Maserati Mistral Spyder
Following on the success of its 3500 GT and Sebring, Maserati commissioned Pietro Frua to design a new body to be placed upon an updated Tipo 109 chassis. The new two-seat coupé was named “Mistral” after the strong wind in the South of France. The 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 the company’s famed and well-proven straight six engine, descended from the company’s 350S sports racing cars of the 1950s and itself a close relation of the engine that powered Juan Manuel Fangio’s 250F to victory.
First unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in November of 1963, the new Mistral was an instant success, and steady orders kept the car in production until 1970, with only slight updates and an increase in the engine’s displacement from 3.5 to 3.7 litres and finally to 4,014 cc. A Salisbury rear axle handled the power from a ZF five-speed manual gearbox – a traditional Maserati-type drive train. A less sporting three-speed automatic transmission was also available.
Similar in overall length to its Sebring predecessor, the Mistral had a sexy, rounded profile with a low beltline and curved glass. In many ways, it was one of Frua’s finest designs. The long hood was accented with a small air scoop, slim bumpers, a split air intake and a tall greenhouse. In typical Italian sports car construction, the body was steel and the doors, bonnet and boot lid were of aluminium.
Inside, the Mistral was a pure two-seater with an excellent driving position and leather seats. With a top speed of 160 mph and zero-to-sixty times of just 6.2 seconds, it is quite the performer and a true grand touring car. In total, 828 coupés were built and just 120 Spyders in the seven-year production run from ’63 to ’70.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2009 at the Battersea Evolution, London.
255 bhp, 3,694 cc dual overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine, five-speed ZF manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5".
Source: RM Auctions