Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Maserati 3500 GT
Here's a link to Jay Leno's video of his restored 3500 GT:
I loved this car when it came out: so classy. The body was designed by Touring (Milan). I thought it was introduced in 1960, but Wikipedia says 1957, which makes the styling even more impressive. It looks better in dark colors like the blue above, and without the rear vent windows on Leno's car (the early cars had better tail lights too). But Leno's retention of the original color was a no-brainer with the paint in such great shape.
Even to a 15-year-old, it was clear that the Maserati was a GT, not a sports car. It was obviously big and heavy (although I'm surprised to learn from Leno's video that the controls are heavy too). Its solid rear axle, hung from semi-elliptic springs, was hardly state-of-the-art. It was built for the Autoroutes and Interstates then beginning to spider over Western Europe and the States. While not as sophisticated as the Ferrari 250 GT, the Maser's huge trunk made it a better road trip car. The dash and interior were the best Italy had to offer. It was priced to compete with the 250 GT and the Aston Martin DB 4. (I remember the XK-E costing half as much, not the 1/3 Leno mentions, but there's no arguing against it as the best value in the GT market).
But when it came to styling, the Italians led the world in the postwar era until the early 1970's. They cranked out car after breathtaking car.