1973 Maserati Bora 4.9 Coupe

Daniele Turetta, courtesy of Bonhams
Daniele Turetta, courtesy of Bonhams

The highlight of the 1971 Geneva Salon was undoubtedly the sensational new Maserati Bora. With the Bora’s introduction, the great Modenese manufacturer followed other supercar constructors in going mid-engined, while at the same time abandoning its traditional tubular chassis technology in favor of unitary construction.

Named after an Adriatic wind, the Bora was the work of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Ital Design, at least as far as its bodyshell was concerned. The mid-mounted engine was Maserati’s familiar 4-cam V8 in 4.7-liter form, the 5-speed transaxle came from ZF and the all-independent double-wishbone suspension was penned by Giulio Alfieri, co-designer of the legendary 250F Formula 1 car.

One of the first new-generation models to appear following Maserati’s acquisition by Citroën, the Bora used the latter’s hydraulic technology to adjust seats and pedals, raise the headlamps and operate the excellent power-assisted brakes. A slippery shape plus 310 horsepower made for a very fast car — top speed was around 258 km/h (160 mph) — and the Bora had acceleration and handling to match. From around 1973, a 4.9-liter version became available, boasting an extra 20 horsepower and commensurately improved performance. By January 1976, Maserati’s management apparently had discussed shelving the Bora but decided to continue. Only some 25 Boras were made that year, and the total produced from 1971 to 1978 was only 571 cars. The type was finally phased out in 1979.

The Bora was a stunning supercar by any standards, both then and now. According to Maserati Classiche, this 4.9-liter example was built in June 1973 and finished in Argento Auteuil with red leather interior. In the same month, it was sold through the Maserati importer in the United States.

At some time the car returned to its native Italy. In January 2013, it underwent a thorough service at official Maserati specialists Candini of Modena. Work undertaken included overhauling the pop-up headlight mechanism, water pump, steering box and air conditioning system, including filling it with modern R134 gas, together with cleaning the carburetors and more mundane service items. Components renewed include the front brake discs, front shock absorbers and front wheel bearings.

The car has also clearly benefited from a recent high-quality respray, while the original leather interior is still in very good condition throughout. Offered with Italian registration documents for export, the car is now fitted with a km/h speedometer and correct European specification exhaust system and bumpers.