Maserati followed-up its first mid-engined supercar – the Bora – with the similar Merak. Launched in 1972, the latter was intended as competition for Ferrari’s top-selling Dino 246 and used a stretched, 3.0-litre, 190bhp version of the four-cam V6 that had debuted in the Citroën SM. The French firm owned Maserati at the time, so the Merak made use of the SM’s transmission, power-operated, all-disc braking and, more controversially, Citroën’s quirky instrumentation, though this applied to left-hand drive cars only, right-hand drive examples using the more conventional fascia of the Bora.
The unitary construction chassis, all-independent suspension and impeccable handling remained basically as the V8-engined Bora’s, though the Merak offered the convenience of ‘+2’ seating in the rear and superior all-round vision thanks to its distinctive rear ‘flying buttresses’.
Like any true thoroughbred, the Merak possessed handling commensurate with its breathtaking acceleration and high maximum speed. ‘Performance and handling are the raison d’être of a mid-engined sports car, and the Merak’s astounding cornering power is a match for its straight-line punch,’ observed Motor magazine. The most successful Maserati of its day, the Merak ceased production in 1983 after 1,832 had been built, 626 of them the SS version.
Chassis 0890 is an earlier model, finished in the rare and attractive combination of Blanco with a Rosso leather interior. Rolling off the production line on 23rd March 1975, 0890 is supplied with Italian papers.
Showing only 29,000 kms recorded, Maserati Meraks are arguably better built, more refined, and certainly much better value than the comparable Ferrari of the era. This Merak is offered for No Reserve.