Maseratis in Monterey

Maseratis in Monterey


1959 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Frua

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We did this a few years ago when there was an abundance of Maseratis on offer during the Pebble Beach auction weekend. It turns out there’s quite a few nice examples being offered this year as well. And there’s nowhere near enough time to feature them all.

This is a 3500 GT, a model produced between 1957 and 1964. It was the company’s first successful GT road car and, really, the first successful production car that Maserati launched. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six making 217 horsepower with the three Weber carburetors as configured in this car. Introduced as a coupe, coachbuilder Frua designed a single convertible to show the company that a Spyder was a good idea.

As good looking as it is, Maserati chose Vignale’s design instead and that car become the series production 3500 Spyder. That makes this a one-off – and one of only five 3500 GT chassis bodied by Frua. The current restoration was freshened in 2000. Click here for more info.


1956 Maserati A6G/54 Berlinetta by Zagato

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

This car looks loud… like a muffler-less, high-revving car with a heavy clutch. Sort of like a race car with a road car body. Which is kind of what it is. Maserati’s A6G/54 was a road car based on the A6GCS race car and was available between 1954 and 1956. The’re powered by a 160 horsepower, 2.0-liter straight-six.

The aggressive body here is by Zagato, one of only 21 of this model bodied by the coachbuilder. Of those 21, they are broken down by three different variations on this body style. And they were only built in ’55 and ’56. This example was raced in its day and restored recently with it debuting at the 2014 Villa d’Este. It’s rare and should bring between $4,000,000-$5,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company.


1968 Maserati Mistral 4000 Spyder by Frua

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Mistral was a 2-door Maserati GT car that was built between 1963 and 1970. It replaced the 3500 GT and was replaced by the Ghibli. It’s the perfect 1960s Maserati tourer, a competitor to the likes of the Aston Martin DB6.

Pietro Frua designed the Coupe and the Spyder variants. The Spyders were much rarer, with only 120 built to the Coupe’s 828. There were also three engine choices offered and we’ve already featured a Mistral Spyder with the smallest engine. But the car you see here has the largest: a 4.0-liter straight-six making 265 horsepower. Only 37 of the Spyders were the 4000 model, making it the rarest version of the Mistral.

Restored to as-new condition (with the addition of a second fuel pump), this car has covered 7,000 miles since completion. It is expected to bring between $750,000-$900,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.


1964 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe by Michelotti

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 5000 GT was an extremely rare Maserati offered in Coupe-only form between 1959 and 1964. It wasn’t even a car the company planned on building: the Shah of Persia liked the 3500 GT but requested Maserati build him one with a modified version of the engine from the 450S race car. So Maserati capitulated, stuffing a 4.9-liter V-8 engine making 325 horsepower under the hood.

Each car was specially built by leading coachbuilders of the day. Designer Giovanni Michelotti built this example for famed American sportsman Briggs Cunningham. Cunningham requested a 5000 GT that resembled the 450S and the result was something that resembled no other 5000 GT (nor any other Maserati). It almost looks like a custom Ferrari of the era.

The restoration dates to the early-1990s. It’s pretty special, and as a one-off version of a production car that only ever saw 33 examples built, it should bring big bucks. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.


2007 Maserati MC12 Corsa

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 16-19, 2017

Photo – Mecum

The MC12 is the coolest Maserati of the last 25 years – easily. The car was designed around the underpinnings of the Ferrari Enzo. But unlike Ferrari, who doesn’t take their halo cars to the track, Maserati’s entire aim with this project was to return to the FIA GT Championship. Production of road cars began in 2004 and they had to homologate 50 of them to go racing, which they did by the end of 2005.

And racing they went. And it was pretty a successful endeavor – or successful enough that some customers demanded their own track version. So after the 50 road cars were built, Maserati constructed 12 “MC12 Corsa” examples that were track-only versions of their supercar. It’s powered by a 6.0-liter V-12 making 745 horsepower – pretty much the same powerplant from the factory-backed MC12 GT1 race car. These cost nearly $1.5 million when new. We’ll see what it brings in a couple of days. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

OSCA MT4 1500

1954 OSCA MT4 1500 by Frua

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 8, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This pretty little sports car was built by Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili-Fratelli Maserati S.p.A. – or OSCA, for short. You’ll also notice the name “Maserati” in there, as OSCA was founded by three Maserati brothers after leaving the company bearing their name.

