These are pieces of art. "In those days, engines and cars had personalities, and you could certainly see that from driving them.” Explains Phillipe Reyns of his 1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Vignale.
Cruising through the desert back roads just outside of Scottsdale, Arizona, behind the wheel of his gorgeous blue over red leather Gran Turismo drop top, Phillipe retells the history that lead Maserati to infuse their racing roots into production cars.
“Before the war in the 20s and the 30s, racing was their thing. They were not concerned about making road cars. The primary reason for existing was racing, but to have a road car to sell along side is what paid the bills for racing. So, it was an easy decision for Maserati to build a road car. These cars were selling for quite a bit of money in the day and they really helped Maserati keep racing.”
Originally focused solely on racing, like many automobile manufacturers Maserati was faced with serious financial limitations post-war. It was decided building production cars would greatly benefit its competition program.
“The history of the Maserati 3500 GT started, really, in 1957—the banner year for Maserati. They won the Formula One championship with the 250F, and then they had success with their sports racer, the S350.”
Maserati continued racing and the world benefitted from some of Italy’s most beautiful creations, the rest is history.
This is a Maserati 3500 GT Vignale Spyder LHD of the year 1962. This is one of only 245 factory-made spiders! It’s an original European version with the beloved carburettor engine, five speed transmission and four disc brakes. This particular car has been restored and mechanically rebuilt in the past. It is in a beautiful overall condition and has a stunning body with perfect panel fittings. It has a lovely blue leather interior and a soft-top.
In 1959, the Maserati 5000 GT was introduced using the chassis of the 3500GT. Two steel-bodied convertible prototypes by Carrozzeria Vignale and Michelotti were developed in 1959 and shown at the Salon de l'Auto in Paris 1959.
The 3500 GT Spyder by Carrozzeria Vignale (245 made).
A convertible made by Carrozzeria Vignale went into production in 1960, as the 3500 GT Convertible or just 3500 GT Spyder, and had a shortened 2,500 mm (98.4 in) chassis weighing 1,380 kg (3,042 lb).
The 3500 GTi was introduced in 1961 as the first fuel-injected Italian production car. It had a Lucas fuel injection (235 bhp). A 5-speed ZF S5-17 gearbox was now standard (3.02:1, 1.85:1, 1.29:1, 1:1, 0.85:1), as well as disc brakes all round. The body had a lowered roofline and became somewhat longer; minor outward changes appeared as well (new grille, rear lights, vent windows). The rather similar Maserati Sebring (3500 GTiS) also a 2+2 coupe entered production in 1962.
The first year (1958) sold 119 cars, 1961 was the best-selling year totalling 500. All together, 245 Vignale convertibles and nearly 2000 coupes were manufactured, of these, 1981 being Touring coupes, the rest were bodied by other coachbuilders, Carrozzeria Allemano (four coupes, including the 1957 prototype), Zagato (one coupe, 1957), Carrozzeria Boneschi (two cars; 1962, 1963 Salone dell'automobile di Torino, 1962); Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva, 1963), Pietro Frua (two or three coupes, one spider) and Bertone (one coupe). The last was a coupe by Moretti (Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva, 1966).