In France, Mistral is a wind that hits that nation's Mediterranean coast. Nice Price or Crack Pipe knows the Maserati coupe named for that wind is a hit, but does this one have a price that blows?
Anthony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, Cheech & Chong - history is filled with ill-fated relationships. And you can add to that list yesterday's Shelby GLHS and your wallet, as 66% of you thought eight large was the Krakatoa of pipes for that rare but worn coupe. We're going to give the American iron a rest today, and pick on someone more Modena-sized instead.
After the horrific 1957 Mille Miglia accident near the village of Guidizzolo Italy, the Orsi family stopped Maserati's factory-backed racing efforts and concentrated the company on the building of road cars. By the mid-sixties, they had a range of high performance cars including the due posti Ghibli, the obviously-named Quattroporte sedan, the Mexico coupe, and a GT that would be the first of a series of cars named after winds.
The Mistral was the last car from the Casa del Tridente to carry their venerated straight six engine. That motor was based on the one fitted to the 250F Grand Prix cars from '54 through '60, and which powered Juan Manuel Fangio to the Formula One championship in 1957. Available in three and a half litres, the twin-spark six eventually grew to the 3.7-litre capacity of today's candidate. The Lucas fuel injection - What? That's right, Lucas fuel injection - gives the 3,694-cc DOHC engine 245-bhp and freedom from having to synchronize a trifecta of 45DCOEs. Later cars came with a 4-litre version, and are all the more desirable for it. All the cars came with a ZF 5-speed gearbox and a leaf-sprung Salisbury rear axle. The chassis, representing years of racing experience, is rock solid well into triple digit speeds ( a fact to which I can personally attest) although it prefers fast sweepers to kinky hairpins, owing to its weight and somewhat dodgy steering.
This car's Frua-penned body is splashed in pittura rossa which goes well with the tan hides swaddling the interior. The polished Borrani wheels are correct for the car, and those, along with a generous glass area make it seem smaller that it really is.
With bidding currently up to $30,000, and a By-It-Now of $68,000, this car isn't for the faint of heart nor the weak of wallet, but as one of only 830 tipo-109 coupes built - and being painfully beautiful - it stands to reason it would also be dear.
Parking this Maser on your street would be a quick and effective way to dress up the block, and maybe you and your neighbors could go in on it together as sort of a time-share suburban-renewal thing. Failing that, you'd have to come up with that $68,000 solo to ensure somebody doesn't snipe it out from under you. But before that happens, it's up to you to figure out if that price blows up your skirt, or just plain blows.
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