1963 Maserati Sebring 3500 GTi Series 1
Coachwork by Vignale
Chassis no. AM101.01841
3,485 CC DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Lucas Mechanical Fuel Injection
235bhp at 5,500rpm
5-Speed Manual ZF Transmission
Independent Front Suspension - Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*One of Only 348 Series I Sebrings produced
*Fully rebuilt engine and injection system
*Desirable ZF 5-Speed Manual Gearbox
*Concours quality paint and bodywork
*Giovanni Michelotti design
*Coachwork by Vignale
THE MASERATI SEBRING
Introduced in 1962, the Sebring was one of the final manifestations of the landmark 3500 GT, which had been the linchpin of Maserati's program to establish itself as a manufacturer of road cars. The Modena marque's new era began in 1957 with the launch of the Touring-bodied 3500 GT, its first road car built in significant numbers. A luxury 2+2, the 3500GT drew heavily on Maserati's competition experience, employing a tubular chassis frame and an engine derived from the 350S sports car unit of 1956. Suspension was independent at the front by wishbones and coil springs, while at the back there was a conventional live axle/semi-elliptic arrangement. The 3500 GT's designer was none other than Giulio Alfieri, creator of the immortal Tipo60/61 'Birdcage' sports-racer and the man responsible for developing the 250F into a World Championship winner. The twin-overhead-camshaft, six-cylinder engine was a close relative of that used in the 250F and developed around 220bhp initially, later examples producing 235bhp on Lucas mechanical fuel injection. Built initially with drum brakes and four-speed transmission, the 3500 GT was progressively updated, gaining five speeds, front disc brakes and, finally, all-disc braking.
A car possessing such impeccable antecedents not unnaturally attracted the attention of Italy's finest carrozzeria: Allemano, Bertone and Frua all created bodies for the 3500 GT chassis. Most Coupes were the work of Touring, while all but one (a Frua-bodied example) of the much less common Spider version were the work of Carrozzeria Vignale.
Built on the short-wheelbase chassis of the Spider and likewise styled by Vignale, the Sebring Coupe arrived in 1962. By now a five-speed ZF gearbox, four-wheel disc brakes and fuel injection were standard equipment, with automatic transmission, air conditioning and a limited-slip differential available as options. With a hefty price tag, the new Maserati was some 22% more expensive than the contemporary Aston Martin DB5, its closest rival. Production ended in 1966, by which time 591 Sebrings had been built, 348 of which were in the more desirable first series.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
One of the most elegant and understated Grand Touring cars of the 1960s, the Maserati Sebring offered here is the much sought after Series 1 model fitted with the ultra-desirable five-speed ZF gearbox. The car is believed to have been owned and cared for by just one owner for much of its life before being purchased by the consignor, a lifelong Massachusetts based collector. Upon purchasing the car, the consignor discovered that aside from a repaint in the incorrect color, the seldom seen Series 1 was in superbly original condition. The odometer reading of just 70,000 kilometers was believed to be the actual mileage the car had traveled. The decision was made to bring the car back to its original specification and glory. All of the glass was removed from the vehicle before it was brought down to bare metal and refinished in a concourse quality respray in the original and fitting, glossy shade of red. The body work is absolutely spectacular, and the process is documented in the history file. While the car was disassembled for the paintwork, the brightwork was re-chromed and the engine was sent off to be fully rebuilt, including the rare Lucas Mechanical Fuel Injection system. Over the years many Sebring owners have opted for the cheaper route of replacing the fuels injection system with an incorrect carburation setup, making an example complete with its original injection setup a rare sight. Receipts for the mechanical rebuild are on file, with the fuel injection overhaul alone costing over $12,000. At this time a new clutch was also fitted. The interior of the car was in outstanding condition so the decision was made to keep it largely original with the exception of recovering the front seats.
Thanks to the love and care that the consignor has given to this amazing Series 1 Sebring, today it offers an endless number of possibilities for its next owner. With its incredible presentation, the car is sure to draw a crowd at any show and with its fully rebuilt engine and Lucas Mechanical Injection system, the grand tourer would be an absolute blast to enjoy any number of driving events.
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