Weekly Treasure: 1992 Maserati Shamal

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Perhaps one of the coolest Maseratis not enough people know about.

Maserati's past includes multiple motorsport victories and many iconic road cars. But how many people have heard of the Maserati Shamal? And what the heck is a 'Shamal' anyway? As per Maserati tradition, it was named after a wind, specifically the hot summer wind that blows into present-day Iraq. But the Maserati Shamal (which means 'north' in Arabic) has rightly earned its own place within the Italian automaker's long history.

The Shamal was revealed in late 1989 at the company's headquarters in Modena, Italy. Presented to the world by Alejandro de Tomaso, the Shamal was the final Maserati he revealed as company president and owner. The following year, he was forced to sell the company to Fiat because of massive debt he couldn't repay. Fortunately, the production and sales of the Shamal proceeded as planned.

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As Maserati had acquired so much debt, development of the Shamal had to be done on the cheap. It was closely related to the Maserati Biturbo, with its doors, interior, and bodyshell all carried over. Its exterior design, however, is a different story. None other than Marcello Gandini, famed designer of the Lamborghini Countach and Diablo, along with many other great cars, played a huge role in the Shamal's styling, working directly with Maserati's own design department. Notice, for example, the shape of the rear wheel arches. They just scream Lamborghini.

There's also another front spoiler in front of the windshield, an unusual feature used on the redesign of the DeTomaso Pantera. Its aim was to direct airflow across the windshield and to push down the wipers at high speeds. Step inside and this two-seater is quite luxurious. Leather seat cushions and lots of additional leather and wood trim are everywhere. Maserati's oval clock is also present.

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Under the hood lies a 3.2-liter twin-turbo DOHC V8 paired to a Getrag six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential. Total output is rated at 322 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque. Maserati claimed a top speed of 168 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 5.3 seconds. Not bad. Despite being on the market for six years, until 1996, just 369 examples were built.

This rear-wheel-drive, all-Italian grand tourer, an ancestor to today's Maserati GranTurismo, is definitely not something you see often, but now there's one up for sale on Bring A Trailer.

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This 1992 Maserati Shamal has been wonderfully maintained over the years, clocking around 44,000 miles in the process. It has recently had some service done, including a new ignition coil, oxygen sensors, and spark plugs. It looks to be in perfect condition inside and out.

As of this writing, there was just under a week left to the auction and the highest bid is only $3,000. It was sold only last year to its current seller for nearly $71,000, just to give you an idea as to how high the final price could reach.

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