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 with an additional 30bhp and 50kg weight reduction.
Delivered new to Modena, Italy, two private owners from the same family and just 80,000 km from new. Original, unrestored and extremely well preserved, offered with Bill of Sale and Maserati handbooks, this is one of just 213 2000 GT’s produced mainly for the Italian market, one of the most striking car designs of the 70’s. The current vendor has recently undertaken some mechanical work costing approximately £1,500 and the car is described to be in a very good condition throughout.