1960 Maserati 3500 GT Vignale SpyderSOLD

Stunning Restoration of Rare Vignale Spyder

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Introduced in 1957, Maserati`s 3500 series is generally regarded to be their first whole-hearted effort at a regular production model. It provided a great deal of financial stability in the form of regularization of income to offset the expense of motor racing, which was very welcome during this, Maserati`s heyday of competition in the World Championship. The car itself was available as both a coupe with handsome Touring bodywork or the beautiful and considerably rarer Spyder with Vignale bodywork. The open bodywork of the Vignales featured their characteristic interesting details including a number of tasteful vents and scoops to augment the already well-proportioned and elegant lines. The Spyder also featured a marginally shorter wheelbase than the coupe, and just 250 were built over a five year period, compared to about 2000 coupes. Both open and closed cars were motivated by a torquey 3.5 litre twin cam inline six, fed initially by triple Weber carburetors, and later by Lucas fuel-injection, which sometimes proved difficult to tune. They provided very good road holding, which in conjunction with the small back seats and generous trunk, made the car an enjoyable and usable touring car.

This particular example is a Spyder from 1960 and is thus fitted with disc front brakes, a significant improvement over the all around drums of earlier cars. The car also has the simpler and more reliable Weber carburetors, which also bring their famous induction noise to an already sweet soundtrack. The car is also fitted with the desirable 5-speed transmission and Borrani wire wheels, which were an expensive option when the car was new. In more recent years, a comprehensive restoration to extremely high standards has been carried out. It was completed about two years ago and the car remains fresh and very striking. During the restoration, a host of Pebble Beach winning shops were employed to do the work. The companies that rebuilt the engine, renewed the bodywork, and redid the interior all have won awards for their work at Pebble Beach. The engine and wiring harness were done by Rod Drew`s FAI, the bodywork, paint, and bumpers were done by Beckman`s Metalworks, and the interior was done by Pete Engel`s Westminster Auto Upholstery.

Consequently, the car is in superb mechanical and cosmetic condition. The quality and condition of the paintwork are both exemplary and the car shows very minimal wear in the form of a few discreet chips and one crack near the trunk lid. The paint is otherwise stunning and is clearly a high caliber job. The chrome is very good to excellent throughout since most of it has been redone. The glass and lights are excellent as well, including the CibiÚ headlamps and driving lights. The canvas top fits superbly and is extremely simple to operate, requiring mere seconds to erect and stow. In fact, it is not even necessary to get out of the car to operate it.

The interior is in similarly excellent condition. The upholstery work is first rate, including the leather on the seats and door panels, and the carpet, which is high quality wool. The dashboard has been well-restored with new paint and restored trim and hardware, with the exception of the gauges which appear unrestored but very well preserved. The lovely engraved trim characteristic of Vignale designs has been superbly restored and looks beautiful. Other neat details include the shift knob with Maserati trident on top and a set of unobtrusive seatbelts with a nice period look. The doorjambs have been very well-detailed and the power windows work properly, both of which are details that accurately reflect the quality and attention to detail of the restoration.

The engine compartment reveals the twin cam twin plug inline six with triple Weber carburetors. It is well detailed and very clean, including neat details like the decals, plaques, and even the chain that attaches the oil filler cap to the cam cover. The car has also been fitted with an electric fan to keep the engine cool.

The trunk is impressively detailed and reflects the very high level of craftsmanship of the restoration. Little details such as the fit of the felt trunk lid liner, the quality of the hardware and lack of overspray in the jambs all reflect the fact that no corners were cut, even in the trunk, which is frequently overlooked in lesser restorations.

The driving experience of the car also reflects the quality of the restoration. The car has a nice coherent feel and seems well-sorted. There is no smoke, the transmission works properly, the brakes pull straight, and the suspension feels tight.

This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire one of these rare and beautiful open cars that is ready to be used. Historically undervalued, these cars have appreciated significantly in recent years because of their intrinsic beauty and technological features. Yet, when compared to other contemporary open Italian cars, they are a relative bargain, with a Ferrari 250 long wheelbase California Spyder at three million dollars now and a short wheelbase over five! This car with its disc brakes and 5-speed transmission is considerably more modern feeling than many contemporary cars (this was afterall a full five years before Ferrari started using 5-speed transmissions in their road cars), but it also has the more visceral Webers which easier to keep in tune than the subsequent Lucas injection system. As a result, this car would be ideal for the wide variety of events and rallies that are becoming increasingly popular, yet would cost only a fraction of the price of similar open Italian thoroughbreds. With its sparkling and comprehensive restoration, this car is sure to be a hit among both participants and spectators.

Reference Number 10810

as of 7/3/2007

Overview
Car 1960 Maserati 3500 GT Vignale Spyder
VIN AM101.1007 
Exterior / Interior Color      Red /      Black 
Mileage 77,623 miles 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
Options Exterior: Wire wheels
Interior: Leather interior, Wooden steering wheel 
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