19th April 1971. The dealer is noted as being Alec Mildren Pty Ltd.
Maserati anoraks will appreciate the Indy production data on file (provided by Maserati) that notes a breakdown of cars as: 4200 engine (440 cars), 4700 engine (364 cars) and 4900 engine (300 cars – of which 200 cars had Citroen brakes). Of the 1,104 Maserati Indys built only 74 were right hand drive. There were only 13 Australian delivered, factory right hand drive Maserati Indys. Of these, 7 had the 4200 engine (5 had manual transmission / 2 had automatic) and 6 had the 4700 engine (4 had manual transmission / 2 had automatic).
The car on offer has the 4200 engine mated to the desirable 5 speed manual gearbox. This car is one of only eight factory right hand drive cars built with non power assisted steering.
Mr Arena enjoyed his Indy in Europe before importing it into Australia. The car’s subsequent early history is not known, however, its next owner is understood to have been Mr Eddie Battestello from Warrnambool in Victoria. The Indy was then sold circa 1980 to Mr Andy Fraser from Hamilton, Victoria who is well known in classic car circles in Australia. The next owner was a Mr Max Ormerod from Lismore, NSW, who acquired the car in October 1985. At this time the odometer was 69,478 miles.
It’s fair to say that Ormerod was a fastidious owner and he kept a diary for the car detailing its history, including service records and work done.
The current owner acquired the car in September 2000 from Mick Arnold Classic Cars in Southport on the Gold Coast. At that time the car needed some work and it was parked up in storage for many years. In late 2007 work commenced to recommission the car and get it into a road going state. Over the next 9 months the front suspension was completely rebuilt, the steering was rebuilt, the diff pinion seal was replaced, the brakes serviced, the cooling system overhauled and the car was serviced and generally sorted mechanically. The interior was also refreshed at this time. There is a roadworthy certificate on file dated 2nd September 2008 at which time the odometer was at 87,338 miles. The car was completed just in time for the annual Noosa Beach Classic Car Show where this Indy was awarded a second place from the 18 Maseratis on display.
Throughout 18 years of ownership this Maserati Indy has been treated by its current owner as ‘part of the family’ and it has been fastidiously maintained regardless of cost. It has been sparingly used with the odometer today at 89,361 miles confirming the car has travelled a modest 2,000 miles in the last eighteen years. The car’s previous owner proudly informed its current owner that he never drove the car in the rain or on wet or unsealed roads, a ritual that has been maintained!
Fortunately the current owner has continued to complete the car’s diary which was started in October 1985, the result being a fabulously documented history detailing the life of this Italian thoroughbred over the last 33 years! The most significant entry was for an engine rebuild in mid to late 1994 at 81,707 miles.
Today the car presents and drives really well. The paintwork is in good order with minor blemishes evident, most noticeable are some humidity blisters on the nose and bonnet. There is also a small ‘star’ on the bonnet, most likely caused by someone closing the bonnet with a tool sitting on top of the air cleaner box. The car was repainted back in July 1990 (at 75,200 miles) and it was at that time the colour was changed from gold to red. The car has only travelled some 14,000 miles since it was repainted, but that was almost 30 years ago! The exterior trim and wheels are all in good condition, though there are a few scratches on the rear hatch glass which should polish out.
Inside the cabin everything remains ‘very fresh’, which is not surprising given the car was re-trimmed only 10 years ago. The leather remains in excellent condition on the seats and door cards. The dash, instruments and controls are also in excellent condition. Everything looks to be in working order except the clock (most likely an earthing issue). The car has a fabulous Blaupunkt radio cassette fitted which is most likely original. The front seats are not original to the car and for some reason many, many years ago these period Recaro seats were fitted.
The car is ‘very clean’ all round and the engine bay is no exception.
As with all Maserati V8’s of this period you need to prime the carbs once the ignition key has been turned on. The fuel pump eventually slows and after three or four pumps on the throttle the engine will burst into life with a final turn of the key. The 4.2 litre V8 in this Indy sounds fabulous. The exhaust note is ‘spot on’ building anticipation as the engine warms. The water temperature rises quickly on a warm Brisbane day, you select first gear, release the firm but not heavy clutch and you are away. Within minutes it is obvious this Indy is mechanically sorted. The car pulls strongly and willingly through the rev range and the actual gear change is firm and precise. The ride of the car is exceptional, there are no rattles or squeaks and it handles particularly well. The brakes pull the car up swiftly and arrow straight.
In recent years the car has had the following work done: new water pump fitted, fuel lines replaced, clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder sleaved (stainless steel), new clutch plate fitted, front wheel bearings replaced, brake system fully overhauled, and the differential over hauled. The exhaust manifolds have been ceramic coated inside and out to reduce engine bay temperatures. The exhaust pipes have been painted with ceramic paint and a stainless steel tail section fitted from rear muffler to outlets
In addition to the car’s diary there are many other registration certificates, miscellaneous documents and photographs (including those of the car going back to bare metal and being repainted) on file. This along with an original parts manual, owner’s manuals (copy), a jack kit and various new & used parts will accompany the car.
The car is shown in the photographs with the Queensland registration 73 MAS, however, the car is being sold unregistered. The owner is open to negotiating the sale of the number plates with the car.
- Maserati Indy
- 89361 miles
- 4136 cc