Maserati’s survival strategy for the 1960s centered on establishing the company as a producer of road cars. The Modena marque’s new era began in 1957 with the launch of the Touring-bodied 3500 GT. A luxurious and spacious 2+2, the 3500 GT drew on Maserati’s competition experience. Suspension was independent at the front by wishbones and coil springs, while at the back there was a conventional live-axle/semi-elliptic arrangement. Power output of the twin-cam six was around 220 hp at first. Later examples with fuel injection produced 235 hp. Built initially with drum brakes and a four-speed gearbox, the 3500 was gradually improved, gaining five speeds, front discs and finally all-disc braking. Production ceased in 1964 after more than 2,200 were built.

Imported from Belgium in 1975, this left-hand drive 3500 GT spent the next nineteen years in a semi-dismantled state before being sold in 1994 for comprehensive restoration. This included a strip to bare aluminum prior to the respray in two-stage Maserati “Gladis” (metallic gray); complete engine rebuild; brake system overhaul; fuel system overhaul; new clutch; engine mounts and stainless steel exhaust system. New rubber seals were fitted to the windscreen, rear window and doors. A new headlining and carpets were fitted, together with a new Connolly leather re-trim in cream. All brightwork was re-chromed and new tires were also fitted. Completed in 1996, the car has covered very few miles since.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1958 Maserati 3500 GT
Years Produced:1957-64
Number Produced:1,991
Original List Price:$11,400
SCM Valuation:$25,000-$32,000
Tune Up Cost:$2,000
Distributor Caps:$600-$800
Chassis Number Location:Metal plate on firewall
Engine Number Location:Rear of engine block near flywheel
Club Info:Club The Maserati Club, P.O. Box 5300, Somerset, NJ 08875
Alternatives:Lancia Flaminia 2.8 3C, Ferrari 330 GT 2+2

The car described here sold for $27,784, including commission, at the Brooks UK sale held at the Goodwood Festival of Speed weekend, June 23, 2000.

The 3500 GT is a beautifully proportioned GT car with a very smooth and fairly powerful in-line six-cylinder engine. When compared to its Ferrari competition, the 330 2+2, the Maserati comes off as a much more integrated styling package with similar performance. Still, the 3500 GT lives in the shadow of both the Ferrari and its rarer, more desirable (and shorter wheelbase) cousin: the Vignale-bodied 3500, commonly called the Vignale Spyder.

Within the range of 3500 GTs, there are four-speed and five-speed gearboxes, Weber carbs or Lucas fuel injection, drum brakes, disc front and drum rear brakes and four-wheel disc brakes, and probably the most important option: wire wheels. Overall, the most desirable coupe would be a carbureted, five-speed, wire-wheel car; this combination of options can typically be found on front-disc brake cars. The later four-wheel disc braked 3500s were mostly fuel injected, though it isn’t a huge problem to convert an injected car to Webers. A good number of 3500 GTs have their original Lucas fuel-injection units sitting in a box in the trunk.

This car, as described by SCM auction reporter Richard Hudson-Evans, is claimed to be fuel injected, but no mention is made of the gearbox. We would expect a 1958 car to be a ZF four-speed, an unusual combination and not as desirable as either of the alternatives: the five-speed or the Webers.

Next are the extremely desirable wire wheels. The disc wheels fitted to Maseratis of this era were manufactured by Borrani and have an alloy rim riveted to a steel center. This is a very strong and light combination, but not anywhere near as attractive as the wire wheels, also manufactured by Borrani. In my experience, 3500s are not an easy sell under any conditions and are even more difficult to sell with disc wheels or fuel injection. Given that this car is reported to be fuel injected, most likely a four-speed and with disc wheels, it has (aside from an attractive color scheme and a condition rating by Hudson-Evans as 1-), little curb appeal for the Maserati buyers that I typically meet. The US dealers contacted unanimously put this car at $19,000, giving the injection and lack of wire wheels as the reasons for the sub-Price Guide valuation. The price of near $28,000 garnered at Goodwood could be a case of a very sharp example purchased by someone who wasn’t afraid to pay a little more for a car in top condition. Or perhaps the recent increase in certain Aston Martin and Ferrari GT prices might be lifting, at least slightly, the auction figures of this often-ignored Maserati GT.—Michael Duffey

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