The elegant Maserati Mexico first appeared in 1968 to serve as a replacement for both the Sebring and the ultra-exclusive 5000GT. The body design of the Mexico was actually based on a one-off Vignale-bodied 5000GT that was built for Mexico’s president Adolfo López Mateos. That car had been damaged and returned to Italy where it was repaired and put into service as the prototype for the factory’s new 4-seat GT car, earning the name Mexico as a nod to its origins. The production Mexico was based on a shortened version of the Quattroporte chassis and it was fitted with the same drivetrain as its bigger four-door sibling, ensuring strong performance. Front suspension is fully independent, with a robust live rear axle on leaf springs out back, returning good ride quality and stable handling. All Mexicos were equipped with boosted four-wheel disc brakes. Initially, the Mexico had a 4.7 liter version of the Quattroporte’s 4.2 liter, four-cam V8, which in itself traced its origins to the fearsome 450S racers and 5000GT road cars. Oddly, the 4.2 liter was made available later in Mexico production, with only a slight difference in power output but with a slightly revvier nature. The Mexico was available with manual or automatic transmissions, with the ZF 5-speed being the most popular choice for obvious reason. The Maserati Mexico is understated, beautiful and comfortable and that glorious V8 rewards generous use of the throttle with an infectious soundtrack and surprising turn of speed. Crisp and elegant, like a finely tailored suit, the Vignale body is a wonderful expression of chic 1960’s Italian style and makes this one of the very best GT cars of the era.
This 1969 Mexico has a well-known and fascinating history. It was originally purchased by a successful Chicago-area lawyer straight off the stand at the Chicago Auto Show in 1968. He then gave the car to his son who attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh – one heck of a nice college car, we think! In fact, to this day it still wears his fraternity and university stickers in the rear window. While in the hands of the first owner, it was regularly serviced by a foreign car repair shop in Barrington, Illinois. The lawyer and his son maintained the car meticulously but finally grew tired of waiting weeks on end for parts and offered to sell it to the shop owner. The shop owner jumped at the opportunity and it remained in his possession for 42 years, where it was kept indoors and dry. He and his son tinkered with the car off and on when they had the time. His son eventually resurrected the car in hopes of getting his dad one last ride before he passed away. Sadly that last ride was not to be, but the car was treated to a very thorough and high quality freshening. It is currently showing approximately 40,000 miles, about 4,500 of which have been covered since being refurbished. This is a genuine, low ownership and low mileage Mexico with excellent history. It has been thoroughly overhauled to include new chrome, freshly rebuilt Boranni wheels, a new exhaust system and a gorgeous respray in stunning red paint. The paint quality is outstanding, with no notable flaws. The light cream interior is nearly all original, the only exception being newly recovered front seats to bring them up to the standard of the otherwise outstanding cabin. The wood dash, door caps and chrome trim are original and gorgeous and an original radio resides on the center console. Under the bonnet lies that legendary 4.2 liter, 4-cam V8 which is in excellent running order and is tidy and well detailed. Original equipment includes power steering, air conditioning, power brakes and the very rare limited slip differential. New Pirelli radials are at home on a set of fully rebuilt and beautiful Borrani wire wheels. Inside the trunk you find a set of original tools and jack in their original storage bags. This is simply an exquisite Maserati that is begging to be let loose on a road trip. It is fully sorted and ready for touring and events, but has been prepared to a level that makes it suitable for show as well. Our ideal day would involve driving this car 100 miles, showing it, and driving it home again. The Maserati Mexico has spent many years as the less obvious choice for someone seeking a proper 60’s Italian GT car, often overshadowed by those V12 powered cars from Maranello. But the Mexico is gaining appreciation by enthusiasts thanks to its outstanding road manners and elegantly understated Vignale looks. The time to acquire one is now, and few are better sorted than this fine specimen.
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