With coachwork by Carrozzeria Frua and a desirable 4.0-liter engine, this is a very special Maserati Mistral.
During the sixties, Maserati established itself as a producer of road cars, having previously concentrated on its Grand Prix and sports car racing activities. A new era was heralded with the launch of the Touring-bodied 3500GT at the Geneva Motor Show in 1957. A luxury '2+2,' the 3500GT employed a tubular chassis frame and an engine derived from the 1956 350S sports car. The twin-overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine developed around 220hp and was initially mated to a 4-speed transmission.
The 3500GT was progressively updated gaining five speeds, front disc brakes and all-disc braking. The last of these classis six-cylinder Maseratis was the Pietro Frua-style Mistral, which commenced production in 1963. A 3.7-liter long-stroke engine was fitted to most cars with other options being the 3.5-liter and, from 1966, the 4.0-liter unit. The Mistral was built in coupe and spyder variants, and by the time production ended in 1970, a total of 828 coupes and 125 spyders had been built. Up for auction in Paris next week is this Mistral Spyder with the 4.0-liter engine and five-speed box, and thus is the ultimate and most desirable form of this iconic model.
As just 37 of the 125 factory Spyders were made with this engine, it also makes it one of the rarest. According to the Maserati build sheet of March 1966, specification of the car included Borrani wire wheels, electric windows, inner city horn, an ashtray under the steering wheel, autovox radio and speaker, electric clock, and blue-tinted door glass. In 2008 the car was partially restored: the engine was overhauled and the bodywork repainted in the original dark blue metallic. A new beige hood was fitted, while the leather interior is original and complimented by a matching leather hood bag.
Bonham's estimate that €190,000 to €240,000 will be needed to secure this handsome soft-top Maserati, which comes with the aforementioned copy build sheet and a valid Italian registration document.