This 1960 Maserati 3500 GT is one of approximately 250 Vignale-bodied convertibles produced between 1959 and 1963, and was delivered new through Mercedes-Benz Distributors Western Ltd. in Vancouver, British Columbia. The car was relocated from Ontario to the US in 2002, and subsequently spent time in California and Ohio before being purchased by its current owner in 2015. It retains its factory color combination of red over black leather, and power is from a numbers-matching 3.5-liter DOHC inline-six that was rebuilt during a mechanical refurbishment in the mid-2000s. Additional equipment includes triple Weber carburetors that were overhauled in 2021, a ZF five-speed manual transmission, a limited-slip differential, front disc brakes, and 16” Borrani wheels. This Tipo 101/C is offered on consignment by a Connecticut dealer who is being represented by the seller, and comes with copies of its factory order, build, and shipping sheets as well as a Maserati Technical and Aesthetic Characteristics certificate, service records from 2003 to 2021, and a clean California title.
Following a series of open-topped prototypes, Giovanni Micholotti's design earned Carrozzeria Vignale the contract to build a production convertible variant of the 3500 GT beginning in 1959. The model rode on a wheelbase 10 centimeters shorter than that of the contemporary coupe, and its construction incorporated steel bodywork with an aluminum hood, trunk lid, and doors. This example left the factory finished in Rosso Alfa, and is believed by the seller to have been repainted in the 1980s. The finish was compounded, polished, and ceramic-coated in February 2021. Chips, cracks, and other flaws are shown up close in the gallery below.
The black soft top matches the color noted on the included order sheet, and stows beneath a matching boot when lowered. Stamped steel wheels wear chrome hubcaps and 185SR16 Michelin X tires that were mounted in 2021. Front disc brakes became standard for the 3500 GT in 1960, while finned aluminum drums handle braking at the rear. New rear wheel cylinders were installed in 2014, and service in 2015 included installation of a replacement Girling brake servo as well as rebuilds of the front calipers. The brake fluid was flushed in 2021.
The cockpit features 2+2 seating trimmed in black Connolly leather, with matching upholstery covering the door panels, center tunnel, and upper portion of the painted dash. Black carpeting covers the footwells and sills. Power windows were standard equipment. Electrical issues were partially addressed during the 2021 service, which also revealed that the heater valve and blower are missing.
A wood-rimmed Nardi steering wheel frames Jaeger instrumentation including a 160-mph speedometer, a tachometer, and gauges monitoring coolant temperature, fuel level, and oil pressure. The coolant temperature gauge was rebuilt in 2021, and the speedometer drive cable was cleaned and lubricated. The speedometer remains inconsistent and the tachometer is jumpy according to an included invoice. Approximately 32k miles are shown on the five-digit odometer, 500 of which have been added under current ownership. Total mileage is unknown.
The 3,485cc Tipo 101 inline-six was derived from the engine used in the 350S race car and uses an aluminum block and cylinder heads, with the latter featuring hemispherical combustion chambers and dual overhead camshafts as well as two spark plugs per cylinder. A mechanical refurbishment carried out between 2003 and 2006 by Epifani Restorations in Berkeley, California, included machining the block and heads, grinding the crank and camshafts, and replacement of the pistons, rings, bearings, valves, timing gear, and other hardware. The radiator was also recored and the fuel tank repaired during the 2000s work.
Engine block stamping AM101*949* matches the number shown on the chassis identification plate and build sheet in the gallery below. Induction is from triple twin-choke Weber 42 DCOE carburetors that were rebuilt in 2021. The Marelli dual ignition system was also adjusted and an oil change, coolant flush, and battery replacement carried out at that time. Results of a 2021 compression test are pictured in the gallery below, showing results between 145 and 155 for each cylinder.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a ZF S4-17 four-speed manual transmission, and a limited-slip differential was standard equipment for the model year. The suspension system consists of double wishbones and coil springs up front along with a leaf-sprung solid rear axle, with tubular shock absorbers and anti-roll bars featured at both ends. Work in 2021 included fluid changes for the gearbox and rear end, replacement of the front shocks, and adjustment of the steering box.
A copy of the factory order sheet lists the original colors and destination as well as delivery in June 1960. Also pictured in the gallery are copies of the factory specification sheet and shipping notice along with a Maserati Technical and Aesthetic Characteristics certificate. A four-part series of videos below showcases the car's history and characteristics, and an additional video of a cold start are also available