1960 Maserati 3500 GT - Right Hand Drive
1960 Maserati 3500 GT - Right Hand Drive
1 of just 40 examples believed to have been built in Right Hand Drive
1 owner for over 50 years (1964-2015)
Believed to be original paint and interior with stunning patina
Engine rebuild and mechanical recommissioning by Bill McGrath Maserati
When we think of Maserati most of us picture legendary racing cars of the 1950’s like the 250F, 450S and the Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’ being driven by the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss. In 1957 Maserati withdrew from factory racing as a result of the ‘Guidizzolo Tragedy’ where during the Mille Miglia a Ferrari 335S driven by Alfonso de Portago crashed into the crowd killing the driver and co-driver and nine spectators, five of whom were children. This also spelt the end of the Mille Miglia itself.
Maserati had already started looking into expanding their road car production but with the withdrawal from racing, Maserati were starting to suffer financially and things had to change quickly if the marque was to survive. To go from producing a dozen road cars a year to hundreds is no mean feat and the car would have to be right. The Grand Tourer market was the chosen as the target and work began to design a new car from the ground up, the result was the 3500 GT.
Maserati used their race experience and know how to come up with the 3500; The engine was a development of the 3.5 litre straight-6 from the 350S endurance racer, developed for road use with a wet sump oil system but keeping some competition parts like the aluminium block and head and a twin spark ignition system. Power output was 217bhp at 5,500rpm breathing through triple Weber 42 DCOE carburettors. The chassis was a tubular design with double wishbone suspension on the front and a Salisbury solid axle at the rear. Originally offered with hydraulically assisted drum brakes and a 4-speed transmission, updates throughout the production cycle included front disc brakes, limited slip differential, discs brakes all round and the introduction of fuel injection in 1961. The body was penned by Carozzeria Touring and used their Superleggera process of aluminium panels on a steel frame.
Of the 1,981 Touring Coupés built it is believed that just 30-40 were RHD examples imported into the UK and the car we offer here is one of those rare RHD examples.
Delivered new in July 1960, AM101.954 was sold to official importers Colin Murray of Fleetwood in Lancashire. Four years later and a 26 year old Andrew Petersen is staring at the car for sale with a dealer on Edgware Road in London. Here was his dream car and it could be his, so he took the plunge and bought it, beginning a 52 year relationship between man and machine. The car became his daily driver to and from work and at weekends he would drive his wife and children to the seaside and other such adventures. Unfortunately, for AM101.954, 1971 brought the arrival of another child and the Maserati wasn’t viable as the family transport anymore. She was parked in the garage and there she stood for 17 years. In 1988 with the kids grown up and having flown the nest, Andrew dusted of the old girl and got her back on the road, she passed her MOT but in his words, she still needed some “TLC”. In 2007 Andrew bit the bullet and took the car to Bill McGrath Maserati to embark on a full restoration. Unfortunately, due to a limited budget the full nut and bolt restoration was not going to be possible, which in hindsight, was a good thing. The engine was completely overhauled top to bottom and everything that was needed to get the car a current MOT was addressed. There are invoices and letters on file from 2007 until 2012 tallying up to just over £35,000 GBP. Sadly after the work the decision was taken to sell the car and in 2016 the current owner bought the car and added it to his already sizeable collection, having fallen in love with the story and condition.
Today the car is presented in the most superb patinated condition cosmetically, sporting what is believed to be its original paint and almost certainly its original interior trim. With the engine rebuilt by the best in the business one can’t help but love the ‘oily rag’ looks coupled with the confidence inspiring bills for mechanical work. A restored car is a wonderful thing, but these cars are only original once and to have such originality maintained with a rebuilt engine, is, in our opinion, the best of both worlds. Whether the new owner wants possibly the coolest pub ‘smoker’ or a candidate for preservation class concours events, this wonderful example offers both opportunities to whoever the lucky person may be.