The MT4 was OSCA’s first automobile, introduced in 1947 with a 1.1-liter engine. Engine sizes grew with time and the MT4 was available well into the 1950s. This 1954 “1500” example is powered by a 135 horsepower, 1.5-liter straight-four. The very racy body was by Frua – and the racy part was intentional: an MT4 won the 1954 12 Hours of Sebring. The competition history for this particular car includes:

  • 1954 Mille Miglia – 10th (with Giulio Cabianca)
  • 1954 Targa Florio – DNF (with Cabianca)
  • 1954 Carrera Panamericana – DNF (with Roberto Mieres)

This car’s history sort of went cold after 1955 before reappearing in 1987 and the current owners acquired it in 2003. A five-year restoration followed, as did appearances in a few historic races – races it is still eligible for. It is one of just 72 OSCA MT4s ever built and you can read more about it here. Click here to see the rest of RM’s lineup.

Update: Not sold.

Maseratis in Monterey

1957 Maserati A6G/54 Spider by Frua

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

It seems like each year there is a theme among auction houses as to a certain type of car that is, for whatever reason, more prevalent at the Pebble Beach sales than usual. Two years ago it was open-wheeled race cars. This year it’s Maseratis. Both Gooding & Company and RM Sotheby’s are offering difference collections of Maseratis. The car you see here is probably the best one available.

The A6G/54 was introduced in 1954 (and built through 1956) and was the final version of the A6G, a car that dated back to 1947. It is powered by a 160 horsepower 2.0-liter straight-six and four body styles were offered, though none were built by Maserati themselves. Frua offered a Coupe and Spider, while Zagato and Allemano also offered a style each.

This is the fifth of 10 Frua Spiders and one of only 60 A6G/54s built in total. It was sold new in the U.S. and has spent a majority of its life on the west coast. Restored in the 1990s, this beautiful car does not come with a pre-sale estimate, which should tell you what you need to know regarding affordability. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,300,000.


1951 Maserati A6G 2000 Coupe by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo Courtesty of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesty of RM Sotheby’s

The A6G 2000 was the second iteration of the Maserati A6. Produced in 1950 and 1951 only, the cars saw increased displacement in the straight-six engine (to 2.0-liters) which makes 100 horsepower.

This example was sold new in Italy and has been in the U.S. since 1970. The handsome Pinin Farina body is the sort of typical body you could expect to see on one of these chassis. Except that you should never expect to see one as this is the second of just nine built by Pinin Farina (of about 15 cars built in total). It has been restored twice since 2000 and should bring between $400,000-$500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1971 Maserati Ghibli SS Spider

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

There have been three Maserati Ghiblis: the current sedan, a largely forgotten coupe of the 1990s, and this, a beautiful Ghia-styled Grand Tourer from the 1960s and 70s. A Coupe and Spider were available and in 1969, to partner with the base Ghibli, an SS was released.

The difference was that the SS came with a 4.9-liter V-8 making 335 horsepower. Think of what was going on in America at the time – this engine put it smack dab in the middle of muscle car territory. The difference is in the gearing: this car tops out at 170 mph (while most muscle cars were geared for the ¼ mile). This example was restored in 2009 and is noted in the lot description as “the best Ghibli out there.”

Only 128 Ghibli Spiders were built and only 30 of those were of the 4.9-liter SS variety. The estimate on this car is between $1,750,000-$2,250,000. You get what you pay for. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,500,000.


1971 Maserati Quattroporte Prototipo by Frua

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The original Maserati Quattroporte was a sedan built between 1963 and 1969. Maserati was out of the sedan game until 1976. But in those years between, something strange occurred. And it resulted in two amazing cars.

