The Maserati Merak, announced at the Paris Salon of 1972, was a little brother to the mid-engined V8 Bora. It used the same Ital Design steel body, but with a smaller V6, 3-liter engine—as found in the Citroën SM coupe—that liberated space for two child-sized rear seats.

The all-alloy powerplant, equipped with triple Weber carburetors, had been built by Maserati for Citroën at the Modena factory, as Citroën had a controlling interest in Maserati during the early ’70s. Thus the five-speed transaxle used in the front-wheel drive SM could also be found in the Merak, adapated for rear-wheel drive.

The outright performance of the Merak was quick by most standards, with a top speed of 135 mph and 0 to 60 in 8.2 seconds. Fuel consumption worked out at a reasonable 19 miles to the gallon. Meraks were known to handle quite
proficiently as the mid-engine design provided fine balance and traction. Additionally a small amount of luggage space was made available in the nose of the car.

The Merak pictured here is a nicely presented example in respectable overall condition. The powder blue paint is in very good condition and shows only minor wear along the door sills and panel fit areas. The cream interior is in similar condition, as expected of a 75,000-mile car, and features sheepskin covers on the front seats. The Merak is equipped with air conditioning, a Sony cassette deck and all gauges and instruments appear to be in good condition. These cars can offer exhilarating performance for a very affordable price.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1974 Maserati Merak
Years Produced:1972-76
Number Produced:1,173
Original List Price:$13,000-$19,000
SCM Valuation:$12,000-$20,000
Tune Up Cost:$300-$800
Distributor Caps:$150
Chassis Number Location:Engine compartment data plate
Engine Number Location:Stamped on bell housing
Club Info:Maserati Club International, P.O. Box 1015, Mercer Island, WA 98040; 425/455-4449
Alternatives:Lamborghini Urraco, Ferrari 308 GT4 “Dino”


The car described here was sold at the Christie’s Auction in the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, for a high bid of $8,813.

Grand theft auto is a crime in most jurisdictions. It is, however, sometimes performed in such a way that not only is it legal, it is commendable and admirable, envied by those of us who witness the crime in commission.

If you go, for example, to a large, highly publicized, glamorous and swish collector car auction, register to bid, sit in the front, pay attention, quit gawking at the trophy wives and know a few things about old cars, sometimes you can snag a great deal out from under the noses of the assembled dealers and stealers.This Merak was offered at no reserve to a crowd that did not seem to care. An extremely astute buyer (and SCM reader, to boot) saw his chance and swooped in. How good a buy was it? Well, exactly ten days later, he had sold the car on eBay for $16,400. Lest you think he made a quick $8,000, we hasten to point out that he did have costs to contend with. First, there was the eBay fee (a huge $25), and he may have had to wash the car. Profits were substantially eroded as you can see, and he probably netted no more than $7,800.

What a deal. A nice car, handsome enough and, luckily for all involved, in excellent running condition. Its new owner is said to be thrilled, and of course the recent reseller is thrilled as well. The eBay price was in the market range for the Merak; the Christie’s sale price was clearly a bargain, proving that you don’t have to go to Bargain Billy’s Estate Sale in Rochester, New York or a similar backwater event to score a good deal at an auction.—Bob LeFlufy

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