The year was 1957; Maserati had experienced some great fortune in the racing world, and the 3500GT coupe was a roaring success. Maserati began looking for a coachbuilder who would build a convertible version of their 3500GT. Designs from three of Italy’s famed carrozzerias (coachbuilders) were up for consideration. Touring already produced the coupe version for Maserati, and played it safe in their Spyder prototype by simply removing the top from their design. Carrozzeria Frua abandoned many of the styling cues that made the 3500GT so attractive, and Maserati was at best unimpressed. It wasn’t until 1959 that Maserati decided to go with Carrozzeria Vignale and their brilliant designer Michelotti, who created a true automotive masterpiece with the Maserati 3500GT Vignale Spyder.
The Vignale was built on a shortened coupe chassis, and received a steel body to strengthen the chassis, as opposed to the aluminum body of the coupes. To keep weight down, aluminum was used for the hood and boot lid.
Production began on these glorious Spyders in early 1960, and the example we have on offer is one of only 242 Spyders built. Being a series two Spyder, chassis number 1345 is powered by Maserati’s detuned version of their Tipo 350S race motors, with twin choke 42 DCOE Weber Carburetors 220bhp. Chassis 1345 also features four wheel disc brakes which became standard after 1961, optional 5-speed transmission, metal hard top, and Borrani wire wheels.
The Maserati Historical Information Certificate shows that chassis number AM101*1345 was ordered on August 18th, and delivered directly to the first owner Mr. Hans Fruhwirth, of Vienna Austria on November 23rd, 1961.
Mr. Fruhwirth kept chassis number 1345 until June of 1974 when it was sold to Mr. Franz Riesner also of Vienna Austria who only kept the Maserati for about a year. Chassis number 1345 stayed in Austria, with a few different owners until about July of 1983 where it was then imported into Japan.
In February of 2007 chassis number 1345 was imported into America. The file shows that this Maserati was sold by Motor Classic & Competition Corp, of White Plains NY and then sold to a collector in Greenwich CT where it stayed until 2010. Carriage House Motors then sold it to its last owner, and collector here in the Boston MA area.
5-Speed Transmission, Borrani Wire Wheels, Metal Hard Top, and 4-Wheel Disc Brakes.