1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Vignale
- Single ownership for over three decades
- Accompanied by a rare, original hardtop
- Original matching-numbers engine
- Exceptionally well preserved
Introduced at the 1957 Geneva Auto Show, Maserati’s 3500 GT was a hugely significant car for the fabled Italian manufacturer. Looking to boost revenue, the 3500 GT was a vastly important car for the company, and one that needed to do well in order to keep the company running. The chassis and suspension were much like its predecessor, the AG6/54, as they were composed of large-diameter steel tubes with sheet steel stiffeners. Featuring a detuned, twin-cam inline six-cylinder sourced from the 350S, the iteration fitted to the 3500 GT was tuned to offer more civilized road manners. With twin spark-plug ignition and triple Weber carburetors, the engine produced 220 horsepower. With a ZF-sourced gearbox, Girling disc brakes, and a rear axle from Salisbury, the 3500 GT boasted an impressive top speed of 134 mph. Coupe bodies were built by Touring, while the cabriolet bodywork was constructed by Vignale, riding on a chassis two inches shorter than the coupe.
The 3500 GT quickly proved to be a huge success and by 1960, the company was delivering as many as 10 per week. Looking to keep demand strong throughout production, a number of rolling changes were introduced throughout its lifespan, including center-lock wheels, a limited-slip differential, front disc brakes, and an optional ZF five-speed manual transmission. The Vignale Spyder would prove to be the most desirable iteration, with only 242 examples produced compared to 2,000 production coupes.
Built on 6 August 1960, this 3500 GT was finished in Nero Lancia over a Bianco leather interior. In the 1980s the car was acquired by Claude Imhoff, a Swiss architect who kept residence in Switzerland as well as Florida. After purchasing the car, Imhoff brought his Maserati to Florida, where it would be used as warm-weather transportation in the Sunshine State. Maintained as necessary and never fully restored, the car remained in his ownership ever since, a period of more than 30 years. Furthermore, the car received a full service by Maserati specialist Stephen Claassen of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that was completed in July of 2016.
Fitted with its original, matching-numbers engine, the spyder remains highly original throughout and has never been fully restored. While records from Maserati state that the car’s original color was black, the current shade of green is thought to be original considering its condition, with no hint of black paint to be found anywhere upon inspection. The car presents in exceptionally original condition throughout, fitted with Borrani wire wheels and retaining correct Marchal headlamps as well as Marchal driving lamps. The car also boasts its original chrome plating and windshield, as well as a rare and desirable factory hardtop, giving it a more streamlined look.
The 3500 GT cemented Maserati’s reputation as not only a builder of exceptional race cars, but also one that could produce equally exceptional road cars. A testament to the engineering in the 3500 GT, the car’s chassis and running gear would serve as the underpinnings for the subsequent Maserati Sebring and Mistral with steady development throughout. The exceptional example presented here boasts wonderful care of its well-preserved condition throughout. Retaining its matching-numbers engine and a desirable matching hardtop, this lovely 3500 GT Spyder would be an astute acquisition for the collector with an appreciation for automotive preservation.