Despite numerous racetrack successes that included Juan Manuel Fangio’s fifth World Championship – at the wheel of a 250F – and runner-up spot in the World Sportscar Championship with the fabulous 450S, both in 1957, the marque’s most successful season, Maserati was by that time facing a bleak future.
Its parent company’s financial difficulties eventually forced a withdrawal from racing and Maserati’s survival strategy for the 1960s centered on establishing the company as a producer of road cars. The Modena marque’s new era began in 1957 with the launch of the Touring-bodied 3500GT, its first road model built in significant numbers.
A luxury ‘2+2’, the 3500GT drew on Maserati’s competition experience, employing a tubular chassis frame and an engine derived from the 350S sports car unit of 1956.
Its designer was none other than Giulio Alfieri, creator of the immortal Tipo 60/61 ‘Birdcage’ sports-racer and the man responsible for developing the 250F into a World Championship winner. The twin-overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine was a close relative of that used in the 250F and developed around 220bhp initially on carburettors, later examples producing 235bhp on Lucas mechanical fuel injection. Built initially with drum brakes and four-speed transmission, the 3500GT was progressively updated, gaining five speeds, front disc brakes and, finally, all-disc braking before production ceased in 1964.
Previously owned by a renowned Swiss Maserati collector, where the car stood for numerous years next to some of the most important Maserai’s in the world such as Vignale Spiders, the wonderful 3500 GTi on offer today was purchased by the vendor directly from him a remarkable 23 years ago!
Finished in arguably the best colour combination for a 3500 – gunmetal grey over red, one would be hard-pressed to find a comparable example in such a condition. Subject to an older restoration which began in 2005, over the past 12 years, the car has been maintained by renowned Maserati Specialists, Schiemenz and included in the cars extensive history file are maintenance bills for recent years totaling to in the region of €35,000.