Maserati Sebring II Vignale 1965
Chassis no. AM101/10*103*
Engine no. AM101/10*103*
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 247 Series II Sebrings produced
*Original Factory combination of Azzuro Vincennes with a Senape interior
*Desirable ZF 5-Speed Manual Gearbox
*Giovanni Michelotti-Designed 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. 1965 saw the introduction of the Series II, and with it came a revised front end and side vents, horizontal tail lights, larger tires, and a modified Tipo AM 101/10 motor. Production ended in 1966, by which time 591 Sebrings had been built.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
The Series II model presented here was competed in July 1965 and would be delivered farther south within the country on August 10th, 1965 to Mr. Rosa D'Agostino of Rome. Completed in the beautiful color combination of Azzuro Vincennes with a Senape interior, the vehicle has retained this original configuration from the very beginning and is verified by Maserati Classiche. Of the additional features, this car was optioned with air conditioning, which further adds to the luxury and usability of the gran tourer. Unfortunately, the ownership history beyond the initial Roman proprietor is relatively unknown. More contemporarily, the car was bought in the Netherlands in 2013.
Despite this history, the car has been well-cared for and the chassis, engine block and head all match the data plate. Another miraculous detail is the fact that the original Lucas fuel injection system has endured the care of many owners. In earlier decades, it was relatively common for the fuel delivery to be swapped over to carburetors for the sake of increased simplicity. We can report that the injection system has been attended to by the proper specialists. In addition, the brakes, clutch and steering box have received attention more recently.
Overall, the car is properly sorted mechanically, and cosmetically in good shape. Both the body and the interior of the car present well, and with a bit of work could be shown as a strong contender at most Concours. The Sebring is a timeless classic who's dashing good looks and Inline-6 howl are sure the stir up the strongest emotions from even the most casual gear-head.
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