Coupe Coachwork: Frua Chassis Num: 103.060 Engine Num: 103.060
Sold for $1,100,000 at 2007 Gooding & Company. Thanks to the desires of the Shah of Persia (now Iran), the legendary Maserati 5000 GT came into existence. At the time, Maserati's model line was not exclusive, nor was it powerful enough, to satisfy the demands of the Shah. He wanted a road-going GT car powered by a V8 engine conceived from racing.
The tubular frame of the 3500GT was strengthened, the independent suspension was retained, and leaf springs and a live axle were placed in the rear. Disc brakes were placed in the front and drums in the rear. The V8 engine was courtesy of Maserati's racing program which was left with a surplus of units once racing regulations changed and made them obsolete. The engine in the 5000 GT had a displacement size of five liters, breathed through Weber carburetors, and offered an impressive 400 horespower. Top speed was achieved at 178 mph. Touring was tasked with creating the coachwork. The Shah paid $15,000 for this exclusive masterpiece, and the car would become known as the 'Shah of Persia.'
At the time, this was a one-of-a-kind model, but it would not retain that distinction. A second example soon followed, also bodied by Touring, and shared many of the same design cues as the first car. It was brought to the Turin Motor Show where it attracted the attention of other potential buyers. Additional examples soon followed, with coachwork by Monterosa, Pininfarina, Bertone, Allemano, Michelotti and Ghia.
The last carrozzerie commissioned to create a body for the 5000 GT chassis was Frua. In total, only three cars were given bodies with Frua designs and each was uniquely different. The first example was chassis number 103.048 and it was shown at the Geneva and Paris shows. This car was later renumbered to chassis 064. The second chassis, number 103.060, was created for the Aga Khan. The final Frua example was 103.100 and it had a 4.7-liter V8 engine.
Other owners of the 5000GT series included the president of Mexico, American movie star Stuart Granger, Sig. Agnelli of Fiat, and American sportsman Briggs Cunningham.
Allemano made 20 nearly identical cars of the total 32 examples produced. The later cars, also known as the Series II, had many new mechanical refinements such as four-wheel disc brakes, a reworked engine and a five-speed gearbox. Improvements to the engine included a longer stroke and Lucas fuel injection system, resulting in a increase in torque.
103.060 This car is chassis number 103.060 and wears a body by Frua. It is a later series car that has the 4-wheel disc brakes, five-speed gearbox, and 4.9-liter V8 engine with Double Overhead Camshaft and two-valves per cylinder.
The car was delivered to Karim Aga Khan on August 8th of 1962. He was the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Shiite sect at the time and resided in France at the time.
The frontal area of this car is very unique. It is built around a centrally positioned trident on the front of the hood and has rectangular headlamps and parking lights. It has a low belt-line and a tall roofline.
It is painted in a gray hue that shifts from purple to nearly pink depending on the lighting and the angle of view. The interior is cream and accented by a generous amount of chrome trim. In the center of the dashboard is a 300 kph speedometer. There is a 45 RPM record player that sits in front of the passenger's seat. The wood-rimmed steering wheel features trident-shaped spokes.
This car has been awarded a Second in Class at Pebble Beach. It has been well maintained over the years and is a fully documented example. In 2007 this car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, CA where it was estimated to sell for $650,000 - $850,000. Bidding soon surpassed those estimates and when the gavel fell for the third and final time, the lot had been sold for $1,100,000. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011
Sold for $557,000 at 2011 Bonhams. Over a six-year period, only 34 examples of the Maserati 5000 GT were produced. They carried a factory list price of $14,000 in 1959, making them one of the most expensive cars of their era. These passenger cars had the best power-to-weight ratio in the world, thanks to their 4.9-liter DOHC Twin-Plug V8 alloy engine that offered 325 horsepower.
The 5000 GT cars were given custom coachwork by Frua, Touring, Pinin Farina, Allemano, and Bertone, among others. This car, with chassis number 103.046 was clothed by Allemano and was finished by the factory on August 24th of 1962. It was painted in Bleu Sera Metallic with white Connolly leather interior, just the same as today. The first owner was a Piero Maria Merli Brandini of Rome, Italy. When new, it had a rare five-speed ZF transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, and air conditioning.
The car has been given a full restoration that was completed in the early 2000s.
In 2008, this Allemano bodied 5000GT was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company Auction held in Pebble Beach, Ca. It was estimated to sell for $600,000 - $800,000. Bidding failed to reach the reserve and the lot was left unsold.
