1961 Maserati 3500 GT TouringSOLD
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Maserati Works Car like Ferrari, Stanguellini, Fantuzzi, OSCA, Alfa Romeo, Porsche, Abarth
Background
Maserati as a manufacturer was established on December 1, 1914, in Bologna, Italy. They are as such one of the world’s oldest and most established small specialty builders of race, sports and touring automobiles. The company's headquarters today are now in Modena being part of the FIAT family auto group since 1993.

The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto were all involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century. Alfieri, Bindo and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. In 1926, Diatto suspended the production of race cars, leading to the creation of the first Maserati and the founding of the Maserati marque. One of the first Maseratis, driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio. From that point on, Maserati began making race cars with 4, 6, 8 and even 16 cylinders (two straight-eights mounted parallel to one another). Another Maserati brother, Mario, an artist, is believed to have devised the company's trident emblem, based on one the Fontana del Nettuno, Bologna. Alfieri Maserati died in 1932, but three other brothers, Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races throughout the world as well as the occasional road car in bettwen.

In 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to the Adolfo Orsi family, who in 1940 relocated the company headquarters to their hometown of Modena, where it remains to this day. The brothers continued in engineering roles with the company. Racing successes continued, even against the giants of German racing, Auto Union and Mercedes. In back-to-back wins in 1939 and 1940, a Maserati 8CTF won the Indianapolis 500, the only Italian manufacturer ever to do so!

When war intervened, Maserati abandoned cars to produce components for the Italian war effort. Despite the war, during this time, Maserati worked in fierce competition to construct a V16 towncar for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche of Volkswagen built one for Adolf Hitler. Their efforts however were a failure and the plans were scrapped. Once peace was restored, Maserati returned immediately to producing a dual purpose, road/race car called the A6-1500. There were many variations with several purpose built race only versions in the early Post-War years. The A6 was a success and gave Maserati the desperately needed capital to expand and develop both road and race cars for a variety of clients as well as their own Factory supported drivers.

The Orsi family hired numerous engineers, and designers to assist and work with the three surviving Maserati brothers. These included, Alberto Massimino, an old Fiat engineer, with both Alfa Romeo and Ferrari experiences. He oversaw the designs of all racing models for the next ten years. With him joined engineers Giulio Alfieri, Vittorio Bellentani, and Gioacchino Colombo. While this new team stayed on, the Maserati brothers, all left after their 10-year contract with Orsi expired. They went on to form O.S.C.A. where they would attain world-wide recognition for the designs and racing efforts.


From 1950 to 1957, the famous Argentinian driver Juan-Manuel Fangio raced for Maserati He achieved a number of stunning victories including winning the world championship in 1957 in a Maserati 250F alongside Toulo de Graffenried, Louis Chiron, Prince Bira, Enrico Platé, amongst many others.

The ten year period from 1947 until 1957 was filled with numerous racing victories but the Orsi family had neglected to ensure the work they did and achievments gained was profitable. 1957 was a year of both success and tragedy. On the track, they achieved numerous victories while their creditors became ever more concerned and pushed Maserati dangerously close to insolvency.

From 1957 on, Maserati retired almost entirely from factory racing participation. They continued to build racers for privateers but continually became more and more focused on road cars. Financial salvation and the companies preservation came from chief engineer Giulio Alfieri new 6-cylinder 3.5-liter 2+2 coupé, which featured an aluminum body over Carrozzeria Touring's superleggera structure, a design also used for the small-volume V8-powered 5000. Next came the Vignale-bodied Sebring, launched in 1962, the Mistral Coupé in 1963 and Spider in 1964, both designed by Pietro Frua, and also in 1963, the company's first four-door, the Quattroporte, designed by Frua as well. The two-seat Ghibli coupé was launched in 1967, followed by a convertible in 1969.


3500GT
Maserati’s 3500GT took the financially struggling firm in a complete new direction. As noted, chief engineer Giulio Alfieri developed the two 2+2 prototype 3500GT, revealed at the Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva, March 1957. It had a 2,600mm (102.4 inch) wheelbase and very “sexy” aluminum “Superleggera” coachwork built by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan. The design incorporated a Maserati 350S-derived straight-six cylinder, DOHC, twin-spark engine with triple Weber 42 DCOE carburetors that produced 220bhp at 5,500rpm. An engine mounted ZF four-speed gearbox and live rear axle provided by Salisbury complemented the front wish-bone, coil spring suspension. Well developed drum brakes and 16 inch steel wheels added the final touch to the design.

