Chassis AM 109532

The Frua designed Mistral was unveiled at the Turin Motorshow in 1964 as the successor to the dated Sebring. The stylish two seater design with its easy opening rear window ‘hatch’ was a hit and made it a surprisingly practical sporting GT car with great performance and looks to match. It took its name from the cold wind which blows from the Alps through Provence and was built onto a shortened development of the 3500GT chassis. The model proved popular and production continued until 1970.

The engine was the final iteration of the robust twin overhead cam six cylinder unit that could trace its lineage back to the legendary 250F that had powered Fangio to the Formula 1 victory in 1957. The specification included an alloy block and cylinder-head, dual plug ignition, Lucas fuel injection and a choice of 3.5, 3.7 or 4 litre capacity. A five speed ZF gearbox, and all round disc brakes were standard equipment.

The Frua coachwork is lighter than that of the Sebring being entirely constructed in alloy and the model represented the ultimate and most powerful development of the six cylinder theme and is highly prized among Maserati enthusiasts.

Chassis AM 109532 was registered in 1967 as a 3.7 litre Coupe. It is one of the very rare original hand drive cars, only 23 were built with less than half that surviving. It was delivered in silver with black leather to the interior.

The current owner bought the car in 2014 by which time it had been painted red although it retained its original black interior. Innocently thinking a colour change would be a simple improvement he soon found himself looking at a car that needed more than just paint. Not a man to do things by halves the car was then stripped to the chassis and fully restored.

James Harris at ‘Cavendish Continental Engineering Ltd’ undertook to do the work and kept a photographic record of the progress. The engine was completely dis-assembled and rebuilt with a new (and dynamically balanced) crankshaft, bearings, pistons, valves, seats, springs. The gearbox, back axle, brakes and suspension were also thoroughly overhauled. All of the corrosion in the chassis and body was cut out and replaced.

In 2020 the project was moved to Stanton Motorsports to speed up the completion. Further significant improvements were made and a new wiring loom was fitted by the venerable Winston Teague. At quite an early stage the decision was taken to replace the fuel injection system with triple 45DC0E Webers. The original Lucas comedy equipment accompanies the car.

The owner finally took delivery of the finished car in 2022 and has done very limited miles in it. The MOT from 2014, the point of purchase shows 60,127 and today it reads 62,461 indicating the mileage since restoration is just 2,334. In 2023 the car was tuned and serviced by the highly regarded team at Mellors Elliot Motorsport in Derbyshire who also overhauled the gearbox with new bearings, seals and synchro rings. After their adjustments a dynamometer report shows the car producing over 240 bhp at 5000 rpm. On a test drive its low range torque impresses and then the real power kicks in as the exhaust note soars. The brakes feel heroic and it handles nicely with good road manners and no overheating.

This beautifully presented Mistral has matching numbers and is offered for sale at a fraction of the restoration cost. It looks fantastic in Maserati ‘Nettuno Blu’ with contrasting Oxblood leather and riding on gorgeous black Borranis appropriately shod with Pirelli Cinturato rubber. Offered in exceptional condition, it is a lot more car than an E Type and a lot less money than a Ferrari.