This custom coachwork Maserati 5000GT was the 23rd of 34 built with a factory 5-speed. AM103046 was the sole 5000 commissioned with air conditioning. This Allenmano was originally sold to Piero Liugi Maria Brandini in Italy. The car was eventually discovered in Caracas, Venezuela, by a European diamond merchant, in unrestored but complete condition. It was shipped to Maserati specialist Bill McGrath, in England, and underwent a 10-year restoration.
The Shaw of Iran requested a passenger car that was capable of 280 kph (175 mph). The car produced used a slightly detuned Maserati 450s, 5.0-liter, race engine. The second 5000 produced was ordered by Basil Reed, the owner of the Kylami race track. Maserati allowed French journalist Bernard Cahier to test this car. His road test review prompted the orders of 5000s. The majority of these Maseratis were tailor made for special customers, heads of state, industrialists, and royalty. Built in August 1962, this Maserati 5000 GT is shown in its original colors. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009
The Shah of Persia, now Iran, visited Maserati in 1958 in search of an exclusive supercar. He was a Maserati enthusiast and greatly enjoyed their offerings. A test drive in a Maserati 3500 GT amplified his determination to have the Maserati, but it was not exclusive as he would like. Information pertaining to the Maserati 450S caught his eye.
The story with the Maserati 450S models goes back a year, to 1957. 1957 was a good year for Maserati racing, but one that left them in financial difficulty and in the shadows of the World Sportscar Championship. Though they had won the Formula One World Championship they were not able to secure a World Sportscar Championship. They were in the lead going into the final race at the Caracas, Venezuelan Grand Prix but due to accidents, were not able to capture the overall victory. Three of their entrants crashed with two of those being the 450S models. Both of the 450S's had been promised to buyers. The loss of the cars and the championship was devastating. Along with losing the championship, they lost bonuses.
The Maserati 450S sports racers were powered by 5-liter V8 engines. Rules changes in 1958 by the FIA reduced the maximum engine size for the World Sportscar Championship to three-liters, which immediately made the 5-liter engine obsolete. Additional rule changes to the fuel regulations meant that Maserati would need to invest heavily in new technology and testing to produce a competitive solution. Maserati was left with V8 engines that could not be used in racing, large amount of debt, and staggering development and research costs. They decided to withdraw from racing.
The Maserati 3500 GT was an immediate success and the sales helped Maserati regain its financial stability. The car had impressed the Shah of Persia but the exclusivity was an issue. The solution was to create the limited production, custom made, 5000 GT (factory designation of Tipo 103) with engines that had been intended for the 450S. The engines were nearly identical to the 450S racers; the only difference was a larger bore and a decrease in the compression ratio. Though the engine was now larger in size, 4935 cc compared with 4479 cc, the vehicles produced less horsepower. The racers produced 400 horsepower while the 5000 GT with its four twin-choke 45 IDM Weber carburetors produced 340. The decrease in power was to make the cars more comfortable and suitable for road-driving. The chassis of the car was from the 3500 GT with minor modifications, mostly to increase its strength to better combat the powerful V8 engine. The wheelbase and track dimensions are identical. The 450S's chassis had been considered, but since it would have required a lot of modifications and it had not undergone the testing that the 3500 GT had endured, the design was not used. The front suspension is comprised of A-arms with coil springs. In the rear is a solid axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs. Disc brakes were used in the front and drums in the rear. Power was sent to the rear wheels through a ZP four-speed manual gearbox with a hydraulically operated clutch.
The first few Maserati 5000 GT's constructed were given the 340 horsepower engine. Later models were given less powerful engine with a slightly decreased bore, increased stroke, and a Lucas indirect fuel injection system. The result was a 4941 cc engine that produced 325 horsepower.
The Maserati 5000 GT's were very exclusive with only 34 produced and each receiving custom coachwork by some of the greatest coachbuilders of all time. Frua, Pinin farina, Ghia, Bertone, Touring, Monterosa, Allemano, and Michelotti were some of the names who outfitted the cars. The first two cars produced were bodied by Touring. Briggs Cunningham, the famous American millionaire sportsman who put on impressive showings at LeMans during the 1950's, purchased one. Aga Khan, Giovanni Agnelli, Ferdinando Innocenti were some of the other names of individuals who purchased a 5000 GT. The Shah was given chassis number 103.002. Chassis number 103.004 was shown at the 1959 Turin Show before being sold to South African native Basil Read, the owner of the Kyalami race circuit. It was reported to have a top speed of over 170 mph. Chassis number 103.006 was the first 5000 GT to be fitted with fuel injection.
Thanks to the considerably good taste in automobiles by the Shah, the 5000 GT had been created. The luxury, performance, style, and ambiance that came with the car had created a following that was so elite, only 34 owners were given a chance to own one. The 5000 GT is considered by many as one of the greatest postwar gran turismo cars.
Production lasted from 1959 through 1965. By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2006
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