1974 Maserati Merak
1974 Maserati Merak – Coming Soon
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.
Maserati built some fabulous cars during Citroen’s ownership (including the Indy, Bora, Merak and Khamsin), however, times were tough and the company struggled financially. Citroen placed Maserati into liquidation in May 1975 and it was ultimately saved by the Italian government and Alejandro de Tomaso took control shortly thereafter.
The Maserati Merak (model AM122) was introduced at the 1972 Paris Motor Show and it followed in the footsteps of its ‘big brother’ the Bora. The Merak was one of the seventies junior supercars, much like Lamborghini’s Urraco and Ferrari’s 308 GT/4, that was going to tackle Porsche head one and be sold in significant quantities to underpin the cash flow of the company during the oil crisis.
Like the Bora, the Merak was designed by Ital Design’s Giorgetto Giugiaro and its ancestry is obvious though there are many subtle but significant differences in the Merak’s design. The Merak is a 2+2 though its rear seats are best described as ‘occasional’ or for golf clubs only! Its Italian competitors all ran V8 engines, however, Maserati opted to use a transversely mounted 2965cc V6 engine that had its roots in the Citroen SM. Given the company was owned by Citroen at the time it is not surprising that a number of Citroen components were used, including the engine as well as Citroen’s hydraulic systems and much of the interior. Interestingly when Alejandro de Tomaso acquired Maserati the car underwent a ‘make over’ of its interior which was well received at the time. In addition to the ‘standard’ Merak, Maserati brought out the Merak SS in 1976 which was lighter and had a more powerful engine and also the Merak 2000 in 1977 specifically for the Italian market which imposed a heavy tax on cars with engines greater than 2000cc capacity.
The formula made good sense and Maserati enjoyed much success with its Merak and 1,820 examples were built in a twelve year period from 1972 to 1983.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale this Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example as confirmed by Maserati Classiche. This car was sold new into Melbourne, Australia and its production date was 11/06/1974 making it quite an early car. This Merak was originally ‘orancio’ (orange) with a dark grey velvet (velour) interior.
The car recently been restored by Italian car specialists, Auto Delta, in Perth Western Australia.
More information and photos to follow soon.
Preliminary enquiries are welcome.
- Maserati Merak