Lot 281 - 1975 Maserati Merak to SS specification
|Engine Number||114.55.30 610.012|
|Odometer reading||48,879 miles|
|Estimate||£42,000 - £48,000|
The Maserati Merak was introduced in 1972, essentially a lighter version of the Maserati Bora. It substituted an all new Maserati designed quad-cam, three litre, V6 motor for the Bora's larger V8; resulting not only in a lower cost but with room for a small backseat and better handling due to lower weight and a better front/rear weight distribution. Aesthetically, the Merak differed from the otherwise very similar Bora; mainly in sporting open flying buttresses instead of the Bora's fully glassed rear, the mid-engine Merak used the Bora bodyshell but the extra space offered by the smaller engine was used to carve out a second row of seats, suitable for children or very small adults. As with the Bora, certain Citroën hydraulic systems were used in the Merak such as the brakes, clutch and headlight pods. In 1976, Maserati introduced the more powerful and lighter Maserati Merak SS. Production of the SS stopped in 1982. Its engine produced 15% more power raising horsepower to 220hp and weight was reduced by 152kg to 1,400kg; resulting in a top speed of 152mph. Late Merak SS were bestowed with the interior and dash of the Maserati Bora.
This attractive and immaculately kept Merek presents in red with black leather was originally delivered to California with its previous owner retaining this Maserati for some 21 years. Initially thought to be a standard example, it was later understood that a few US models produced by the factory before the Geneva launch in 1975 can be considered pre-SS examples, with full SS engines and a raft of SS upgrades. This car was considered to be one of the few and has had this recently confirmed by Bill McGrath Maserati, respected specialists in the field. A matching numbers example with the SS specification engine and tell tale front grill, it still retains the earlier dashboard and can be considered a very rare example.
This Merak has lead, what we believe, to be a rather charmed life. Merek's so often suffer terribly with water ingress and then, not surprisingly, corrosion. So when purchased by a well-known engineer in 2014, his first concern was with body and chassis, amazingly he found it to be as new, there are no signs of rust whatsoever and the underside of the car is better than the top, even showing signs of the original stickers on the shock absorbers and paint from the factory. The interior is in very good condition with original trim all complete except the front seats which he has replaced, however the originals are available should a new owner wish to re-trim and fit them. After a three years spell in storage, our vendor has recently fitted a new clutch, serviced and re-tuned the 3.0 litre, V6. He now explains that it drives fabulously. Offered with the certificate of title, new MoT test certificate and Nova certificate, this is a very well priced car and we cannot recommend strongly enough viewing to appreciate it fully.
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