The story is that Frua designed this prototype Quattroporte sedan and showed it at the 1971 Paris Auto Salon. A second was built for Aga Khan IV and that was it. This is one of the rarest Maseratis outside of cars like the Boomerang. It is powered by a 4.7-liter V-8 making 290 horsepower (from the Maserati Indy). This car is rumored to have been owned and used by the Spanish royal family. Most recently, it’s been in the Riverside Automotive Museum and should sell for between $175,000-$225,000, which seems like a steal. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $88,000.


1948 Maserati A6/1500 Coupe by Pinin Farina

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Remember when we said that Pinin Farina’s Coupe on the A6G 2000 was sort of the prototypical design for this car? Well here’s proof we aren’t crazy. This car is a little earlier, as the A6 1500 was the predecessor of the A6G 2000 having been built between 1947 and 1950. Believe it or not, it was Maserati’s first production road car.

The engine is a 1.5-liter straight-six making 85 horsepower. Only 61 were built and 59 of those carry Pinin Farina coachwork. This example, a long time Texas resident, was restored in 1998 and the engine was redone in 2005. It’s never been shown, but was raced back in 1949 and 1950. As an important piece of Maserati history, it could bring between $800,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company in Pebble Beach.

Update: Sold $852,500.

Four-Door Rolls-Royce Convertible

1971 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Four-Door Cabriolet by Frua & Royle Cars

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

If the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI wasn’t rare enough (only 374 were built between 1968 and 1990 – an eternity as far as single model production goes), this Rolls-Royce is a one-off, four-door convertible.

The Phantom VI was the final version of the numerical Phantoms that began all the way back in 1925 with the Phantom I. A VI was actually Queen Elizabeth’s official state car until 2002. It’s powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 engine making 220 horsepower. VIs were sold as bare chassis and most were bodied by Mulliner Park Ward. This car was sold as a bare chassis to an Englishman who sent it to Frua in Italy for a Sedanca de Ville body to be fitted.

It never was and the chassis changed hands, this time to an American. It wasn’t until 1977 that the body you see here was designed. But it wouldn’t actually be completed until 1993 – after Pietro Frua had died and after the American owner’s collection had been sold. The new owner had Royle Cars Ltd. complete the Frua design and it was done just in time for the 1993 Geneva Auto Show, which makes this the final Phantom VI to be completed.

It also makes this practically a brand new car. It has covered only 72 miles in its life. It’s a Rolls-Royce, so the car’s interior is way off the end of the luxury scale, with a dizzying amount of details scattered throughout. It’s also one of the rarest bodystyles in the world: a four-door convertible. Not many people are crazy enough to build such a car. Only two Phantom VI convertibles were built, here is the other one. This one should bring between $800,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Maserati Mistral Spyder

1966 Maserati Mistral Spyder by Frua

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 6, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Mistral was a grand tourer built by Maserati between 1963 and 1970. It was Maserati’s true two-seater for the period. The convertible Spyder model was introduced in 1964 (and also lasted through 1970).

Three different engines were offered in this car. This car has the smallest, a 3.5-liter straight-six making 235 horsepower (only 20 less than the largest, 4.0-liter engine). This car is thought to be one of the cars shown at the 1966 Turin Motor Show.

The restoration on this car dates back to the mid-1990s with significant work having been completed in 2012. It has covered 88,000 miles in its life. This car has a removable hardtop and is one of 125 Spyders built. Only 12 Spyders were fitted with the 3.5-liter engine and only 20 Spyders were right hand drive, like this car. It should sell for between $610,000-$760,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold for an undisclosed amount.

The Only Two-Door Phantom VI

1973 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Cabriolet by Frua

Offered by Bonhams | Ebeltoft, Denmark | September 26, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Rolls-Royce Phantom VI replaced the Phantom V (obviously). It was introduced in 1968 and lasted, ludicrously, through 1990. They were exclusive sedans and limousines favored by the likes of Queen Elizabeth II. A couple of hearses were also constructed and there were two convertibles built by Frua. One has four doors, making this the only two-door Phantom VI built.

