By the late 1960’s, Maserati had all but abandoned its racing exploits and was now finding its legs as manufacturer of exclusive road going GT cars. Tragic events at the 1957 Mille Miglia meant Works motorsport activities were over, though a few racing cars were still being built for private entries into the early 1960’s. Up to that point, Maserati road cars were thinly veiled racing machines – fast, beautiful and fragile and put on the road with the sole purpose of funding factory racing efforts. But financial struggles and increasing competition from Ferrari, Porsche and Ford meant that road cars had to be their focus. Chief Engineer Giulio Alfieri guided his team through the transition from their focus on racing machines to luxurious, exotic sports and GT cars. The six-cylinder 3500 GT hit the streets accompanied by its exclusive, bespoke bigger brother, the 5000GT. But the 5000GT was hugely expensive and not a money maker for the company. What they really needed were cars that could be built in greater volume. So Maserati’s lineup was further refined and in 1963, their first four-door sedan was introduced and given the name “Quattroporte” – Italian for “four doors”. Where the Quattroporte lacked in evocative naming, it more than made up for in style and performance. Its elegant Pietro Frua-designed body was the first Maserati to feature unibody construction, with suspension by way of independent front wishbones and a proven, well-placed DeDion rear axle. The attractive body was mated to a 4.2 liter quad-cam V8 engine derived from the 450S and 5000GT, making it the fastest four door production car in the world for a brief time.
AM107.1006 is a 1967 US spec example that is finished in attractive primrose yellow over a black leather interior. An early second series model, it was originally delivered to California and is fitted with the sweet 4.2 liter V8 and desirable ZF 5-speed manual gearbox. It was most recently in the hands of a collector who used the car very sparingly, and who until recently, had left it slumbering in a dry, heated garage. It was carefully awakened by marque expert Ray Seagle who flushed all the fluids and performed a comprehensive tune up and freshening. This car has never been restored and it has only seen relatively light use. It is solid, tidy and charmingly attractive. The paint has held up remarkably well, though there are a few blemishes here and there, mainly in the form of stone chips and some minor bubbling on the rockers and the decklid. Chrome is quite presentable and straight, and all the bits of trim are present. The Quattroporte was a very well built car in its day, costing more than a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. Since this car has never been crashed, rotted or restored, that build-quality has been well preserved. Of course, a Quattroporte is a luxury car and this example does not disappoint. Beautifully preserved black leather is accented by nice original wood and chrome trim. A gorgeous wood rim steering wheel sits in front of a set of original instruments and switches. On the road, this Quattroporte behaves very well and exhibits excellent performance and sounds simply glorious. Handling is very good for a car of this size and is sure to deliver many more miles of entertainment. The Quattroporte is simply a very cool, very fast, and very unusual alternative to the usual European luxury cars of the era. Few other cars of the era combine the big Maserati’s motorsport heritage, exotic Italian styling and high-performance in a luxurious four-door package.
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