Like all bottom feeders and wanna-bees, I hoped to steal this unrestored car
As the first volume-built production Maseratis, marketed from 1957 to 1964, these extremely handsome Grand Touring coupes became the company’s financial saviors during a particularly difficult period. Like Ferrari, Maserati tended to focus on its racing cars rather than road cars and the resulting irregular cash flow had put the company on a shaky financial footing by the end of the 1950s.
The production and sale of nearly 2,000 3500 GT coupes-the U.S. list price some $12,300-likely saved the company and encouraged Maserati’s owner Orsi to re-enter the competition arena with the famous “Birdcage” series of sports racing cars (1959 to 1965). Many improvements were incorporated during its rather lengthy six-year production period. Disc brakes became standard in 1960 and a ZF five-speed transmission replaced the former four-speed unit. Borrani’s alloy-rimmed wire wheels are rarely seen as they were an expensive option for most production years.
The 1961 Maserati 3500 GT example shown here, chassis number AM101-1818, is an unusual find since it is believed to be totally original, even down to its faded and imperfect red paint and black interior. The odometer shows approximately 70,000 km (42,000 miles) and is thought to be correct. Although this Maserati 3500 GT has been in storage for a decade or two, the engine was recently coaxed to life and now runs very well, considering its long hibernation. The brakes, however, are another story, as they require a total service.
Every old car has to have a program or concept of usage. The present owner’s original plan has a lot of merit and may be of interest to this Maserati’s next caretaker. He was going to service the car mechanically to run well-a practical plan, since it would not be expensive, likely only requiring a tune-up, change of fluids and a major service, in addition to the aforementioned brake refurbishment. Not a fan of trailer queens, he planned to leave the original exterior (which seems to be absolutely rust-free) and interior exactly as they are now. Like he says, “I wanted it to look like a guy driving an original Maserati 3500 GT in say, 1975, when it was just a used car.” Note: this vehicle is titled as a 1962 3500 GT.