It was designed by Pietro Frua for a Swiss diplomat for use in Switzerland and Monaco. In fact, he kept the car until 1997. It had one other owner before the current owner acquired it. It is powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 and power was “adequate.” Just look at the thing – it’s enormous. The car is over 19 feet long. It’s almost a foot longer than a ’59 Cadillac convertible. It’s one of the biggest two-door convertibles ever built.

And it is opulent. The interior has been aggressively nitpicked to the slightest detail from the leather-lined carpet to the owner’s initials on the horn. You really should see this thing from every angle, including the opposing opening hood. You can find more pictures here. It is expected to sell for between $300,000-$390,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $550,098.

BMW-Glas 3000

1967 BMW-Glas 3000 V8 Fastback by Frua

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Lake Como, Italy | May 23, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Hans Glas GmbH was a German auto manufacturer that built things like the Goggomobil and a few cars under the Glas brand. In 1966, BMW acquired Glas, mainly for their production capacity. They phased out most of the Glas models, or at least changed their names to BMWs. The 3000 was branded as BMW-Glas 3000 V8 for 1967 and 1968.

The original Glas 3000 was designed by Frua. It was a kind of boxy coupe, but when BMW came in, Frua designed this Fastback version. BMW took it to motor shows all over Europe, but it was the only one like it built.

It is powered by a 160 horsepower 3.0-liter V-8. It is coming up for sale off of a fresh restoration and has just under 65,000 miles on the odometer. Being one of one, it will command a premium over all over 3000 V8s. It should sell for between $410,000-$520,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Bonhams RAF Museum Highlights

The top sale of Bonhams’ April 30, 2012, sale that took place at the RAF Museum in Hendon, London was a 1957 Bentley S1 Continental. It brought $311,000. Not my favorite Bentley, but the H.J. Mulliner fastback bodywork definitely makes it the looker among S-Type Bentleys.

The two cars we featured, the 1901 Darracq and the 1910 Gladiator, both failed to sell (this is becoming a bad habit). Other top sales included this 1969 AC 428 by Frua. These wonderful British sports cars stand right there with their Italian contemporaries when it comes down to looks (possibly having something to due with it being styled in Italy). It sold for $126,000.

Another car, one that I almost featured, is this 1935 Talbot BA105 Tourer. I’m starting to think Bonhams gets such solid prices because many of their top dollar cars are photographed on lavish English estates. Where cars like this belong. This one sold for $107,000.

About the next car: “What’s this?” you say, “It looks like a dilapidated Mini.” And that’s what it is. But, it is the oldest unrestored Mini. It is the 8th Mini to roll off the line and is technically a 1959 Austin Mini Se7en De Luxe. History has a price and it is $65,000.

For complete results, check out Bonhams’ website.

A Pair of European Prototypes

1972 Citroen SM Prototype Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Monaco | May 11, 2012

The Citroen SM grand tourer was introduced in 1970. This coupe version using the same mechanicals – mid-front-engined layout with front-wheel drive – was built by Frua for the 1972 Geneva Auto Show. It has the same 2.7-liter V6 making 170 horsepower. The engine was designed with help from Citroen-owned Maserati (which they acquired in 1968).

This car is one-of-a-kind and in original, un-restored condition with about 26,000 miles on the odometer. It has been privately owned since it left the auto show circuit in 1972. This is a rare chance to acquire a one-off prototype. The pre-sale estimate lists this car at $180,000-$240,000. For the complete catalog description, click here.

Update: did not sell.


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1964 Lancia Sport Prototipo Zagato

Offered by RM Auctions | Monaco | May 12, 2012

Double post! This wickedly-bizarre looking car was a Lancia works race car with one-off Zagato styling. It was entered by Lancia in the 1964 Targa Florio (where it DNF’d). The engine is 1.8-liter flat-four making 148 horsepower.

Again, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a car unlike any other. It was sold from Lancia to one of its drivers in 1967. In the early 1990s, it was acquired by the current owner. Like the Citroen prototype above, it is also estimated to sell for between $180,000-$240,000. For the complete catalog description, click here.

Update: sold $246,568.