The Maserati Company was established in 1914. The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, Ernesto and Mario, were all involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century. Alfieri, Bindo and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. In 1926, Diatto suspended the production of race cars, leading to the creation of the first Maserati and the founding of the Maserati marque. One of the first Maserati's, driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio. Maserati began making race cars with 4, 6, 8, and 16 cylinders. Mario, an artist, is believed to have devised the company's trident emblem, based on one of Bolgna's civic symbols: the statue of Neptune in one of the city's main squares. Alfieri Maserati died in 1932 but three other brothers, Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races.
In 1937 the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to Commendatore Adolfo Orsi, who in 1940 relocated the company headquarters to his hometown of Modena, where it remains to this day. In 1940 and 1941, a Maserati won the Indianapolis 500.
The Maserati 3500 was produced from 1955 to 1966. Vignale was one of several coachbuilders used by Maserati, constructing both coupes and spiders from 1959 to 1966. The owner of this 3500 GTi purchased it in 1996, enjoyed driving it for many years, and restored it in 2005.
Maserati produced the 3500 in both coupe and spider models from 1957 to 1966. This GTi was built by the Italian coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Vignale, as a one-off show car to promote his design business at the 1965 Turin Auto Show. Shortly after, the car was purchased by an Italian gentleman, who had Vignale make changes to the car that included an interior and exterior color change.
In 1976, the 3500 GTi showed up in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Kruse Auction and was purchased by its current owner. A few years later, when the car appeared in a Maserati publication, the owner realized the 3500 GTi was something special.
In 2005, the car was restored to its present condition. The 3.5 twin-plug six-cylinder produced 230 horsepower with a top speed of 143 miles per hour.
Sold for $55,000 at 2011 Gooding & Company. This Maserati 3500 GTi is a second-series car that was built near the end of production. It has improved ventilation, thanks to the opening front and rear side-vent windows. There are four-wheel disc brakes, five-speed transmission, and a Lucas fuel injection system.
In 2011, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $85,000 - $120,000. As bidding came to a close, the car was sold for the sum of $55,000 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2011
The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo and Ernesto, loved building fast cars, including Grand Prix entries for Diatto. When Diatto stopped producing race cars in 1926, the brothers founded their own marque. Alfieri Maserati won the 1926 Targa Florio, in one of their early efforts and they soon started building race cars with four, six, eight, and even sixteen cylinders. In 1937, they sold out to the Adolfo Orsi family. Racing success continued, including Indy 500 wins and a 1957 Juan-Manuel Fangio world championship. But, after the gruesome 1957 Mille Miglia tragedy, Maserati ended factory racing and focused more on road cars.
In 1957 at the Geneva Motor Show they unveiled a 3500GT 2+2 coupe with an aluminum body on Carrozzeria Touring's superleggera, or super light, frame. It was Maserati's first attempt at volume production. It had a 3485cc DOHC six-cylinder with 220 horsepower on a 102.4 inch wheelbase. The suspension had a front wishbone and coil-springs; the rear semi-elliptic springs and a live axle. They also had leather interiors, Jaeger-LeCoultre instruments and power windows.
The 3500 GTi was introduced in 1961 with Lucas fuel injection and a 235 horsepower engine in front of a 5-speed ZF gearbox. Disc brakes were standard all around. The dashing GTi body had a lowered roofline and different grille, rear lights, and vent windows. This car has the Borrani wire wheels and was discovered in a barn where it had resided since the early 1970's. It was rescued in 2009 and restored at the owner's body shop.
The Maserati 3500 GT was produced from 1957 through 1964 with over 2000 examples being produced. The vehicle was penned by Carrozzeria Touring gathering many styling cues from the legendary Maserati A6G54 coupe. The 3500 GT is seen as a savior for the Maserati Company. Prior to its production, the company produced less than 140 cars in a ten year time span. Racing and competition nearly exhausted the funds; the company needed help. Becoming a mass-produced company and the widely accepted 3500 GT saved the company and allowed for Maserati to continue its racing efforts with the design and development of the famous birdcage design.
In March of 1957, the 3500 GT was shown to the public at the Geneva Motor Show. Two prototypes were shown; one was designed by Touring and the other by Allemano. The Touring design was a 2+2 coupe, which was later selected by Omer Orsi selected for production. There were minor modifications of the production design. The headlamps, radiator grille, and the dashboard were slightly modified but remained mostly unchanged.
Over the Maserati 3500 GT's production lifespan, many improvements were made. In 1960, front disc brakes became standard; also this year the four-speed manual gear was replaced by a ZF five-speed transmission. In 1961, disc brakes became standard on all four corners. In 1962 the engine was matted to a Lucas Fuel Injection system which increased horsepower by 15.
Under the hood was a 3.5 liter DOHC inline-six cylinder power-plant equipped with three side-draft two-barrel carburetors achieving 240 horsepower. The engine was an evolution of the Tipo 250F Formula 1 car. Top speed with the 3500 GT was achieved at 145 mph.
In 1960 Carrozziera Vignale introduced a 3500 spider which sat atop a shortened chassis. Other coachbuilders such as Allemano, Frua, Moretti, Bertone, and Boneschi produced bodies for the 3500 chassis.
The car was impressive both visually and mechanically. It was Maserati's first production car built in great numbers. During its eight year production lifespan, over 2225 examples of the Coupes and Spyders were produced. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2009
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