Minor design changes were incorporated when the 3500GT went into production in late 1957. Front disc brakes and limited slip differential became optional in 1959, standardized in 1960; rear discs became standard in 1962. Borrani knock-out wire wheels complemented the standard steel wheels, as well as wider 185x16" radial tires. All cars had leather interior and Jaeger-LeCoultreinstruments. Power windows were added as a standard feature in 1959.

A revised 3500 GTi was introduced in 1961. It was the first fuel-injected Italian production car using a Lucas fuel injection system. Output rose to 235bhp and a 5-speed ZF gearbox was now standard, as well as disc brakes all round. The body had a slightly lowered roofline and become somewhat longer; minor outward changes appeared as well (new grille, rear lights, vent windows etc...)

The first true production year, 1958 saw some 119 cars, 1961 was the best-selling year totalling 500. All together, 242 Vignale convertibles and nearly 2000 coupes were manufactured, of these, 1973 being Touring coupe, the rest were bodied by other coachbuilders, Carrozzeria Allemano (four coupes, including the 1957 prototype), Zagato (one coupe, 1957), Carrozzeria Boneschi (two cars; 1962, 1963 Salone dell'automobile di Torino, 1962); Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva, 1963), Pietro Frua (two or three coupes, one spider) and Bertone (one coupe). The last was a coupe by Moretti(Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva, 1966).
The Sebring which became available in late 1962 was produced alongside the 3500GT for two years before production of the 3500GTi came to an end. The Sebring and subsequent Maseratis thereafter owe all they can claim to the legacy established by the 3500GT. Today, the 3500GT remains a benchmark example of late 1950s era, Italian Industrial Art. They are delightful to drive with no real vises and remain as beautiful and striking today as they were when first seen, now more than more than 50 years ago!
3500GT Competition, chassis / Engine number AM101*2432*
While Alfieri's 3500GT was designed and built purely as a high-speed sporting tourer, it was based, designed and shared it's direct lineage to the 2.0, 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5-liter Sports Racers built by Maserati from 1954 to 1957 with which they achieved so much success. A small number of 3500GTs were as such pressed into race duties and a few of these survive today. Chassis AM101*2432* is one such example and fortunately one that has been preserved with all of the various records and correspondences that so often lack vehicles of this era that claim something that they are not. In fact, 2432 is believed to be the only known surviving example that was actually given some direct and indirect assistance from the Maserati Factory during her race days in the 1960s and even into the 1970s! Purely by coincidence, this was not the first racing Maserati with this chassis number to achieve such success. In December of of 1957, Maserati completed the second of only two 250S Fantuzzi Sports Racers. The second of these two was issued the same serial number as our subject vehicle, 2432. Maseratis original two 250S sports racers with chassis numbers 2431 and 2432 were ordered new by Carroll Shelby for his new Sports Car Company in Galveston, Texas. The original 2432 was sold new to Robin Lodge and had a long and distinguished race career and survives to this day with a prominent European Collector.
Maserati's production run of 3500GTs all used the suffice "AM 101" followed by the the individual sequential production number beginning with 001 and ending with the final example, 2856. While not built completely in sequence, our subject vehicle is therefore sequentially the 2,432 of 2,856 examples built. It was a such a late production example built in December of 1961 and sold new on January 10th, 1962. It was originally completed as a standard 3500GTi (inezione / injected) with ZF 5-speed transmission and five alloy wheels. The exterior color was blue with a contrasting red leather interior. Detailed records shown in the accompanying photos confirm the car was sold new in Como and was later raced by the official Brescia, Italy Maserati Agent, Golden Cars beginning in the mid to late 1960s. An original letter from the now elderly former owner of Golden Cars shown in the accompanying photos explains the car's racing days as well as assistance from the Maserati Factory.
Today this car still retains current FIA HTP documents and is fitted with a custom fitted radiator, oil-cooler and 90-liter fuel tank. As you can see from the photographs and in person, it looks very aggressive, muscular and hunkered
down, with a lot of "presence." The color is a grey metallic. From certain angles it looks dark blue, from others dark grey. The roof is black which makes it look even lower and more aggressive. The wheels are chromed 15 racing type wheels.
Officially the 3500 GT, as most know, did not race as factory prepared cars. In fact, it was actually forbidden by the Orsi family for the race department to prepare them to do so. Despite this, some did hill-climbs in and around Italy, and even on the track racing in England! To our knowledge only three 3500GTs including this particular example have been issued formal FIA HTP documents to enable them to enter and participate in historic racing events. Chassis 2432 is the only surviving example that had an official Maserati Agent as a main sponsor and preparer for her races.
Oil Pressure is 7 Kg
The condition of the car is very good

Reference Number 205228

as of 4/16/2013

Overview
Car 1961 Maserati 3500 GT Touring
Condition Very Good 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
Options Competition: Full Race setup, Racing Seats, Rollcage