In 1964, Maserati offered a range of spectacular motorcars, with the Mistral and Quattroporte joining the Sebring, 3500 GT, and 3500 GT Spyder. Maserati was building upon the success of the 3500 GT and Sebring when it commissioned Pietro Frua to design a new body to be placed upon an updated Tipo 109 chassis. The two-seat coupé was named “Mistral”, after the strong winds blowing from the Mediterranean coast in the south of France, at the suggestion of Colonel John Simone, the French Maserati importer.
The Mistral name was intended to represent speed, and the car certainly lived up to its promise. This was to be Maserati’s last car powered by its famed and well-proven straight-six engine, which had descended from the company’s 350S sports racing cars of the 1950’s. A Salisbury rear axle handled the power from a ZF five-speed manual gearbox—a traditional tried-and-tested Maserati-type drivetrain.
Whilst the Mistral was similar in length to its Sebring predecessor, it had a much more lithe and rounded profile, with a low beltline and curved glass. The relatively long bonnet was accented with a small air scoop, slim bumper, and a split air intake. Typical of Italian sports car construction at the time, the body was constructed in steel, whilst the doors, bonnet, and boot lid were fashioned out of aluminium. When unveiled, it was considered by many to be one of Frua’s finest designs.
In current family ownership for over 30 years, this early Mistral, from the first year of production, was acquired in the 1980’s by Mr. A.J. (Bert) Rouille, in a deal involving a 1937 London Taxi, a 1964 Mercedes and a 1939 Rolls-Royce. In current ownership since 1990, the Maserati has been dry stored for some years, with the engine removed for refurbishment and refitting. Now offered with state of Jersey registration papers and older newspaper cuttings featuring the Mistral, this is a wonderful straight basis for further restoration works.