The Maserati name is the oldest and most respected in motoring history the world over. Established in 1926 by racing driver Alfieri Maserati and his brothers, it began as a racing marque and developed into a sporting one. The production of road cars started in 1958 with the glamorous 3500GT, a Touring bodied coupe powered by a detuned version of Maserati's famed 350S competition engine of 1956.
The 3500 series proved to be a great success and represented the pinnacle of Grand Touring cars until it was superseded by a new model in 1963. The new car was romantically named the Mistral, after the wind which blows over the French Mediterranean coastline, conjuring up images of speed and beautiful scenery. The Mistral enjoyed a relatively long production life, from 1963 until 1970, during which time a total of 948 cars were built, of which a mere 120 were spyders, with only 20 of those being right-hand drive.
The Mistral continued to use the race-proven six-cylinder, twin-cam engine, power output being in excess of 220 bhp at 5,500 rpm. The chassis was of tubular design with semi-elliptic rear suspension, coil springs at the front and hydraulic shock absorbers all round; the gearbox was a five-speed ZF unit with a single dry patch clutch, while braking was by discs to all four wheels.
The Mistral Spyder described here is an extremely original and low-mileage example of its kind, with a believed genuine reading of only 22,500 on the odometer. It was completed at the Maserati works in Bologna in February 1965 and delivered to Maserati Concessionaires Ltd. in London's Brompton Road.
The exotic Frua-designed coachwork is in steel with aluminum doors, bonnet and boot, and is finished in its correct color of Rosso Red with matching red leather interior. Still sporting its proper Borrani, center-lock, knock-off wire wheels, it certainly looks the epitome of the stylish 1960s Italian sports car. All the instruments function as they should, the hood is operational and the car comes equipped with its original factory hard top. Overall it is very well presented and is in good running order.
|Vehicle:||1965 Maserati Mistral|
The Mistrals have always brought a mixture of ecstasy and heartbreak to the emotions at SCM. On the stylistic side, the severe, slanting nose and Kamm-like tail presage designs of 15 years later. It could be reasonably proposed that the Mistral is one of the most beautiful (and that word is used advisedly) serial production cars ever offered to the public.
On the distaff side, the Mistral was hampered by the same in-line six-cylinder, long-stroke tractor engine that made driving the 3500GT so pedestrian. While this engine may have been descended from the “glamorous” racing engines of 1956, time does pass and the engine in the Mistral is decidedly dated.
There were no “long-stroke” fanatics in the audience on 19 September 1995 at the Coys auction when 039 crossed the block. Bidding halted at a fair-enough $40,560 and the car remained unsold. We would like to believe that the world will figure out that Maseratis are underpriced, but perhaps the world at large just doesn’t care very much about the Trident. – ED.